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Greetings brethren, Today's lesson is on anal glaucoma and spray paint. Yes the two are related in this lesson on economics in our industry. (If you don't know what anal glaucoma is ask someone on your site, they will help you out. )So now that I have your attention, I can explain my theory on how the two are related and could be costing all of us time, effort and money. My theory is this, IF every corporation, company, yard, location (or whatever we call ourselves today) spent the time and money to spray paint some form of a color code on the material we use on a daily basis we could save time and money, increase productivity and reduce waste on the thing that costs us the most, labor. Figure it like this, you have a 4 man crew going out to build a scaffold at $140.00 per crew hour and they spend 10 minutes in the yard trying to decide what size the plank, bars or (my favorite) the diagonals are. That single incident of confusion just cost $25.00, multiply that by multiple crews, on multiple sites and the cost could get well beyond the cost of spraying on the color code. Figure that part this way, one can of spray paint, $3.50 ( because the $1.50 stuff only comes in 2 colors Black and White)and, for the sake of argument lets say our guy costs us $25.00 and hour. If you don't hurry and get good coverage on the rack it could take up to 15 minutes. That puts a cost of $9.75 to color code saving $15.75 just over the single incident listed above. Now how much does the spray paint really cost? Now for the glaucoma part, this only works if the people painting the equipment are glaucoma free. If you have anal glaucoma and you paint the material, or leave it painted the wrong color when you receive it, it has a reverse effect on the economic side. One guy from the same crew going back to the yard to replace the wrong color part at 30 Minutes while the crew waits on said part, loss of $79.95 to your bottom line and your clients. Also think of how your clients see that guy constantly shuffling back and forth and probably wonder why he's always between the unit and the yard. This rant does not even begin to cover the cost implications of what happens when you ship a rack full of the wrong material 1000 miles only to have to overnight the right material to keep the job going. I don't even want to put the math to that little scenario.So at the end of the day, the question becomes how much are we willing to spend to save that $9.75 that not color coding our material is going to cost. While I realize that when you temper this with reality and realize that the odds of anyone starting, and maintaining a color coding system it always comes back to the same question, (I have done extensive research on this as I believe I have worked for most of the major scaffold companies in the US) "why should I pay to color code the material when were just going to ship it to someone else who won't maintain it?" Well, I don't have a good answer for that other than why should we even separate the material into separate racks? Wouldn't it just be easier to haphazardly just throw the material in the racks as it comes down? Food for thought. More on anal glaucoma to come later.
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P.s. The other side of this is I re-rented some material from Territorial Scaffold down in New Mexico last year and they had their gear color coded, when i went to return their material 2 other bars got mixed in with theirs and they knew it within seconds because the color was wrong.
P.P.S. This rant is not directed at anyone (or any company) in particular as it seems to be a problem industry wide. Odds are if you think I wrote this for you, you should probably buy some paint:)