We all appreciate that one of the most expensive overheads in your business walks on two legs, arrives every day at 9 am, and leaves at 5 pm. I am of course talking about your labour costs.
So, when a product comes along that suggests it can save your labour costs and provide a more flexible way of working, it might just be worth investigating. For example, scaffolding is not usually a subject I would get excited about; however, analysis of the data suggests this particular product requires deeper scrutiny.
I would have my knuckles wrapped by the manufacturer if I did not immediately dispel the image conjured up by the word scaffolding. There are significant differences between scaffolding and the LOBO Work Platform System, the subject of this article. The differences are technical and commercial hence the excitement.
Firstly, we are unlikely to see this product on a building site, so can we dismiss the concept of traditional scaffolding with heavy tubes and planks of timber? Instead, think more of an adult’s version of Meccano or Adults Erector Set, which can be assembled without the need for any tools and is used by companies for maintenance. Enough said about the product. Next, let us look at the all-important cost benefit that may save your company thousands.
The people at LOBO have supplied me with countless incidents of companies who use the LOBO System in preference to calling in the expensive and inflexible scaffolding contractor. But, of course, it needs to be said upfront that the LOBO System is not the answer to all your scaffolding requirements. Still, any internal facilities, plant or machinery applications are a strong possibility.
On meeting the brains behind LOBO, great pains are taken to explain how it all works, citing that some of the world’s largest companies have taken the plunge and now use the system. Of course, we all accept that the way data is presented can have different interpretations, but looking closely at the figures, they appear to stack up.
LOBO has documented several case studies (details available on request) that clearly show the cost-saving advantages, which reveal impressive results with only a minimal investment. The customers studied are not from the same sector and range from automated distribution, food & beverage, to huge manufacturing multinationals. However, whilst they come from a diverse industrial base, they all appear to have similar cost issues, which may be resolved using a LOBO System.
Amazon, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser Busch & Samsung
LOBO cites Amazon, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser Busch & Samsung as some of their best-known customers.
Applications are for Automated Distribution, RADAR Installations, Brewery and Semi-Conductor Manufacturing Maintenance. The actual use may differ due to the versatile nature of the product, but the cost-saving benefit applies to all. These companies and many more have to employ externally based (outsourced) scaffolding contractors. They must comply with the working-at-height regulations, sometimes for simple maintenance tasks.
This can be expensive, as it takes time, which is where the cost is, to erect a system, and it stays up for the pre-agreed minimum rental time.
Often this can be weeks or longer and costs more and more each day which may be counter-productive. LOBO point out that their system can be assembled by anyone who has been trained quickly and easily and then packed away when not in use in their custom Towerstore cage.
The additional benefit of having your system is that it is available 7 days a week and deployed whenever you want, quicker than traditional scaffolding. The knock-on effect could mean more excellent production uptime, with obvious cost-saving ramifications.
The case studies I looked at revealed a payback time of between 1 to 9 months with a capital spend of between 10% and 40 % of the existing scaffolding budget. This only applies to the first year, as once you have invested, it is plain sailing from the payback date onwards.
There are ongoing annual operational costs which amount to no more than 5%, for example, 2-year refresher training. But looking at the big picture, this is impressive.
A positive can therefore be drawn on a cost-saving basis alone.
It might be that you can cut your scaffolding costs in half or even reduce it to zero. But, on the other hand, big budget holders such as oil, manufacturing and chemical companies spend millions each year and may feel resigned to paying these vast sums yearly.
Perhaps there is an alternative where the cost-benefit analysis adds up, and your reliance on outsourced scaffolding companies can be reduced into the bargain.
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Source Product & Engineering.