Project Site Services
27 November 2014
When finished, the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Project on the fringe of Melbourne’s CBD will deliver a $1 billion world-class cancer centre. It will include inpatient beds, a clinical trials unit, operating theatres and more than 25,000 square metres of specialised research space to provide cancer education, training and cancer treatment.
Australian construction company Grocon, and Canadian construction business, PCL, formed a joint venture to build the VCCC and excavation of the site began in early 2012.
Coates Hire identified an opportunity to provide a dedicated project-site facility for contractors. Along with the normal complement of access and general hire equipment it is fitted out with a full contractor’s hardware range of retail products – from drill bits and cutting discs to welding and concrete products, safety equipment and hand tools.
“For the first time in Melbourne we have combined the Coates Hire site facility and the retail offering to this project site. We assessed the unique type of construction work that was to take place and identified the products that were going to be in constant high demand,” explains Peter Sherwood, Coates Hire National Merchandising Manager.
“The facility has been set up as a fully operational branch including all the signage, front counter, security system, EFTPOS and we introduced the CHASE scanning system to allow people to quickly purchase what they need.”
Products Scanned at Counter
Once a customer is registered on the CHASE system they receive a barcoded identification card or sticker. Products are then scanned at the sales counter, the person’s barcode is also scanned and the items are added to that customer’s account.
Sherwood says the concept of providing a project-site service was introduced two-and-a-half years ago during the construction of Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) in South Australia which was then replicated at the Highpoint Shopping Centre project a year later
“Dan Clifton, one of our major project managers, was the brains behind that initiative which was a tremendous success”, says Sherwood.
The VCCC site is a high traffic area with limited parking.
“There is no lay down area – everything arriving on the job has to go in, or on top of, the building as it is being constructed. Getting deliveries in and out, whether materials, equipment or people is a logistical nightmare,” says Sherwood.
One of the benefits of Coates Hire being on location is a reduction in some of this traffic.
"By having the gear already there and good to go we can reduce traffic through the delivery docks significantly and this takes pressure off the builder, who doesn't have to man those deliveries."
Productivity and efficiency are enhanced because all communications and deliveries are coordinated through one person at the Coates Hire VCCC facility; Operations Coordinator, Sarah Jane Lee, says Sherwood.
“It also drives compliance of general safe practice as there are no excuses for not having the right safety equipment to do a job - it’s all available on location”, he says.
“We have an experienced full-time mechanic based in the facility who can run up, repair and service all our equipment on the spot, which takes a lot of pressure off the South Melbourne and Access branch.
“Sarah Jane’s experience, positive attitude and product knowledge are a critical component to the success of the facility. Her ability to know when to engage subject matter experts (APSs) and the wider business are a huge value add to the customer.
“This initiative showcases the full services we provide – we can fully mobilise and bring project based solutions to customers wherever they are working, provided there’s a fair opportunity for all”, he says.
“I think initiatives like this will change the way the hire industry looks at supporting major projects in the future.”