Construction professionals across the country are looking for ways to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses and keep projects on track. Companies around the world have announced capital-expenditure cuts ranging from 10 to 80 percent, one area that construction professionals will have at the top of their mind is trucking. Trucking can account for up to 30% of the overall project cost and is highly variable, making it an easy place to look to when trying to cut back. To combat the challenges COVID has presented and thrive in a “post-COVID” world, we recommend leveraging the assets you already own, becoming more nimble, and implementing changes with an eye towards the future.
Leverage the Assets You Already Own
One of the most important things you can do to avoid additional capital expense is to leverage the assets you already own. Whether you own one dump truck or one hundred, ensuring your trucks are utilized is the quickest way to make money. This year, rather than allocating hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new dump truck or trucks, get a higher utilization with the ones you already have. If you properly maintain and utilize your existing fleet, that could allow you to defer the capital expense of another truck. Taking it one step further, evaluate how often your trucks sit idly in the yard. Every hour your truck is not on the road (with a full load of material) is an hour that asset depreciates without any revenue.
Utilizing your construction vehicles to complete scheduled work is the norm, but not enough to ensure maximum utilization in today’s world. Construction professionals can benefit from tools and technology that allow them to access additional work for their fleet when they are in between projects. Rather than having expensive assets sit in a lot, put them to work - for someone else.
Investing in technology that will allow your construction business to be more nimble is the type of capital expenditure that will pay dividends in 2021. Experts agree that reallocating capital to new areas of investment or growth, including digital efforts will put your company in a position of strength. Luckily, logistics management software can also help ensure the assets you own are more fully utilized. Increasing utilization with the help of technology is easy. Instead of having valuable assets sit in a lot when things are slow, you can look for and claim work in a marketplace, accepting jobs that keep your trucks busy when your project schedule is slow.
When your projects require more trucks than you own, you can also turn to a marketplace to find the trucks you need to fulfill project requirements. Leveraging a marketplace for excess trucking means you can easily scale the size of your fleet, without any additional capital expenses. Digital tools even make it easy to get real-time job costing information, access to GPS tracking for the trucks you own and those you hire from the marketplace, and bulk communication tools to ensure everyone on the job is connected.
Looking for ways to become more nimble that don’t require technology? There are things you can do today to help achieve this goal. Seeking out night work, along with a larger driver pool, is a great way to expand your business hours - running trucks around the clock. You can also increase your preventative maintenance schedule to ensure all your trucks are in good working order. This is extremely important if you elect to cut down on the number of new trucks you plan to purchase.
Implement Changes with the Future in Focus
COVID won’t always be here but the technology you adopt can help your business long term. Contractors that implement technology now will reap the benefits for years to come. Strategically allocating capital expense this year to more fully leverage the assets you already own will help your business remain profitable for years to come.
TRUX is a logistics management software that allows construction professionals to manage the assets they own, find trucks when they need them, and improve communication on the job site. If you are serious about cutting capital expenses but are looking for ways to increase your logistics capacity TRUX could be the answer. Introducing new technology presents a huge opportunity for your organization to leverage the assets you already own, become more nimble, and set yourself up for future success. Our team works with construction professionals across the country and makes the process of adopting new technology easy for you and your entire team.