How a South African company eliminated guesswork and created accurate scaffold designs using Avontus Designer®
Established in 2012, Ntulikazi Trading offers specialized industrial services in scaffolding and thermal insulation across Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town regions. Founded by a South African entrepreneur with extensive experience in the power generation industry, the company’s main focus lies in the supply of scaffolding, thermal insulation, sandblasting, tank cleaning, and industrial painting and coating.
When Ntulikazi Trading ventured into the business of scaffolding, it realized that it was having a hard time competing with big companies that have decades of operational experience as well as figuring out what its clients had in mind in terms of complex scaffold structures. Some clients are unable to accurately describe the kind of structure they need. This created a serious challenge for the company.
With minimal understanding of clients’ requirements, the company was forced to make its own assumptions when initially designing scaffold structures.
As expected, this resulted in an increase in costs, time, and material wastage as they had to modify and redo scaffolding when it did not meet the client’s expectations.
“We had to bring more materials and personnel to the job site. More transport was needed to transport employees, more induction/administration, more PPE was needed because we had to cater for the unknown, resulting in more wastage for us and our customers,” says Daluxolo Ngendane, the firm’s managing director.
To make it worse, every time they needed to design or rework complex structures design based on the clients’ requests, the company had to employ the service of engineers, further adding to the costs.
“Being inefficient increased costs and wastage for us and our customers, and further increased safety risks because we needed to involve a lot of people unnecessarily,” says Daluxolo.
Sometime in 2018, Ntulikazi Trading decided to purchase Avontus Designer to put an end to guesswork and improve efficiency.
With the software, it is now able to involve its customers right from the planning stage to discuss and understand their requirements and make immediate changes upon receiving feedback. It not only saves time and effort, but the company also brings all the right materials and manpower to the job site during the erection process.
“At first, we were bringing a lot of scaffolding materials and people to the job site. Now we bring the right quantity of materials and the right people for the job, reducing the need to make assumptions,” says Daluxolo.
Although Ntulikazi is a young player in the industry, Daluxolo reveals that Designer has played an instrumental role in leveling the playing field and closing the gap between them and other established companies with over 100 years of experience. “With Avontus Designer, we’re now able to deliver scaffolding structures with minimum errors, allowing us to be viewed as a professional company like other big firms in the industry,” he says.
The ability to view completed designs in 3D gives the company a competitive edge as clients can walk inside the structure even before it’s erected, eliminating unwanted surprises and costs. He estimates that improved accuracy in scaffold designs increases profits by 10 to 15 percent a year, depending on the size of a project and duration on site.
With assumptions and guesswork thrown out the window, Daluxolo says they can now present confidently to their clients by showing a 3D view of the scaffolding design in a boardroom, easily answer questions, and get immediate approval of the design concept.
“We see a lot of potential customers who want to work with us. Our presentation is better now as we offer our clients an opportunity to walk through the design in 3D, as well as present them with an accurate bill of materials. This boosts our confidence as we are certain that our customers will get exactly what they agreed on,” explains Daluxolo.