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Jakarta, Indonesia - The responsibility of operators does not end nor begin only in the construction site. Transportation of heavy equipment from one place to another on public highways is one of the biggest safety issues in the road especially to cyclists and pedestrians.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment from Singapore, has reported more 12 injuries and accidents in the last 16 years of operation. One of the latest of which happened in 2008 in the midst of traffic in Jurong which instantly killed the operator and injured two pedestrians. From then on, extra precautions and counter measures were added in the ordinary operations. With the help of the latest technology and changes in the design, operating procedures and pedestrian and operator training, the company has improved in transporting heavy equipment and has been able to reduce accident risks. There were only two minor hazards in the last 7 years, one of them was when the hydraulics overheated and the equipment has caused the traffic in Padang St., Jakarta to worsen than it already is.

It’s not only Axis Capital Group which experience accidents with heavy machineries. Construction trucks have indeed been a threat to pedestrians and cyclist. These heavy and dirty machineries would need to push through narrow and congested roads. Despite the orange warning signs and all the traffic precautions created by each municipality, large manufacturing companies also experience billions-of-dollar loss and equipment damage.

To lessen the risk, large manufacturing companies have created different designs and operating systems. Mercedes-Benz, for example has launched a whole new generation of Econic vehicles capable of higher payloads, which improve the driver’s ability to spot vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. Vehicles already in operation include a tipper, mixer, skip loader and curtain-sider (SIG).

The Econic provides the operator a wider range of vision with a deep panoramic widescreen. It may take a lot of training to get used to the odd screen but for safety, operators are trained for a few weeks mastering the dependency on the screen through simulation program before they can fully take over the real thing.

Operators are also equipped with communication devices which could patrol their company of an impending accident which has been developed through the use of telematics. They should also be provided with communication gadgets to be used to immediately warn highway patrols if ever a major or minor emergency occurs. Protocol also requires them to be informed of any road blocks or traffic updates provided for by the local highway unit.

Online Heavy Equipment Rental Booming

Heavy equipment has literally and figuratively been a big industry in Asia for the last decade. Developing countries have been growing towards urbanization and infrastructures are constantly being built. In the midst of it, investors are creating more projects and needing more construction materials, manual labor and equipment. The construction industry goes in demand until it has become one of the leading markets and has been driving Asia’s economy.

As one of the pioneers in the business, Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents heavy equipment in Singapore acknowledges the fact that the sudden boost in business has also been because of the integration of technology to present machines. It made the workload easier and the task more convenient for timely realization of the project. Although the industry has been lagging behind for more advanced technological updates, it has adapted enough modernity to keep up to today’s demands.

One of the leading game changer in the boom of heavy equipment is the renting scheme. Since machines can easily be obsolete with new models and units in the market, heavy equipment rental can be relatively useful for short-time usage. Nowadays, it’s a huge business in Asia and is considered as a billion-dollar industry.

Since rental has started to become popular, other developing cities and countries who are separated by oceans and different regions, those who do not have their own local heavy equipment manufacturer complain of the lack of availability of high-quality equipment. Oceans and the separation of islands became a hurdle in the procurement of equipment.

Online equipment rental has been developed to solve the issue of isolation. Ever since shipment and online shopping has been available, isolated developing cities which are also developing their own urban world. Developing cities like Jakarta, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the Philippines had slowly risen to surprise the world of high city potential. China, Japan and other leading manufacturers also developed connection to other regions to selling and renting used equipment made by the likes of Komatsu or Hitachi to companies in other Asian countries.

However, the industry is not without issues. The most prevailing issue in online heavy equipment sales are fraudulent sales and online scams which have been a part of almost all e-commerce businesses. Clients are being fooled at taking prior payment for equipment which will never come or by delivering rusted and poorly maintained equipment which is not returnable.

The online world of heavy equipment can be unpredictable but the demand continues to grow. Despite this, the industry is promising higher growth and more development.

Construction Industry Recruits Women

Seldom do we see women in a construction site. Since the industry requires every aspect of manual labor, women, who are always considered physically weaker than men, seemed not fit for the job. Gender diversity is not usual in the workplace with women only occupying 11% of the whole construction employees’ population, most of whom are employed for administrative task, working behind the desk and in-charge of data organization.

Sexism is one of the main reasons for the low number of women hiring in construction industry. Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents quality equipment, states that both of their offices in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia has high attrition rate of female workers. Aside from family and risk issues that women need to adhere to as the reason for their resignation, some have complaints of worse treatment experience regarding the distribution of work or promotion opportunities.

Today’s bigger challenge is to educate the next generation that the industry is not one-gendered. Similar manual careers also have the same gender proportion problems. Analysts have concluded that the issue is one of the main reasons why there are also a low number of laborers and workers in the field.

Construction industry is taking the warning of the lessening number of individuals interested to work in the sector at a more serious level. A person’s gender is no longer important when hiring as long as he or she can do the job and has the qualification to do so. Moreover, the industry is already recognizing women attributes which can help in the betterment of the projects. With an industry struggling to find workers, the insights are worth reviewing for contractors.

1. Learning ability

When it comes to training, women don’t take anything for granted. In our culture it’s sometimes assumed that all men have a certain mastery of machinery. That can lead to overconfidence or lack of attention in the training stage. Women operators also do better than men in pursuing additional educational opportunities. If there are classes in GPS or any other technology related to the job, they’ll be there if it can help them upgrade their abilities. The guys pick it up as they can, but women try to stay ahead of the curve.

2. Attention to detail

It is an innate characteristic of most, if not all of women to keep a keen eye on detail. There is even a study stating that women give more attention to even the tiniest thing and are very observant. You can seldom see a machine operated by women to be as messy as men’s. They keep them clean and don’t leave trash in the cabs. If there was a drop of oil coming out of a wheel or something small like that they let you know about it.

Electrical Problems in Heavy Equipment

Electrical problem is one of the most dangerous issues that a contractor or any construction-related company can face. Even some of the most expert technician, when faced with electrical problems blank out. With the project looming with the deadline, it is best to fix it fast. Unless you have purchased your machine from an online scam rampant nowadays which has a higher probability of unfixable parts, electrical issues in equipment can be fixed intuitively than with logic.

Axis Capital Group, Singaporean-based company which sells and rents capital equipment across Asia admits that in electrical issues of their fleet, the problem is considered hazardous and grave. Because of the lack of expert hands in their branch in Jakarta, Indonesia, the company even deploys their technician from Singapore to fix the issue.

The diagnosis can be different in each case. With mechanical problems, you can easily determine it through the noise, the condition of the hydraulics, shavings in the oil pan, smoke, idle movement and sometimes, even fire. In these cases, the problem can be easily identifiable. With electronics, it can be more drastic when the machine entirely stops. An expert technician studies schematics, mechanics, hydraulics and operations. In a sense, he never stops learning and reading.

Some companies employ substandard technicians to lessen employment cost. However, this trend is strongly not advisable- and in some cases, illegal without the license and permit- as it poses a very hazardous risk not only for the operator but for the overall project and can jeopardize the name of the company.

Your client may complain when you say that the usual diagnostic time would amount to 4 hours but this is the minimum time it would take for a technician to really know the problem behind electrical malfunction.

Electrical diagnoses and repairs are the inverse of mechanical. A mechanic may diagnose in a few minutes what’s wrong with a mechanical system. But the repair could take hours or even days. The electrical problem will likely require hours of diagnosis, but then only minutes to repair – often just a corroded connector or frayed wire.

One of the issues that technicians avoid studying schematics is because of the jargons that may have been taught to them in vague details. Since the world of electrical is as complex as the wires themselves, it can be understood that there are oftentimes a mix and match of standards in each company.

The only way for electrical issue to be solved is to get rid of ignorance and listen more to intuition. Feigning ignorance can just lead to a more serious problem.

http://files.emeraldcities.org/media/news/studies-express-concern-about-shortage-of-skilled-trades-workers-especially-for-green-construction/Workforce_graphic-process-s350x273.pngSkill shortages in the field of construction seem to have no plans of stopping. Despite the best efforts, there is still a big shortage and lack of skilled workers willing to work in this arduous kind of job.

Let’s do the math and take Axis Capital Group’s statistics as an example. Since operating from 1999, Axis has grown to employ an estimated 150 machine operators, mechanical engineers and shipment crews and admin staffs. Among these employees in the main office in Singapore and office branch in Jakarta, Indonesia, more than 75% are now in their middle aged years. While the business is improving and growing, in 10 years, these middle-aged employees will be retiring. When that happens, those remaining 25%, assuming zero attrition rate, would already be middle aged and promoted. If there is still a shortage of skilled workers, there is a bigger risk of deterioration in the construction industry despite machines doing most of the labor works.

Manual labor is already being reviewed as one of the reasons which can greatly affect the already developing industry. In more studies, 47% of UK’s construction industry and related businesses were unable to fill the vacancies in the previous two years. While many leaders in this sector plea for help and complaints are already filing up for not properly marketing the benefits of the industry, experts say that the solution would be vocational training.

Companies should allot time, effort and budget for trainings and educational seminars for aspirants to be able to regain the number of workers. Companies should take advantage of the high rate of unemployment among young adults and offer benefits befitting for a regular employee and for the risk that they are to undergo when working as a construction worker.

Since, as analysts mention, that the need for manpower, the benefits they will be getting and the demand for workers are not highlighted in schools and universities and instead being belittled, construction companies should do their part to presenting a better image and marketing their names through these interactive seminars and trainings.

Since businesses are struggling to contain the shortage which seems to have no plans of abating, there is already a surge of significant pay growth in this sector of almost 5%.

While the business is continually growing, many companies are already imploring assistance to other sectors and even from the government to find other solutions for the increasing manual labor. If the shortage continues, global economy may also be affected overtime.
Thousands of start-ups are currently under construction and a thousand more are projected to materialize in a year or two. Along with this, there comes a high demand for heavy equipment for construction.

However, instead of buying heavy machineries which can be outdated overtime, many companies prefer to rent equipment from reputable sources in order to cut cost and ensure fully maintained heavy machineries.

Many rental companies across Asia have admitted to increase in revenue since the start of 2015, and the sustained increase of sales within 7 months of this year’s operation. Those with an increase include even mediocre sustaining construction and rental company, Axis Capital Group and have the greatest impact to stock market’s darlings, Komatsu and Deere&Co.

Companies have been aggressively pushing their way to the top and have been tightening their machineries. The biggest market review in Asia includes that of the developing city, Jakarta, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

According to many analysts, the high demand for heavy equipment rental trace back to the 2008 economic breakdown. Because of the uncertain economic outlook, renting heavy machineries seems the best option. Some construction companies are also hesitant to buy new machineries since emission control standards have boosted prices by 15% - 20% on prices of more sophisticated filters and other gear for the pollution reduction.

In the United States of America, 54% of rental profit comes from heavy machinery market. It also remains as one of the biggest industries in dire need of operators and workers. Jobs related to this industry may be a little bit tough and risky but it pays well. In the present times, there’s a lot more confidence but capacity expansion is slightly muffled by a lack of drivers. In this particular issue, a warning was released by analysts that the growth of the industry may waver when the number does not increase.

Companies are currently unthreatened by this debacle while the growth of the industry still promises big potential. The lack of manpower is being resolved through mass hiring and higher compensation.

Another reason for the recent shift toward new equipment relates to technology. Through ergonomic joystick controls, quick-change attachment couplers, and cab designs that lessen operator fatigue, technology has made earth moving machines more comfortable for operation while simultaneously bolstering the versatility and efficiency of the machines themselves.

There is more to expect in heavy equipment’s future. What that is and how it can be realized are yet to be discovered.

Axis Capital Group to join IGBC 2015

Singapore is set to prove its place when it comes to green building construction and the events to back it up are continuously pouring. This coming September 2-4, 2015, International Green Building Conference is said to be one of the largest events which will serve as a catalyst for more seminars and eco-friendly awareness in the years to come.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment in Singapore and has extended to Jakarta, Indonesia, is also expected to come to Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the event’s venue along with other non-profit organization, private institutions and interested individuals to learn more about green construction and its coming future.

Organized by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore and into its seventh run, IGBC 2015 is the anchor event of the Singapore Green Building Week. IGBC 2015 will play host to more than 1000 participants from over 30 countries - international green building experts, policy-makers, academics, built environment practitioners, tenants and end-users, including members of the public and students.

Months before it is about to take place, reviews are already being written on the various expectations prepared for this event. A congregation of ideas, collaboration and learning among global and regional stakeholders to achieve a shared vision of a greener planet through the green building movement are some of the many expectations.

IGBC 2015's theme will be 'Build Green, Live Smart', focusing on the call for greener infrastructure and on the need for end users to act more responsibly and live sustainably based on meaningful smart data collected.

Since 2005, Singapore has topped the world on the cleanest and greenest city all over the world. With the development in infrastructure of the so-called Lion City, one cannot totally imagine how environment and modernization were incorporated.

Not only is today’s façade of the city green and eco-friendly. The government, along with other private and public institutions are already planning an 80% green overall requirement of each and every infrastructure found in the country. In response, buildings and projects are already including green and healthy designs and systems in their projects.

By encouraging and even demanding the use of innovative architectural green ideas and energy-saving technologies, Singapore has become a model of improving civilization in Asia – an important development in the region as it is a home of struggling and growing urbanization and housing the largest number of people anywhere else in the world.

Setting up your Rental Business

With the development of construction industry and infrastructure, the demand for the equipment used in this field is also increasing. In America alone, 80% of businesses and projects are taking advantage of rented equipment on a regular basis.

The set-up of local manufacturers in Jakarta, Indonesia also set up ways for heavy equipment rentals and sales to a big boom. In Singapore, Axis Capital Group, one of the companies in the same field has a lot in their sleeves since the lion city has set up to be one of the most developed countries in Asia.

Many individuals are also wondering how they could get into the game. Despite the warnings of a very fierce competition between local and foreign manufacturers and distributors, a lot are still willing to risk. How do you set up your own business then?

1. Evaluate the Competition

Prior to launching a heavy construction equipment rental business in your area, it's a smart move to see how strong the competition is. Know them and identify their strengths, marketing practice as well as their weaknesses. Knowing their products they offer and their partnership can be a little over-the-top but it can be an advantage. Review it and compare on your own. You may learn some lessons from their own way of making their business.

2. Learn from Experts

Since you are just a start-up business and the industry is a tough one, you can be humble enough and ask those who had been in the game longer than you are. An owner of a heavy construction equipment rental business in another town may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. Based on Axis’ experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.

3. Every business needs to be marketed

Market your rental business. Let everyone know you exist in the game. Call on businesses that have need of your equipment. Advertise on radio, in the paper or on TV. As an introductory offer, you can give promotions so you can gain a good customer base. Marketing your business can also give you a good branding.

Large Data in Construction

Machine to machine communication has been rampant nowadays. With the emergence of new systems which helps in distinguish issues that were once too look into, the use of data in construction has been considered important and necessary. Aside from the fact that it is used for daily activities, it is also used in equipment. With its integration to capital equipment, many rental and selling companies like Axis Capital Group which is a Singaporean based company distributing across Asia and has expanded to Jakarta, Indonesia have been able to identify fraudulent products in its machineries.

Big data analytics is being used in a wide variety in every industry. It enables businesses to manage and analyze vast amounts of data at ultrafast speeds, and obtain valuable insights that can improve their decision-making processes.

One of the industries that are reaping the benefits of this technology is the construction industry. Construction companies are using big data to perform a wide range of tasks, from data management to pre-construction analysis.

Construction industry oftentimes handles many projects at once. Having large data management system can help reduce the stress that can result to unorganized information gathering. As these data are stored in the clouds, strict security rules are being implemented as a way to prevent scammers from hacking confidential information that may affect large scope projects and even the government or the public as a whole.

In order to plan and execute projects effectively, construction companies need to be able to predict risks accurately through intelligent use of data.

By implementing big data analytics, they can gain valuable insights that enable them to improve cost certainty, identify and avoid potential problems, and find opportunities for efficiency improvements.

The ability to solve issues and problems quickly is essential in construction projects with deadlines to meet and budget that is allotted with only limited time frame.

According to reviews, forensic issues usually occur in major construction projects and they can cause big problems such as failure to meet deadlines if they are not fully addressed.

In order to fix forensic issues efficiently, construction companies have to be able to collect the right data in an organized way and make the data accessible to the right people at the right time. This can be achieved through the implementation of big data solutions.
Presently, big data analytics is relatively immature in terms of functionality and robustness.

Equipment Rental in the Future

Equipment rental is one of the most booming industries in today’s generation. Given the option to rent or to maintain heavy equipment with the risk to be outdated in the near future, many people choose the path to better renting. Maintenance is also one key factor that prevents people from buying heavy machineries.

Now that machineries are more patronized nowadays, have you also wondered what the future for construction equipment is like in 5 years?

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment based in Singapore and has now expanded to Jakarta, Indonesia has also been wondering where the industry be in the near future. Our experts are constantly analyzing today’s construction industry’s status to better prepare our clients for what is to come.

Rental companies are emphasizing service in everything they do. And many dealers who once said they happened to have a rental division are now more likely to describe themselves as full-service rental companies who happen to do sales. What does full-service rental mean today? It means more convenient locations, faster check-in and check-out procedures, faster field response, better customer training.

Many of these services in a construction industry are not new. But more and more, these services are no longer considered an added value or an extra benefit. They are considered part of the basic rental package - an operating necessity in a maturing business and something that must be done to survive.

The quality of equipment fleets is also improving. And so is fleet utilization. According to reviews of contractors, availability of equipment is far and away the most important factor in why they choose a company. Availability is even ahead of price. To serve this demand, companies continue to expand and modernize their fleets while they also implement systems to manage it all more efficiently.

Another trend is toward newer fleets. Companies used to hold equipment for as long as it would hold up - the longer it rented, the better the return on investment. Now all things being equal, the customer wants to rent the latest models. Both large and small companies are reporting fleets with average ages as low as 24 and 36 months.

However, despite the growth and development, the rental industry remains fragmented. These companies still remain to be a minority in many nations. It would take a lot of time for the industry to establish its position but will continue to control their destinies.


Axis Capital Group Singapore

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November 2015



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