How to find your perfect lifting partner
Ross Moloney, CEO of Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), on the importance of finding your perfect lifting partner – one on which you can rely, have assurance that they will deliver and, above all, be safe.
Successful partnerships move the world forward and nowhere more so than in engineering. Just look at aircraft from Concorde to Airbus to the Eurofighter, space industry projects from rocket launches to building satellites, and the development of new cars in the motor industry. In fact, any engineering need you can think of has usually been solved as a result of two or more organisations coming together in partnership. And let’s not forget those great personal level partnerships, such as songwriters, comedy duos and filmmakers. And, of course, as individuals we all look for our own perfect partner in life.
Partnerships happen when two parties agree to cooperate through merging their mutual interests. In business this is not just about large contractual comings together; it also applies when buying a product or service. Decisions may be based on simple metrics such as lowest price or being closest locally, but the basis of successful partnerships goes deeper. Any marriage guidance counsellor will advise their clients to communicate with each other more, and the same applies in business partnerships.
Partners should understand one another’s problems and anticipate their needs. Strengthening the sense of a partnership as one of individual entities using common strategies and tactics to achieve the same goal is a collaborative approach that can actively grow a business. And when, as can often be the case, problems occur, dealing with an aggrieved customer that needs placating, or a tardy supplier that needs cajoling, does not really count as effective communication.
Goals in business, and the tactics required to achieve them, are continually changing, sometimes very obviously, but more often by small incremental changes. ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ does not apply here because it is the small changes and problems that, if uncommunicated and unacted upon, can disappoint customers, increase costs, reduce or eliminate profit and in the end lose business. More critically, in an industry such as ours, they can increase the risk of accidents.
Lifting is, of course, a vital function in so many areas and often takes place where risk is a major factor. This dramatically ups the stakes when it comes to finding the perfect partner. Products and services are rarely simple transactions, whether it is for a crane or a hoist or lift inspections, it is likely to involve ongoing support and collaboration. So investment is not only a matter of finding value and financial return but finding quality and excellence and customer support.
Finding your perfect partner
How do you find a perfect lifting partner, one on which you can rely, and have assurance that they will deliver and, above all, be safe? When looking for a plumber in the UK, for example, we look at the Gas Safe Register as an assurance of protection from unsafe gas work. Then there are any number of guides giving customer references for services from building work to life partners, the veracity of which may be taken with a pinch of salt by many who will seek greater assurance.
It is a mandatory and legal requirement that all gas businesses and engineers are approved on the Gas Safe Register. We continue to make the argument with governments that we should have a similar requirement for lifting equipment and services, because finding a lifting partner is something where any hint of gamble needs to be removed.
Fortunately there are many truly outstanding individuals, companies and organisations in the lifting industry that end users looking for lifting equipment and services will want to use. These are the kind of operators who will do everything possible to ensure best practice. The best way to recognise them is by looking for the LEEA logo, which is a recognised benchmark for best practice in lifting. It gives end users assurance that those who carry it are LEEA members and have been rigorously audited and continuously adhere to the highest requirements to uphold the Association’s gold standard.
Wherever you are in the world, in whichever sector, I can safely say that the best way to start your search for a perfect lifting partner is a simple look through the ‘Find a member’ service on leeaint.com, which is open to all end users.