Upgrading from gINT – The Tale of Two Companies

Investing in new equipment is the lifeblood for many businesses, especially when jumps in technology lead to large improvements in efficiencies and cost-effectiveness.

The investment case for new equipment in the manufacturing industry is easy to understand. However, when it comes to producing site investigation reports and logs the connection is often missed. As a result, many site investigation companies are not benefiting from advances in technology that could make them more efficient, more competitive and more profitable.

In fact, there are many parallels between manufacturing and site investigation, which can be demonstrated by the following story of two widget manufacturers: Company A and Company B.

A tale of two companies

Company A’s ageing widget-making machine works most of the time and, when it does go wrong, staff can usually get around a problem. However, the equipment does not work very well and no-one is happy using it.

But, as the equipment gets the job done, replacing it is not seen as a priority and management is also worried that replacing it will result in a fall in – or even stop – production during installation, while staff are trained to use the new machinery and procedures are updated. Company A is very busy, so this is not an option, and every time the discussion comes up, management decides to stick with what it has – after all, it gets the job done.

Company B uses the same equipment as Company A but decides to replace it, as a return on investment calculation has shown that, within a year, production rates will double, with higher quality widgets being made for three-quarters of the current cost.

Company B decides to install the new equipment alongside the old machinery, which allows it to continue to make widgets during the set-up period. It chooses to buy from a supplier that specialises in setting up new equipment for other widget manufacturers and which can also write new procedures and train staff.

It takes about three months before the new machine is producing widgets at the same rate as older one but by then running costs are already lower, even though the new equipment is not yet working at full capacity.

After six months, the old machine is turned off because the combination of the new machine, revised procedures and upskilled staff is producing higher quality widgets twice as fast and far more cheaply – savings Company B can pass onto its customers.

As a result, Company B gains significant competitive advantage over Company A and, over time, starts to win orders against it.

Company A finds itself in a difficult spot – it’s market has been disrupted.

It has to cut the price of its widgets and realises it needs to invest in equipment, training and procedures to compete – a decision made harder because revenue is falling.

Company A’s problems are compounded as Company B becomes a more attractive prospect for potential employees, particularly graduates. Soon Company B is hiring the best people and the rest is history – for Company A, at least.

 

For widgets, read borehole logs

The site investigation industry’s ‘widgets’ may be borehole logs, and its equipment the geotechnical software that produces them, but the same rules apply: the secret to success is finding an external specialist that can help make the journey painless and fast, so the return on investment is seen as quickly as possible.

Planning and support is vital for the smooth integration of working practices, procedures and templates and migration of data, to minimise disruption, while maximising the benefits to the company and its customers.

“Access to the Keynetix Assist website and responsive technical support from Dataforensics and Keynetix has given us confidence to increase our use and number of licenses of HoleBASE SI over the last six months. We have had the Keynetix solution for eight months and are already seeing a positive return on our investment.”

Jon Erickson, Soils & Structures

How Keynetix can help

Keynetix combines its expertise in site investigation and information technology to support companies switching from borehole logging systems such as gINT to HoleBASE and KeyLAB. We help adapt data collection and data handling processes, while maintaining production of borehole logs and laboratory test data.

We also retrain staff, either through our partner network or direct to customers via online courses. We can help and provide guidance on customising borehole logs and templates too.

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