When the pandemic hit Australia in 2020, Aussie Excavators Plant Hire, like many other construction businesses, faced a big dilemma: How do you stay connected with contractors while complying with no-contact safety regulations?
Aussie Excavators Plant Hire offers wet machine rentals—including operators—in Brisbane and South East Queensland, Australia. Digging trenches, moving earth, and site preparation aren’t easy jobs. They require specialty, large-scale equipment, licenses, permits, and so on; all elements that can be difficult to manage when working together in person, let alone during a pandemic that puts in person work to a halt.
When the pandemic challenged every aspect of their workflow, Aussie Excavators was forced to look for new, cloud-based solutions—which led them to Assignar’s operations platform.
With three decades of experience in their belt, however, Aussie Excavators knew the only way out was through. It was time to find a way to adapt to the new guidelines. Their search led them to Assignar—a cloud-based operations platform where they could manage the complexity of earthmoving operations while sticking to the new pandemic regulations.
The Challenge: Staying ConnectED with no contact
Aussie Excavators Plant Hire is no stranger to change. They are proud to be a family-owned and operated plant hire business, and Brisbane’s trusted earthmoving providers for over 30 years.
In that time, they’ve made a name for themselves by offering 24-hour-service and upholding a commitment to safety in the workplace. Customers have come to expect this, and it’s a top priority for the business.
When COVID-19 shut down offices around the world, it posed a problem for Aussie Excavators in two major areas of their business:
- Paper-based administration: Up until the pandemic, Aussie Excavators were able to grow their customer base and maintain safety regulations by using paper-based administration systems, such as timesheets, pre-start forms, and dockets. Contractors had to stop by the office frequently to check in, drop off papers, and sign forms. When COVID-19 shut down offices worldwide, this was suddenly no longer an option.
- Transportation: As pandemic safety regulations set in, it was clear that no-contact communication was vital to keeping a business open and running. Luckily, Aussie Excavators’ contractors spent most of their days in the driver’s seat of excavators, bobcats and dozers. That meant the jobsites were safe—but getting everyone to the jobsite was a bigger challenge.
The Solution: Bringing Operations Online
The first change Aussie Excavators made was to switch from paper-based to cloud-based administration. Timesheets, forms, and dockets could all now be filled out and sent through Assignar, saving hundreds of hours that were spent traveling to and from the office, or tracking down lost paperwork.
Emma West, the Allocations Manager at Aussie Excavators Plant Hire, said this helped keep things running smoothly despite seeing a slow-down during the pandemic.
“All the operators no longer have to come in,” she said. “With Assignar, all communication is through the same portal, so nothing gets lost there. And with all the forms, they don’t need to hand anything into the office either. Everything’s contactless.”
As an added bonus, this also set up the company to be able to offer work from home options— a perk that more and more employees (around 74% according to some studies) are expecting.
“It’s all been very helpful with Assignar being cloud-based,” West said. “We’ve all been able to work from home as well.”
Planting the seeds for a safe workforce
Work safety guidelines changed throughout the pandemic, and are still in flux today. Through it all, Aussie Excavators Plant Hire kept up communication and ensured compliance with their operators using the Assignar platform.
West says they created a poster to share with their larger team to encourage safe practices.
“It has all the instructions on what they should be doing in regards to handwashing and sanitizing all their machinery in their trucks, as well as keeping safe at home,” said West.
While sharing a poster is simple, sending it through Assignar can ensure it’s read and easily accessible for their team.
A competitive advantage
Most importantly, adopting a platform like Assignar not only helped Aussie Excavator’s survive the pandemic; it set them up for success in the years that followed.
“Aussie Excavators Plant Hire uses Assignar as a competitive advantage in their major tenders,” West said.
As the business world faces more hurdles—a downturn economy, labor shortages, supply chain challenges—these competitive advantages are crucial. Compliance to safety regulations, work from home capabilities, and a streamlined way to collect data and store digital paperwork builds a foundation that looks good to contractors, and improves employee engagement.
Aussie Excavators proves you can teach an old dog new tricks. By embracing digital transformation, Aussie Excavators shows itself to be an innovative leader in the construction industry, maintaining their 30-year place as a trusted partner for earthmoving.
The Results: Agility Through Change