Industry-Leading Scaffolding Technology Changes the Game: Here’s How
Learn about scaffolding technology that sets the industry standard and how you can get started with personalized scaffolding solutions with minimal investment!
Safer and Quicker
Current State of The Game
Scaffold designs are still often done with pen and paper. Although they may be as accurate as automated or digitized solutions, they are less efficient. To improve efficiency, some forward-looking scaffolders turned to AutoCAD, whose ability to automate drawings and provide 3D visualization (albeit with external plug-in solutions) have undoubtedly improved the design experience.
However, the scaffolding industry benefits from intuitive, industry-specific design software since AutoCAD wasn’t designed specifically with scaffolders in mind.
Slow Design Workflow
Drawing by hand is a slow process given the sheer amount of reworks needed. While AutoCAD does speed up the process, you must manually create basic scaffolding components such as brackets and ledgers. Performing a manual take-off to produce a bill of materials (BOM) also adds significant time to the design process.
Limited Visualization for Safety Hazards
Manual drawings provide limited visualization, which makes it hard to catch any safety hazards like gaps or a missing deck. To a certain extent, 3D modeling capabilities can solve the problem by giving you another perspective on your work. However, there are even more advanced forms of visualization like augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) that can further confirm the safety of your design.
Labor-Intensive and Costly
It’s simple math. The more time you take to prepare a scaffold design, the more it’ll cost you. If you’re designing scaffolds manually, that’s a lot of hours. While AutoCAD cuts down on those hours, AutoCAD experts are expensive to hire and the program takes time to learn. This means that scaffolding businesses are looking at a large investment upfront, which might not be feasible for smaller companies.
What if you could retain all the benefits of AutoCAD and none of the downsides? Enter Avontus Designer®, a non-AutoCAD-based software program with powerful 3D modeling capabilities built exclusively for scaffolders – that’s easy to learn.
If you thought AutoCAD designs were fast, wait till you give Avontus Designer a whirl. Since Avontus Designer is a scaffold-specific design software program, it brings you all the basic and critical components of scaffolding. All you need to do is drag and drop these components onto your imported building plans and voilà – you can instantly generate a 3D model in real time. And the best part? You eliminate guesswork and manual counting by generating an accurate BOM with a single click!
Given how important a quick take off is, the ability to generate quick and accurate BOMs is critical. Assuming a constant win rate for quotes regardless of the creation method, the number of jobs won and revenue earned increases with the number of projects designed and quoted.
Enhanced Visualization Ensures Safety
You can go a step further with Avontus Viewer®, which provides advanced AR/VR visualization of drawings done with Avontus Designer. This allows you and your clients to critically inspect your designs for any potential safety hazards. This can reduce the likelihood of safety mishaps and costly changes during the build, which ultimately helps your bottom line.
Using Avontus Designer allows you to produce designs in a fraction of the time it would take to create manual drawings. Fewer hours spent designing frees up your time to do more, which lowers your estimating costs. This doesn’t even account for the money you can save by avoiding costly reworks by giving your scaffold teams a clear, detailed plan for the build.
Avontus Designer is a money-maker and a money-saver.
Operations Manager and Lead Estimator, THAT Group Inc.
Part 2 Winning More Scaffolding Bids
Customers often choose low-valued bids without fully understanding the entirety of the design process or the creativity and expertise that they require. By choosing low-valued bids, they will likely encounter problems such as inaccuracy, construction safety hazards, and costly project outcomes. Let’s look at how scaffolding businesses try to win bids and where scaffolding technology has boosted those efforts.
Current State of The Game
The scaffolding industry is a cutthroat one. Customers tend to think of design and build as independent and sequential phases, which means they only consider the price of the design without considering the cost of execution. This leads them to associate lower prices with higher value when it comes to scaffolding proposals. Therein lies a major pain point in the current bidding process.
Lowest Bid (Usually) Wins
The saying “you get what you pay for” has never been more apt. Lower bids tend to be rather bare bones with poorly defined scopes, which often result in additional material costs, change orders, and construction delays. In other words, a shock for customers when they receive the final invoice.
On the other hand, higher bids are frequently issued by those scaffolding companies that compete directly on value. But since most of their customers are not scaffolding experts, they might find it difficult to understand the value of the designs, especially with manual 2D sketches. How can scaffolding technology, then, help bridge this divide?
Avontus Viewer, the industry-leading choice for visualization, augments the 3D modeling capabilities of Avontus Designer with 3D/AR/VR technology. You can use Avontus Viewer to enhance the clarity of your scaffold designs and submit winning bids.
Supercharged Scaffolding Visualization
Compatible with 3D scaffolding models by Avontus Designer, Avontus Viewer allows you to perform off-site inspections of your scaffold designs with crystal-clear AR/VR visualization.
Imagine this: you are the expert proposing a scaffold design to a client for a building renovation. Armed with your large-printed drawing of the plan, you start pitching the qualities of your design to him, but the client is losing interest as you speak. After all, he may not be a scaffolding expert.
How do you keep your customer engaged? How do you bring life to your drawing? With Avontus Viewer! You can visualize the scaffold structure as seen below through your smart device. Your client can now see exactly what they are paying for and why they should pay for it.
Improved Marketing and Branding
“Show. Don’t tell” is a principle that most marketers adhere to. This is especially true for a niche industry like scaffolding, where companies no longer run ads in the yellow pages in search of inbound leads. Marketing efforts are increasingly targeting different channels to better help clients understand the value of their services.
This is the secret weapon of Avontus Viewer. With Avontus Viewer’s one-click YouTube export feature, you can easily compile a portfolio of virtual 3D walkthroughs that potential new clients can readily access. This content can open creative avenues of marketing for your team. For example, you might be able to add an interactive element to those YouTube videos for better customer engagement.
Part 3 Improved Scaffolding Inventory Management
Current State of The Game
The norm for managing scaffolding inventory is multiple outdated Excel spreadsheets with data, formulas, and tables.
While we can all acknowledge the usefulness of Excel, it requires hours of manual data entry and is subject to costly errors, which has been proven to have a detrimental effect on data quality. In other words, this could lead to a lot of expensive labor hours and potentially lost inventory.
Lost Inventory Equals Increased Expenses
Without a clear grasp of inventory, companies easily end up flying into new projects blindly, leading to staggering inefficiencies. For example, companies that don’t provide enough materials for a job will either incur more transport costs to cover the shortfall, or greater labor costs by keeping their workers on the job longer. Worse still, they might even have to redo scaffold designs or pay a premium to ship in rented equipment on the fly.
Losing track of materials as they move between job sites and the yard is problematic. When customers don’t return their materials on time, it jeopardizes your ability to complete the next job. When the materials are not returned, you will have to spend money either replacing or renting them from another party. It may not seem like a big deal, but these losses compound over time.
Enter Quantify®, a powerful inventory management software program that bundles a host of useful functions tailored to the needs of scaffolders. Let’s look at what sets Quantify apart from regular inventory management software and why it is currently the industry leader.
Accurate Inventory Management
With Quantify, you will always know what you own, how much of it you own, and where it all is. You can easily track the movement of your scaffolds from your warehouse to job sites and back again, which helps you to maximize utilization and avoid shortfalls. This also enables you to make accurate forecasts on availability and improve your capacity to take on new jobs.
Check out how a company used Quantify to keep their inventory within 1% of expected value at the end of each year!
Fast and Transparent Invoicing
Quantify allows you to automatically generate detailed invoices for a variety of charges including rent, recurring charges, additional charges (like labor and freight), out-of-service fees (for damaged and lost items), service tickets, consumables, and sales of equipment.
This way, you can ensure that invoices are accurate so that any additional costs can be clearly attributed to the responsible party. Clearer, faster invoices also mean faster payments, which translates to healthier cash flow for your business too.
Enables An Extra Stream of Revenue
For large scaffolding companies with huge inventories, one common way to generate extra money is renting out unused scaffolding equipment. Quantify’s rental engine can help you tremendously in this regard by offering you granular billing per piece, per day, or even per rental cycle.
Furthermore, thanks to the real-time data of your inventory provided by Quantify, you will be equipped with real and actionable insights on your rental operations. For example, you will be able to tell which type of equipment is generating the highest rental ROI, predict the availability of equipment and improve resource allocation, charge clients for missing materials, etc.
Generate Savings on Admin Costs
Since Quantify integrates with most major accounting software, you can also save significant costs by eliminating redundant data entry and manual calculations. For instance, where previously you had to manually calculate rental periods, Quantify automatically calculates the rental by piece, weight, unit rate, composite rate, and more, with automatic calculation of off-rent, all-inclusive, and continuation periods, which saves you valuable admin hours. Avoiding any errors in your invoicing is a sure-fire way to make your operations more efficient and thus allow you to focus on doing high-value work.
Part 4 Avontus Technology in Action
Now, let’s visualize how Avontus solutions can fit directly into your day-to-day work. For most scaffold providers, their work tends to progress like the visual below:
The table below shows how Avontus can improve each stage of the scaffolding process.
|The Avontus Way
Your customer puts out a scaffolding request
|Usually done via text message or phone call
|Lack of information and time leads to rushed, poor quality bids
|Using Quantify Web, your customers can fill out a request
|Clearer communication helps you to prepare higher quality bids
You prepare a scaffold design and BOM for a bid
|A hard-to-read 2D sketch OR a 3D AutoCAD model
Slow manual count of materials
|Forced tradeoff between quality and speed of bid
|Clear 3D models with Avontus Designer
Instant, accurate BOM
|Counting and drawing time cut by up to 90%
Customer goes over the plan before making a decision
|Scaffolding plans are either presented to clients on a handmade drawing or via written scope
|Lack of visualization means customers cannot see the value of design or catch errors
No clear scope
When the bid is unclear, the cheapest bid wins
|AR visualization of completed scaffolds
VR walkthroughs of the plan
|Customer fully understands the value of your proposal
Any errors can be caught early, which reduces costly modifications later on
You start preparing the gear/resources you need
|Required gear is located manually, usually by referring to Excel spreadsheets
|You might get it wrong and buy unneeded gear OR have to pay a premium for buying gear last-minute
|Instant confirmation of material availability using Quantify
|Your costs are lowered and your margins increased
Scaffolds go up
|Handovers happen on-site and in-person
Important details might get lost in translation due to human error
|Unclear plan = inefficient build
|Clear 3D walkthroughs on Avontus Viewer before your workers start work can reduce confusion and delay
|More efficient handovers – your client, site supervisor and crew members are now on the same page
Changes need to be made for various reasons
|Could be due to:
|Unplanned modifications reduce your margins
|If you’ve been using Avontus software, scaffolds are built as needed from the start
Both planned and unplanned modifications can be quickly addressed in Avontus Designer
|Your margins are protected, and you earn goodwill with your customers
You must ensure your standing scaffolds are in good condition for the duration of the project
|Inspections of your scaffolds are manually scheduled
|More admin work = more labor costs
Missed scaffold inspections could lead to safety risks and lost revenue
|Automatic inspection reminders and instant invoices with Quantify
|Cost savings, improved cash flow, and less productive hours lost due to injuries/accidents
Time to start issuing invoices
|Invoices are manually prepared and submitted
|Errors in invoices could lead to delayed payment and unhappy customers
|Instantly generate detailed invoices for different charges with Quantify
Seamlessly integrate with major accounting software
|Fast and error-free invoices ensure prompt payments, which helps keep cash flow running smoothly
Project is complete. Time to pack up
|Identifying scaffolds for dismantle is a manual task which can be a time-consuming affair
|Increased overhead costs due to scaffold equipment being tied up
|Instant reports on overdue scaffolds and equipment location with Quantify
|Improved utilization rate of scaffold equipment
Time to get paid
|Lack of a clear scope leads to unplanned modifications and a shock for the customer when they get the final bill
|Customers may dispute the final bill, which delays when you get paid
|Clear, accurate invoicing and automatic reports generated by Quantify
|Full transparency reduces the likelihood of customers disputing the invoice
Helps you build a good reputation
Are You Ready to Embrace Industry-Leading Scaffolding Technology?
In an increasingly competitive industry, any edge to keep you ahead of your competition is worth its weight in gold.
In this day and age, industry-leading scaffolding technology is that edge for you.
That’s exactly what Avontus can do. We provide you with faster designs, clearer communications, better inventory management, and reduced labor costs. We save you valuable time and money.