Contractors are always on the hunt for things like efficiency, competence, and trustworthiness when choosing suppliers for their projects, but there's one other trait they should be looking out for... agility. Kelley Fry, Marketing and New Business Manager of the Victorian security storage company SITE SAFE, says that remaining agile helps keep your business competitive, demonstrates innovative thinking, and shows that you can respond quickly with solutions to challenges in the market.
When asked, "How do you grow"? during a recent interview with PlantMiner, Fry responded: "One thing we pride our business on is SITE SAFE's ability to meet market demand".
So in a sea of qualified supply companies all boasting about their best traits, it's imperative to prove you can adapt to change.
Think you can get away without adapting? Here's a scary stat that will get you thinking otherwise - 70% of the companies that were on the Fortune 1000 list a mere ten years ago have now vanished. They were unable to pivot.
Today, companies must break away from the assumption of sustainable competitive advantage and embrace adaptable differentiation, i.e., develop an agility advantage.
SITE SAFE is a great example. After years of working in factories, Founder and Managing Director Henry Gerstner-Stevens began to build Site Offices for hire in the 1970s. As Henry started to get work from VicRail he watched them one day move their storage sheds from site to site, taking three men, a truck and two days.
"I said to the Supervisor if I come up with a better system would you be interested in hiring from us. I could save them time and manpower. Their response was “Show us”.
"I then designed a SITE SAFE security storage shed , with a sliding door and security locking system, shelves, and hooks for hanging items, which could be delivered to site for immediate use." - Henry Gerstner-Stevens, SITE SAFE.
Providing solutions to existing problems
Not only did SITE SAFE have a competitive advantage as one of the first companies to provide container hire services, but they've continued to adapt to the problems of their customers.
SITE SAFE recognised that:
- 39% of builders were affected by theft or vandalism, with 65% of theft victims experienced more than once incident
- 24% victims of theft indicated they had borne indirect financial costs resulting from theft, such as the building project being delayed
- The most frequently stolen items from building sites were raw materials (61%) and small hand-held tools (46%)
Recognising this problem in the industry, SITE SAFE developed a unique and sophisticated patented locking system for their equipment. This allowed SITE SAFE to provide a much needed solution to theft, damage and expensive replacement costs as well as down time and vandalism.
Proving solutions to new problems
After the Brisbane floods in 2010/11, SITE SAFE expanded to Queensland to offer commercially tough and punishment resistant containers. These containers are made in Australia for Australian conditions out of heavy duty steel - built to protect whatever's stored within them. The containers provided a solution to individuals, businesses and construction sites needing storage during and after the floods. SITE SAFE's agile approach to
Adapting for new markets
When asked what SITE SAFE are doing now that they weren't five years ago, Fry said:
"We now provide smaller storage options for apartment towers and smaller building sites. Contractors use shipping containers or small tool boxes, but we supply the security units that are between sizes. These units are able to go into underground car parks, in alimaks and through double or single doorways on caster wheels.
The influx of apartment construction in recent times means that these storage units are ideal for builders to have safe, movable storage in the work area. Tools can be kept close and storage on site, and not taken to the container or home every day. This saves a huge amount of time in pack up as well as travel up and down lifts every day. If you're saving an hour per day avoiding these delays, the savings are enormous."
Site Safe joined PlantMiner in 2015 to build on their previous marketing efforts of using the Yellow Pages, print advertisement, direct mail and word of mouth.
"It was the next step for our online strategy. More and more people are searching for the equipment needs online. To be found as a solution for their request, we decided to build our online presence and use PlantMiner as a second website" - Kelley Fry, Marketing and New Business Manager, SITE SAFE
In an industry rife with change, dominance is fleeting; only agility creates sustainable advantage. As we move forward, the market must put a premium on agility and companies must measure it along with other key metrics. Learn how to further the reach and network of your business with a free PlantMiner trial.