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By Louise Morrisey
February 11, 2018
Just a few years ago, when a project manager or operator needed to hire heavy machinery or equipment for a construction site, they had to look up a company in the directory and hope there was a machine available to hire somewhere nearby.
Often, these machines were hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away from the jobsite in question, and the cost of moving them from one location to another was sky-high. Add in the inefficiencies of this move, and the process of hiring machinery becomes complex and leads to a loss of productivity.
All that has now changed, thanks to an Australian company called iSeekplant. This search and find platform for the plant and equipment hire industry uses an array of software and telematic technologies to connect users to the equipment they want to hire in a location near them.
Jobsite ANZ spoke to iSeekPlant’s CEO Sally McPherson on the benefits of hiring construction equipment remotely.
Leveraging Telematics to Power the Exchange
McPherson notes that iSeekplant is the first centralised portal to source machines for hire based on specific criteria. This is all catalogued based on a world-first real-time telematics solution, which reads data from the cabin, pinpointing the machine’s precise location.
“All machinery nowadays is fitted with sensors and data capture technology,” McPherson explains. “Machines can send information back to a central software portal about productivity, engine speed, or maintenance information. When someone is looking for a machine, we take that data and triangulate it.”
Telematics has been around for years, McPherson explains, but the construction industry has begun understanding the full potential of telematics when it comes to monitoring productivity only recently.
Searching Across the Country for Local Use
There are many benefits to using iSeekplant for regional construction sites. McPherson notes that many of the 30,000 or so businesses hiring machinery across Australia are not discoverable online. Some 65 per cent of companies listed on iSeekplant don’t have websites – but with iSeekplant, they have newfound visibility.
“Regionally, there’s clear benefits to the visibility iSeekplant offers,” says McPherson. “Operators may not know local suppliers if they are moving all over the country for projects. We saw an opportunity to put them into an online database so they are easily discoverable.
“Before, if you didn’t know any good suppliers, you had to go to the next city and mobilise machinery from that city, which could potentially be hundreds of kilometres away. Now, we can help people save money through the use of proximate machines.”
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