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Chris Matthew

P. Flannery Plant Hire

“Technology on its own is not the solution - we need the right level of data and to also look at behaviours.

Downtime Story #2

Increasingly, projects are becoming more complex, with more and more assets to keep track of. P. Flannery has over 3000 assets to run. For companies with a high turnover of machines installing telematics boxes on each one can be impractical. However, technology and behavioural change is essential as we transform many of the construction industry processes and, in that, increase productivity and reduce costs.

Flannery was supplying machines on a large site and recording data and undertaking a time and motion study to analyse project in real time. We use these results to continually improve our processes, save costs and provide feedback to customers, which indicate how they can utilise our machines and workers more effectively. Flannery is a believer in working with our staff to improve all round efficiency and believe leader-boards and mentoring are crucial to behavioural change.

This project’s data analysis indicated that machine idle times and utilisation were high whilst productivity was low. Our initial response was more equipment was needed, however, what the data told us was the more machines, the longer the queues, the more idle-time and the more fuel burned. We quickly realised that a bottleneck of machines waiting for access to various locations on site was creating the queues. With that information, the cause of the bottlenecks was removed, and higher site traffic flows realised. This allowed Flannery’s to reduce machines on site, off-hire machines, reducing customer costs and we saw a 9-percent improvement in utilisation with increased productivity.

Fuel is expensive, and also not yet from renewable sources, so the recommendation is to find the bottlenecks, save on fuel, and use less machinery. The way to do this is via technology, sharing the right data and analyse operator behaviours, so that we can incentivise change.

The construction industry needs to move towards a global standard for data and data interchange in order for each manufacturer to comply and provide consistent data interfaces. This would facilitate the supply chain improvements which will transform construction sites. While each manufacturer provides information differently, such as, different quoted emission levels for different equipment, there will continue to be difficulties in companies reporting to organisations like the Carbon Trust, to demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability. Consistent useable data is essential. OEMs work hard but in isolation. They need to start to talk to each other and share information with each other.

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