Somewhat quietly, game changing legislation takes effect from 1st of July that will have massive future benefits for all Machinery owners to have machines repaired at a competitive price using a repairer and parts of your choice. The “Right to Repair” legislation makes it mandatory for OEM’s to give access to repair information (and stops digital locks and the like), thereby giving machine owners greater protections to repair their own machines and importantly by using parts from sources other than the OEM.
The “Right to Repair” actions (through the new legislation “The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Information Sharing Scheme ) Act 2021”) is an outcome of the Productivity Commission’s recommendations, and include these important factors:
- Manufacturer warranties have to include text stating that entitlements to a remedy under consumer guarantees do not require consumers to have previously used authorised repair services or spare parts
- Increase the competition related to repairs by amending copyright laws to facility accessing and sharing of repair information (such as repair manuals, and repair data hidden behind digital locks).
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will police the scheme with the ability to issue fines of up to $10 million for OEM’s that don’t comply.
Whilst earthmoving equipment wasn’t the primary product category that was surveyed, agricultural machinery (which has significant similarities) was. Interestingly, the main problem identified by 53.1% of respondents was lack of access to diagnostic repair tools. Other interesting findings were that those owners who used third party parts and repairers made significant savings (money and environmental) by being able to have the repairs conducted on their own site. (79.8% of those who used Third-party providers saved using onsite repairs).
Whilst it will take some time for the full effects to play out in the market place, this gives machine owners greater access to repair their own machines (or more freely use independent contractors) and importantly by using parts from sources other than the OEM. It should also encourage rebuilding of existing components, thereby reducing the overall life cycle cost of your machinery. This is a real win for Machinery owners in a geographically dispersed nation such as ours.
More information is available on these links: https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/repair/report (Productivity Commission Report)
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2021A00054 (Link to the legislation)
Trust the Process
It took over 10 years of staring 40 hours per week at the black line on the bottom of a pool for my nephew Zac Stubblety-Cook to become an “overnight sensation” when he won the 200m breast stroke at the Tokyo Olympics, the only Men’s swimming gold. Despite setbacks earlier on in his swimming career, he lives by the philosophy to “Trust the process”. Many spectators fret that he is often at the tail end of the field at the halfway mark, but he never abandons the knowledge that he is the fastest swimmer across the water and has the stamina to come home strong. He backed this up with a World record in the recent Commonwealth Games trials and won the gold at the World Championships in Budapest in June. Despite this, many of the great Australian swimmers, including Zac, struggle to obtain sponsorships. More attention seems to be directed towards off field indiscretions than recognition of the achievements of our sporting stars, whether it be swimming or other sports.
This philosophy of having and sticking to a process applies well to business success too. The key to success is often to recognise what one’s strength is, then work on how to effectively deliver that product or service more and more efficiently. Competitive advantages usually come from doing fairly basic things better and better, like fine tuning little things such as the processing time. Everyone in the competitive business field basically has access to the same “tools”, for instance brands and types of machinery. Sometimes technology (such as being an early adopter of the ALLU processing bucket) can give advantages. But most of the time it comes down to knowing what “your stroke” is, and simply perfecting it.
Meetings = lost time?
The first thing to improve the process is of course to know what your current process is. Let’s use a simple meeting as an example, and how even something that can have lots of variables can still have a framework to create an efficient process.
- Have a clear purpose for the meeting. Stick to the agenda. Set actions, and make it clear who is doing what from the meeting.
- If you have regular scheduled meetings, they work best if they are used to keep progress of tasks on track, that is, holding the participants accountable for timely completion.
- Set a deadline. There is nothing quite as focussing as a firm completion time, something most people learned early on in school with the pre-exam cram. Put a time limit on the duration (most meetings lose effectiveness if they run over 1 hour).
- Make the most of technology. Whilst face to face contact is important, one of the benefits from the impacts of Covid has been that we’ve learned we don’t need to travel around the country for every meeting.
- In possible conflict with the use of technology, remove distractions. Turn off all mobile phones and shut down any other electronic devices.
One of the biggest time wasters in most businesses is meetings, so reducing the number and duration of meetings is one important way of improving your businesses time utilisation. Also consider who is in the room – does everyone need to be there and are all the people who need to have an opinion present (to avoid side-bar meetings).
As Benjamin Franklin said: “Lost time is never found again”.
Words from the wise
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. (Walt Disney)
You miss 100% of the shots you never take. (Wayne Gretzky)
As always, onwards and upwards!