Don’t let your machinery parts breakdown cause a production palava

pipesThe heavy industry makes use of large, technical machinery. These cranes, bulldozers, backhoes, dump trucks and the like are made up of very expensive and hard-to-come-by parts. What’s more, operational equipment such as conveyors or technical systems and software needed in heavy industry are also advanced. This means that experiencing any type of equipment malfunction within any area of your operation can lose you time, money and resources.

Fixing heavy duty machinery or technical issues in various operating systems can completely slow down, if not stop your productivity altogether. Experts immediately need to be called in or sometimes parts need to be imported if they’re not available locally. Worse yet, you may even find yourself applying for machinery asset finance to cover the costs of broken equipment.

Machinery asset finance has been created to assist those business that operate in the heavy industry or are specifically in the manufacturing game. This type of finance is available for every type of equipment your project or business requires. It can really be a game changer. Ideally though, this type of financing should occur when you’re purchasing equipment to set your business up. Making use of this financing option to replace broken equipment isn’t ideal therefore you should take precautions that protect your company or project from the loss incurred when equipment breaks down.

To protect your company and make sure you’re always on the up and up, you should set up prevention precautions, have a backup plan and apply for insurance. Your efforts in these three areas will be rewarded by you never having to worry about downtime or loss of income.

Protect with a maintenance plan

Increase your efforts to prevent malfunction by following your maintenance plan to the letter . All machinery has a suggested plan of maintenance that’ll prevent a breakdown. This is similar to caring for your car. Send your machinery for regular checkups and make sure you stick to your schedule so as to increase their lifespan. You’re likely to have been offered a warranty when you bought the equipment which you should keep, and buy an extended one if and when necessary.

Have a smart risk aversion strategy in place

Unfortunately, even the most well-kept equipment is likely to eventually fail at some point. This might be due to age or the ignorance of a junior employee or simply just wear and tear. So, you need a backup plan in place to protect you against under-delivering or losing too much time and resources. But, purchasing two of every type of machinery or extra equipment is not a financially viable option. You should rather spend some time and money on hiring a risk management consultant. They’ll be able to put together a risk aversion strategy that you can implement when things go wrong. This often means partnering with a competitor where you mutually assist each other when there’s a breakdown to prevent downtime on production.

Include a sound insurance policy in your plan

Insurance sounds great. Fixing your equipment won’t cost you and when you have insurance you may even be able to claim for a brand new piece of equipment or an upgrade. However, your claim is likely to take some time to process. It’s a simple reality that insurance is unable to deliver the money or replacement piece of equipment immediately so you cannot rely on insurance to help you run a smooth operation no matter what happens. Insurance is absolutely necessary but it cannot be your only plan if you hope to remain productive.

SMEs entering the heavy industries be aware

workThe heavy industry in South Africa is a large contributor to our economy. These companies can be identified as automobile, mining, petroleum and steel manufacturers. For these to operate successfully, they require enormous injections of cash and large plants in which to run their operations. This is not the type of market to enter into if you’re a small business entity. However, because the manufacturing plants require very specific machinery parts, health and safety equipment, enterprise resource planning solutions and the like, a small business who can offer niche and essential solutions might do very well.

Know what you’re getting yourself into

Unlike starting your own business in other “softer” sectors, the heavy industries are incredibly specific with their wants and needs. You won’t be able to sell your products or services to your family members, friends or neighbours unless they’re a mining project manager or electrical engineer, you get the picture. Plus these massive plants and manufacturing companies are covered by a lot of red tape. You need to be able to acquire sign off of procuring your products from the right person with the signing power and who’ll place the correct legal procedures and documents in place.

Ask all the right questions

To enter into the marketplace you must ask some pertinent questions. There are a number of concerns within this sector that differ to others. For instance, how will you protect your rights to the product? If you’re entering this sector with a niche product in mind that requires you engineering and manufacturing it yourself then you cannot afford to allow for a large number of competitors. Also, how will you fund your business activities if the market slows? Will you apply for corporate finance as a business entity or machinery asset finance for your equipment? What’s more, if you’re importing the product have you considered import taxes and the like?

Understand your competitor

Because this industry is incredibly specific you must make sure to do a proper competitor’s analysis. This will inform you of who your competitors are, how they operate, who their biggest clients are and how to compete with them. What’s more, their marketing strategies can be analysed and with this information you’ll be able to create a strategy that keeps you competitive with whatever your “little something different” might be that makes your value proposition more worthwhile.

Location, location, location

Naturally, your biggest expense in this specific game is your factory premises and your equipment. Manufacturing businesses or those that serve the heavy industry are certainly not able to operate from a home office. Or a least not for very long. The storing and maintenance of the products will require a factory or warehouse-type of space and this is expensive. Deciding whether to purchase property or not is about whether you have the money or an excellent credit rating that’ll afford you a couple of million. But expenses for this type of business are simply very high. You need to crunch the numbers properly before you launch your venture.

5 tips to streamline your business

Every business owner wants a simple business. The type of business which can run itself. The type of business where all the important decisions are made by talented managers with little to no input from you. After all, you’ve done all the hard work of setting up the business and getting it to this point. Why shouldn’t you have a little time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour? Famed theoretical physicist Albert Einstein said: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” To help you get to that point, here are five tips to help you simplify your business.


Just like you need a budget to properly plan your personal spending, investing and saving, your business needs one too. This is essential so that you know what you’re spending your business’ money on and understand your long term planning. There are a number of online tools which can automate this aspect of your business.


You need to ensure as much of your processes as possible are automated. From inventory to point of sale systems, you need tools which can do this work for your company. This will save you both time and money in the long run.

Backing up

It’s pointless spending your time worrying about losing information or hard drive failure. Rather, take steps to ensure all of your important data and communication is saved to the cloud immediately. There are a number of solutions available, many of which are available for free.


Sending out your invoices and ensuring they’re paid while keeping track of all of your own expenses and bills can be a laborious process. There are many options available for free or low cost booking programs. Because processes are the same for bigger businesses, these are often the same programmes used by these companies, but scaled down for wider use.

Cancel meetings

The best, and most important, thing you can do to improve company productivity? Cancel meetings. There is growing understanding that these are often a waste of time. How often have you been in a meeting where the entire point is to discuss and plan for the next meeting while catching up on weekend plans and office gossip. It has become increasingly popular to hold standing or walking meetings to encourage workers to keep things short and sharp. Meetings held in this way have been found to be more productive as well as less time consuming. It is a win all around.

5 signs it’s time to promote an employee


To promote employees within the company makes good business. Employees care about being recognised and rewarded, it’s the component for building a lasting company culture. Outsourced hires are paid more than internally promoted employees, according to Wharton management professor Matthew Bidwell. This is why it’s imperative for employers to know when an employee has the right requirements for an advancement.


They’ve mastered their job


Almost all employees are competent at their jobs, some may even excel at doing them. These are the employees you need to keep an eye on. Employees are very aware when they go above and beyond, and would hope for management to recognise their efforts. However, you need to bear in mind that you’re not only looking for above average dedication, you’re also looking for talent.


They take responsibility and initiative


Special consideration needs to be taken into regard when promoting an employee to a higher position. The employee needs to show a lot of promise, not only in their work ethic but also their personal capacity. Choose someone who won’t wait for someone else to fix their problems. Employees who receive promotions are the ones who seek project management training without being asked to do so. They take initiative, are assertive in what they want and know how to get it. The ideal candidate up for a promotion seeks solutions instead of complaints. They’ll own up to their mistakes and spread credit instead of blame.


They care about the company


The moment an employee changes their viewpoint from “me” to “we”, they might be ready for more responsibility. This is ultimately what an employer wants to see from their team. The moment an employee grows, everyone will notice their dedication and commitment to the company.


They are natural leaders


An employee doesn’t need a job title to be an effective leader. A good team leader will earn the respect of their colleagues and goes out of their way to share knowledge and uplift those around them. You need someone who is a motivator and can drive needed change. The employee you choose to promote needs to be a good morale leader who provides support where needed.


They know their capabilities


When talking to a promising employee after promotion, they’ll be talking about increased responsibility, not only an increase in salary. It’s only natural for someone ready for such a role to know their worth and capabilities to take on extra responsibilities. A strong employee will be able to tell you that they’re ready to lead.


The best way to organise office space



A productive space is an organised space. A lot of time goes into organising and if done right a lot more tasks can be accomplished in one day. A desk with freed up space looks inviting and instantly clears the mind. Occasionally rearranging and moving piles of unwanted paper and books doesn’t count as “organising”. To organise means to have a system in place that accommodates everyone and results in an efficient workspace.


A clean-up onslaught


Shred, empty, declutter and get the bin. Dispose of anything that’s not of value in the office. Have a look around and decide what hasn’t been used in a while. If it has been sitting in the corner for the past three months, get rid of it. If a printer or monitor is problematic have it repaired or toss it out. The same applies for equipment, furniture, office supplies and decorations.


Gather and redistribute


If office items are not in their designated area, gather them up and put them back where they belongs. Make a strict rule about this. Non-financial managers in the office should only use what is designated to them. If they do borrow something from the finance department, the rule should be that they need to put it back.


Allocate discard dates


Not every piece of paper needs to be kept, unless it’s very important. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded. Ensure you know what the requirements are for keeping important material. Legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time.


Organise drawers and desks


Not only should employees clean and organise the office space, they should also organise their desks. Some may prefer a cluttered space, but for those who want to make a change, they should jump right into organising. Purchase containers for stationery or any other items on their desks. Use trays for papers and containers for smaller items. Anything that is used in conjunction with one another should be placed in the same drawer. Place stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads and staples with a stapler. having all stationery items in close range will make it easier for those who study a management or finance course after hours. A separate drawer should be used for personal items.


How to make your business socially responsible


Does your business use recycled paper products or donate to a homeless shelter? There are many consumers who take these factors into consideration before opting to support your business. A company’s social responsibility can show good business process management. It shows that the company is not only out to make money but to also give back. What employees ultimately want to feel is they’ll have a hospital plan for pensioners in their old age. They should be able to earn enough to invest in policies for their retirement or have the company see to it.

Customers can smell phony social responsibility a mile away, so when running an awareness campaign, be sure not to exploit customers’ concerns to make a profit.


Align your business with the right cause


You need to consider a cause that is in line with your products or services. If your company manufactures women’s clothing you could get involved in funding women’s breast cancer research. The best way to narrow down the search is to not only consider causes you feel strongly about but also what your customers will consider significant.


Choose a nonprofit or other organisation to partner with


You can choose any organisation, but be sure it’s a reputable organisation and geographically convenient for you. The organisation you choose needs to be willing to cooperate when it comes to developing a partnership. They need to be open to negotiation where both parties need to be in agreement with each other, having a clear understanding of what is expect from each other. Ask the organisation what they expect from you before you sit down. It may be that what they need and what you can provide are two different scenarios.


Create your proposal


Presenting a proposal to a non-profit organisation is no different from presenting high-end clients. Your business need to design a programme, plan what you want to accomplish and include indicators that will measure the programme’s success. Be sure to involve your staff. This shouldn’t be a side project that only you’re involved with. If employees aren’t involved from the start, there will be a disconnect when it comes to communicating the campaign to customers.


Involve customers


Don’t start your initiative and tell your customers about it much later on. Get your customers involved from the very start. A fitness equipment store can have customers bring in their used equipment for a children’s shelter and give them a 10% discount on a new purchase. Not only do customers walk out the store feeling good for making a worthy contribution, but they get rewarded for doing so.

Proper purchasing saves you money

No one wants to spend more than they have to. This applies to anything, but this has greater impact on more expensive items. We don’t want to end up giving more than we have to, especially on those items we may end up spending years paying back. We are already dealing with plenty of debt issues. The more we can do to lower our expenses, the better.

Forming financial goals

What does it mean to spend wisely? Ideally, we do not want to be paying out more than we get in. This leads us into serious financial trouble. A good way to plan this is to create a budget. Taking into account our monthly income and expenses, we can start attempting to achieve the goal of retaining more than we earn. This allows us to save.

Saving and planning all help to form financial goals. These fall into two categories. As Consumer Action notes:

“Financial goals often fall into short-term and long-term categories. Short-term goals may be ones you want to achieve in one or two years, such as finishing your education or getting married. Long-term goals may take more time to reach — five years or more to be in the position to buy a home, and much longer if you’re talking about a secure retirement or paying for your children’s college education.”

Our money must be managed properly, so we can lead our lives better.

How proper spending can lead to better saving

A good purchasing decision is choosing good pre owned cars over brand new ones. As Consumer Reports noted, buying used cars the right way “saves” a great deal of money.

While new cars tend to remain at a fixed price, used cars usually offer wiggle room in a number of areas. According to their research, Consumer Reports notes a high success rate when it came to price haggling.

Mark Rechtin, Chief Cars Editor for Consumer Reports noted:  “Most of our survey respondents who asked for a lower price on the used cars they bought were successful 80 percent of the time. The median savings was about $900 [about R13,200].”

They also note that we should buy the most recent model year we can afford, which will have the best safety and technology features. We don’t want to be caught out, so they also suggest we have cars inspected by a mechanic.

Also, we should always try for vehicles with less than 50,000 miles (or 80,500 kilometres) on them. All of this means less chance of the car being a lemon, breaking down and costing us more in the long run. This is what saves us a great deal of money and means we made the best purchasing choice.