Bidding and Estimating – The Impact Technology
When it comes to being competitive in the marketplace. Technology has the potential to be a game changer. There are multiple ways you can apply the impact of technology to reduce costs without a loss of quality. I find that technology and better processes can allow you to reduce costs while improving the quality of the service you provide. Validating the numbers, you see being used in the marketing of technologies impact on cost reduction can be difficult to confirm.
Let’s take a look at some of the areas where technology can impact your ability to increase production rates and reduce costs.
You can’t operate a cost-effective department or business today without taking advantage of the benefits that computers and associated software bring to work place. Tracking of costs, bidding, communications, timekeeping, and quality control are just a starting place when it comes to the aspects of cleaning that are now much easier, faster and more accurate when processes are computerized. Taking it a step further requires that you do as many of these processes on a smart phone, the notebook and desktop machines are quickly becoming old school and far less productive than the phone in your pocket.
Nearly every equipment manufacturer today is promoting their latest model as being able to reduce labor costs by 40% – 70% if you just buy one, and certainly buying two or three would be better than one. Much of this is marketing hype. However, if a piece of equipment will actually allow you to reduce labor costs by even 25% and you can use the machine for at least 4 hours per day, the cost saving can go directly to the bottom line. The challenge becomes validating the claims and then when the equipment is used, capturing the reduction in labor costs, vs simply adding to the cost of doing the work. My recommendation has always been and continues to be, that before buying a piece of equipment you need to use in it onsite for several weeks to make sure that it really will reduce your costs and give you the needed and promised results. If you can’t do this, you are getting promotional promises vs proof of results. I’d pass on any of those deals.
Great progress has been made in the safety and reduction in use of chemicals used for cleaning. The hot topic these days is engineered or augmented water that functions as a detergent, sanitizer and or disinfectant. The promises regarding cost reduction and effectiveness need to be validated, but you should not overlook the potential that these new products bring to the market place.
Being in the Know
The biggest challenge today is knowing about and keeping up with all the new products, process and technologies that are entering the market place that can actually reduce operating costs. As a manager, today, I’d say that at least 10% of your time needs to be spent in researching, staying current, and testing out new products and concepts that may give you the cutting edge needed to win more bids and keep your job in future. You can do this by getting on line, using search engines, monitoring industry chats, attending conventions and seminars and reading the magazines and newsletters that make the information you need available.