Grow your competitive edge…even in a slow economy
Even though technology products have been available for years, research indicates that adoption rates for technology on construction machines remain relatively low. That means integrating new technologies into your equipment mix offers an excellent opportunity to separate your business from your competitors.
That’s been the experience of Jon Fye, owner of Fye Excavating, who invested in Cat® AccuGradeTM, a GPS grade control system, in 2008. Since then Fye’s company has realized multiple advantages that set it apart from other excavating companies in the region.
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE #1: Lower costs due to less rework and more accurate use of materials
AccuGrade provides the ability to cut to grade. On a street project, for example, you can cut to subgrade elevation and cut the curb at the same time. The precision also allows for the removal of debris right to the accurate subgrade. As a result, sub-base rock going back in is perfect or near perfect. According to Fye, “That accuracy saves lots of money in overages.”
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE #2: Faster time to job completion
Another advantage of GPS grading is how it speeds up job completion. The traditional methods of using stakes and string are no longer needed which saves time and labor costs for grade checkers. AccuGrade makes the visuals and elevations visible onscreen for the operator. Says Fye, “It’s just right on screen for the operator and he can cut different elevations all in one swath.”
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE #3: Highly accurate estimates
With precise measurements and volumes in the GPS-generated models, volumes of materials can be precisely calculated and estimated. This eliminates shortages or overages in the estimated costs. “We are a plan-and-spec company,” says Fye, “so that is huge.”
Fye also notes that in a sluggish economy, rentals with optional lease-purchase agreements can provide a way to get the advantages of technology-equipped machines and still control overhead costs. Fye says, “Owning excess equipment can break a company. We include lease-purchase options with our Cat dealer so that if we back that up with another six months of work, we can possibly buy that machine. If not, we can give it back without long-term commitment.”
Fye has achieved an edge on the competition by knowing his company’s abilities and balancing that with calculated risks he needs to take to grow. “We have been the leader in our area based on getting our hands around what we can do and do best. As part of the growing process, you definitely have to step a little bit outside of your comfort zone and take some risks. Every year we’ve done that, and we have grown.”
Learn more about Cat AccuGrade