How to make the business case for the quality tools that your team needs

construction site productivity

Within the construction industry there are considerable financial pressures, and it’s a fine balance for businesses to reduce costs and increase efficiency at the same time. For procurement teams, buying lower priced tools is an easy way to reduce direct costs, but the impact this may have on productivity can make these types of savings a false economy in the long-term.

While this approach reduces the initial outlay, purchasing cheaper alternatives can lead to various indirect costs through additional maintenance and repairs, as well as vastly reduced construction site productivity and increased downtime.

Investing in quality tools can not only help a business improve productivity, but also reduce overall costs. If you are looking to make a case for purchasing more quality tools for your team, here are the key factors to consider:

1. Reliability

Reliability is a significant factor in terms of both productivity and cost. Ultimately, higher quality tools require less maintenance - they break down less, and help ensure that downtime is kept to a minimum on site. Reliability, however, is not just about product quality - but providing workers with appropriate equipment for their needs.

It’s essential to ensure your workers are equipped with the right tools for the specific job they are undertaking. Due to financial restraints, workers often have to make do with tools that are inappropriate for the job. While this makes the task more difficult, from a reliability point of view, it also adds extra strain to equipment that is not specifically designed for that task. This may require increased maintenance costs, which could be avoided by having a higher quality toolpark.

As well as costing money through repairs, maintenance also causes increased downtime and reduced construction site productivity, which is often not accounted for in project timelines. This can create overall delays in project delivery, which can then lead to financial losses, including fines.

2. Safety

According to the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), businesses have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees, with tools a significant part of this in the construction industry.

Optimised tools operate to the highest safety standards and feature a variety of enhanced safety features to help protect workers. More sophisticated tools are able to catch excess dust, reduce the vibration of a tool, and help operators avoid the risk of tripping over cords while also protecting them from electric shocks. This can provide a variety of benefits to workers - particularly when working overhead - and helping to prolong their Hand Arm Vibration limit for the day.

HSE’s Investigating accidents and incidents HSG245 indicates that a number of health and safety incidents occur due to poor handling of tools, or items of equipment being used for tasks other than those they were specifically intended for. By using tools that are not suitable for the job, the safety features of a tool become less effective, increasing the risk of injury for the operator.

Should a worker suffer an injury through prolonged exposure to poor quality tools or the ongoing use of inappropriate tools, the company is liable and could be prosecuted, leading to large fines or even imprisonment.

3. Efficiency

Finally, efficiency is a significant factor that is not reflected in the upfront cost of a tool. As noted above, tools that are designed for a particular task have added safety features to enable the prolonged safe use of a tool by a worker.

In terms of efficiency, this means that an optimised tool can be used for longer periods than a cheaper alternative. By ensuring workers are equipped with the appropriate tools for the job, they are able to be more productive, resulting in less downtime and fewer delays.

As well as increasing efficiency on site, having better quality tools also increases efficiency within your toolpark too. This is because you are unlikely to require as many duplicate items to cover tools that are out of action due to requiring repairs, ultimately meaning you need less storage space and maintenance provisions.

A more efficient toolpark reduces overall costs, with significant savings made on hidden costs such as maintenance, administration, hiring replacement tools and productivity loss from tools that quickly lose efficiency or are outpaced by modern technology tools available.

There are significant benefits to having higher quality tools in your toolpark, with optimised equipment increasing reliability, safety and efficiency while also reducing the overall costs for your business.

Productivity experts

At Hilti, our Productivity Experts have helped thousands of customers identify opportunities to optimise and streamline their tool park, digitalise the way their tools and other assets are managed, and keep hidden costs to a minimum to boost overall productivity.

With over 75 years of industry knowledge, our Productivity Experts can help you understand the direct and hidden costs of your tool park. We can help you to make changes that keep your productivity up, and your costs down.