Innovative construction equipment and construction solutions emerge as winners by beating all odds.
Burdened with depressed economy prevailing over past few years, low business scenario, paradigm shifts in customer expectations and new emission compliance regulations the CE and construction industry demonstrated their resilience by innovative solutions, in numerous aspects of the business. Many a time, first in class and best of breed innovations came to fore, enabling the industry sustain itself profitably through tough times.
It would be apt to term innovations as market in itself and treat all factors, attributes and situations as its drivers, which were considered by the industry while drafting the roadmap for their way forward:
Economic depression: Global economies including India witnessed a huge decline commencing from FY 2011 onward. Although, there is no reprieve as yet, in many countries, we were fortunate to begin experiencing a revival from QIII of FY 2015 thanks to numerous and well thought of, initiatives taken by Narendra Modi´s government, during difficult times.
Low business scenario: As a chain reaction of economy, fresh awards of infra projects dried out, funds shortage followed; most of to be to fail contractors suffered from severe financial crunch; new equipment business declined; manufacturing activity came down to 25 percent utlisation; customers tended to be highly cost conscious and above all competition was more fierce than ever before, to grab the tiny morsels of available business, at costs.
Paradigms shifts: Necessity dictated new paradigms for the industry in terms of redefining equipment performance parameters; outclassing existing world class equipment with new concepts providing diversity of applications; frugal manufacturing methods without compromising quality; some resorted to reinvent the wheel through R&D; in house skill development; minimising Total Ownership Cost (TOC) and Total Lifecycle Costs (LCC); high degree of emission compliance; real time fuel economy etc.
Users´ wish list redefined: Treading along the re learning curve, the users´ demands and expectation went through a radical transformation. For validating any equipment vendor, their focus shifted from Acquisition price to TOC and LCC; actual measurable cost per unit of construction activity carried out; fuel economy, emission compliance to revised norms by the government; insistence on highest safety standards; operator friendly features; on board equipment performance telemetry and productivity systems; remote monitoring and optimising fleet utilisation through internet enabled Telematics; highest capacity in minimum size; speedy productivity; diversity of application; ease of transportability; capability to provide single window end to end equipment solutions; quality aftermarket and sales support at their doorstep became the selection standards.
Operational excellence: in addition to the prevailing challenges, the contractors identified more areas of excellence due to the government´s accelerated infrastructure development plans; new road projects; focus on North East India; providing exit clause to contractors in stalled projects; containment of project costs and so on. Some notables were: in time or before time completion; minimising total construction costs; optimise use of equipment; increase equipment utlisation; delivering quality; deploying high skilled and trained manpower and above all quickly completing the projects at hand.
Many success stories came to the knowledge of EQUIPMENT INDIA, while interacting with the industry. From the same it was evident that the various stakeholders applied their best resourced and think tanks to achieve successfully innovate in a myriad of aspects identified by each individual organisation-centric spaces. We bring you authored stories from many to authenticate our slogan that ´The Tough Got Going Innovatively.´
- Shankar Srivastava