Winter is coming...and expect efficiency and effectiveness



'The comparison of what is actually produced or performed with what can be achieved with the same consumption of resources (eg money, effort, time, labour).'

An important factor in determination of productivity.


'The degree to which objectives are achieved and the extent to which targeted problems are solved.'

In contrast to efficiency, effectiveness is determined without reference to costs.

Efficiency can also be described as 'doing things right' and effectiveness as 'doing the right things' but however we define them both are absolutely essential to good winter service. 

Time and motion studies have laboriously researched people’s every working move in order to determine methods for developing improved productivity standards by breaking down complex tasks into smaller, simple steps. Redundant or wasteful motion has been eliminated in many areas of work and the precise time taken for each correct movement has been measured.

From these measurements production and delivery times and prices are reviewed and incentive schemes are devised. It can often be common sense really and simply requires organisations to step back and look at how they can do things better in the long run and ultimately still make money.

Behind the scenes leading suppliers have been working tirelessly in consultation with authorities to ensure that the needs of the customer are continuously met and exceeded. Local authorities are being increasingly pressured with budget constraints and taxpayer expectations to get more for less while still maintaining high and exacting standards.

Aebi Schmidt equipment is used in major airports across the UK

For example, initiatives such as Appendix H-building for effective winter service led by the NWSRG (National Winter Service Research Group) are already helping the public and private sector deliver a more effective and efficient winter service strategy.

Mandatory legislation is now guiding leading organisations across the supply chain to continuously review and monitor the manufacturing process. Although often considered a frustration to some, adherence to vehicle standards has ensured the increased efficiency, effectiveness and evolution of many vehicles at pioneering companies such as Aebi Schmidt.

In 1989 BS1622 was introduced as the standard that spreaders for winter maintenance must adhere to. However, much has changed since then and more robust and challenging standards now also exist such as the European Industries Engineering Association (EUnited) classifications. These now require manufacturers to be even more efficient and effective with the manufacturing process to build and design better and more resilient machinery.

Alison Conroy, UK sales and marketing manager at Aebi Schmidt said: 'Since our products are used across the world we are often measured against more varied and challenging product standards than we are in the UK market. The EUnited classification, where we have achieved the A standard is a great thing for our customers as they now benefit from more advanced, vigorously tested and developed products.'

Ms Conroy added: 'The Green Agenda is also very important in the production of heavy industrial goods. For example, the ISO 14001 standard has ensured that our production facilities are environmentally designed to use less energy and have minimum impact on the local environment. We incorporate innovative techniques at every stage of manufacture. For example we use powdercoating instead of conventional paint methods on our spreaders meaning they last longer, require less maintenance and have a minimal environmental impact due to their eco-friendly composition. We use mixing chamber distribution systems so that thawing agents can be applied more precisely and more specifically to further reduce salt consumption.

'Snow ploughs are increasingly equipped with fine-finish blades and ejection locks to save additional work steps. In the production area, the efforts are geared towards reusable packaging material, the installation of motion detectors to reduce power consumption and separate collection of scrap. An innovative spraying system allows for 40% material savings when applying anticorrosion agents. There’s so much going on and it all adds up to value for our customers'

Aebi Schmidt gritter in action

Mike Moore, Aebi Schmidt UK’s key account manager also explained how his organisation tackles the challenges of the effectiveness and efficiency agenda through its Total Lifetime Care (TLC) scheme: 'The TLC commitment guarantees the very best in solutions by working with each of our customers to provide bespoke products and services. 

'We work closely with a number of UK and Irish airports including Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dublin, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, Liverpool, London City, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Southampton and Stansted. No two are the same. We review the complete operation and identify the best solution. We have developed a comprehensive portfolio of machines that are adapted and tailored by size or specification to provide a bespoke solution. Efficiency and effectiveness are at the heart of all that we do.'

Mr Moore's top three simple and practical efficiency tips for local authorities:

1. Store Salt Properly- ‘Although salt doesn't go off from one winter to the next, it does need to be protected. It can become less effective if exposed to rain, and the resulting run-off of salty rainwater can cause environmental problems. It doesn’t always have to be located in expensive storage barns. Storage barns are fine but quite often only the salt at the front of the pile gets used when it needs to. Simple bespoke sheeting can adequately and safely store salt for spreading on road surfaces.

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