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Good software for small plant hire companies has been non-existent - until now

14th October 2020

Recent legislation changes and cultural shifts on construction projects are making it arduous for machine operators to process compliance paperwork ahead of each project. Changes in industry practices have seen safety regulations, including the number of the checks and proofs required before contractors can begin work on site, increase exponentially in the last five years. The boom in infrastructure spending, particularly as an economic stimulus tool, has increased the level of scrutiny on the safety practices of the industry. A decline in overall job margin for contractors has seen increased competition from overseas contractors, so local contractors are seeking to streamline processes and push as much of the compliance onto their hire companies and subcontractors as they possibly can, to reduce their own onsite operation costs.

Complexity in operating a plant hire company is now rife – where there is complexity – there usually follows a bunch of enterprising construction technology companies seeking to eradicate it.

It is no secret that iSeekplant has been a huge fan of The Fleet Office and their suite of construction management products aimed at the civil and mining industry. Their growth and the popularity of their products has inspired us – especially because their fans are the smaller plant hire companies that are iSeekplant’s bread-and-butter customer. Their latest offering – Fleet Hire – provides a great solution to a shared industry headache.

How you win jobs has changed. Big time. We’ve got the data to prove it.

iSeekplant reviews thousands of unique construction tasks through its platform every day and week. Through the text provided by users, and AI sentiment analysis on our recorded calls, we’re able to analyse the decision-making process of the thousands of construction professionals using our platform each month.

Project managers’ decision making processes over the last five years have shifted from price focused decisions to trust and productivity focused decisions – which is why we’ve prioritised features such as our boosting and review platforms.

‘How you work is now more important than what you charge.’
– Sally McPherson, iSeekplant CEO

This shift is driven mainly by project managers’ desire to assess plant and service companies on their ability to adhere to strict onboarding safety and compliance procedures.

Based on feedback provided to iSeekplant during the process of using our sourcing platform, project managers seek markers of professionalism in a company’s online footprint – because they think it indicates a level of professionalism in the company’s approach to compliance. Compliance is now the driving force behind all procurement decisions across the full span of procurement management roles on major civil and commercial projects.

Compliance is now your [the operator’s] problem, not the site’s problem.

Over the years, we’ve seen heaps of construction technology start-ups attempt to tackle the complexity of procurement and onboarding on a site. In our opinion they rarely create a software tool that solves the entire problem (which is massive and nuanced at the same time), or if they do – the they end up making software way too heavy and expensive for the average plant hire company. Just a fun fact here – the average plant hire company on iSeekplant has no more than 10 machines and 5 staff.

So many ERPs on the market price themselves out of the bulk of the market, or create something that the user perceives to be complicated and painful to use. We’ll no doubt get a bunch of emails about this blog from the big software companies – but we stand by our comment that people rarely design procurement software with SME operators in mind.

We’re pretty sure we’ve found someone who’s nailed the solution to this complexity for SME plant hire companies.

FleetHire is a modular ERP solution that comprises of a set of bolted together functionality that can be scaled up or down depending on the customer’s compliance process needs. It streamlines the entire onboarding process for civil services and equipment hire companies – and is perfect for the smaller plant company that struggles most with these types of processes. We believe it fits perfectly into the market where over-cooked products fail to hit the mark for your average civil plant and contracting company. So how does it work?

The Fleet Office software offers a modular solution with the following options available:

  • Manages and shares compliance documents to sites and customers
  • Manages the site onboarding process with ease – dovetailing into the requirements of the unique site and project manager
  • Seamlessly integrates with all major accounting and invoicing platforms
  • Customisable quotes and invoices
  • Electronic signing of quotes, contracts and invoices
  • Machine usage reporting
  • Paperless Pre-Starts
  • Paperless SWMS
  • Paperless Inductions
  • Machine Maintenance Records
  • Accurate hour meter read-outs via telematics modules
  • Real-time work records (hours, records) to streamline daily dockets process
  • Simplification of end-of-month invoicing
  • Revenue and job forecasting
  • Links to all fleet management tools and telematics

Without a competitive advantage, like software that makes you the most efficient choice in your specialisation, you are competing on nothing but price – which doesn’t really work the way it used to in major project work. Almost every single one of our customers aspires to long-term hire opportunities on major projects, and these projects aren’t let to companies who don’t have an organised, professional and streamlined approach to compliance paperwork.

FleetHire helps smaller plant hire companies work smarter, not harder. We reckon we’ve finally found the solution our customers need to streamline their business practices and focus on what they do best.

Talk to The Fleet Office about getting the FleetHire program working for your business today.

Find out if FleetHire is right for your business with a free trial complete with no lock in contract, and zero setup costs for iSeekplant customers.

Posted by iSeekPlant on 8th Oct. 2020

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