You might feel that the Surewinder is well designed and could definitely help you wind springs free from harm to you and your technicians, but you are hesitant about buying them for each truck in your fleet.
We put together a list of the ways the Surewinder can contribute to your bottom line and more than pay for itself.
1. Lost Revenue/ Profit – minor injuries
Small sprains and strains can cause a few days of missed work. Scheduled jobs either get made up by overtime worked by other techs, or the jobs are missed altogether. If you have a sick pay policy, you also have the labor costs while they recuperate. We have been told by many owners of firms that do commercial work that it is not unusual to have techs off for several days after big commercial installs.
Example: 3 days missed work; company pays 5 sick days per year
Revenue per job = $350
Two jobs per day = $700
3 days x $700 = $2,100 missed revenue
Tech Labor Rate = $21/hour
3 days x 8 hr/day = 24 hours x $21 / hour = $504 additional labor costs
2. Lost Revenue/ Profit – rotator cuff surgery
Rotator cuff injuries are very common in the garage door industry. This risk increases with age. The time to recuperate from surgery can be 3-4 months.
Example: 3 months missed work; firm pays 5 sick days per year
Revenue per job = $350
Two jobs per day = $700
65 days x $700 = $45,500 missed revenue
Tech Labor Rate = $21 / hour
5 days x 8 hr /day = 40 hours x $21 / hour = $840 additional labor costs
The technician also can incur significant costs that include:
Medical insurance deductibles and co-pays
Workers comp not paying as much as their normal job.
Has to burn up all PTO to make ends meet
Suspend 401K contributions
Technicians that are bothered by pain and financial stress probably won’t have a good customer focused mindset.
3. REDUCE FATIGUE - DO MORE JOBS (safely) - make more money
When workers are fatigued they suffer from decreased alertness which can have several safety-related consequences, including slowed reaction time, reduced vigilance, reduced decision-making ability, poor judgment, distraction during complex tasks (e.g., winding springs) and loss of awareness in critical situations. Most mistakes and injuries occur after fatigue has set in. Doing your work with a fresher mind and body aids in keeping your techs safe and healthy. Using the Surewinder will reduce the fatigue they feel after a few jobs in a normal day, thereby allowing you and your techs to complete one or two additional jobs a day - safely and liability free.
4. Increase in medical insurance premiums
Repeated expensive claims could drive up insurance premiums. What would even a 3% increase in medical insurance premium cost? All employees bear the burden of the injury.
5. Reduction in Worker Compensation Insurance Premiums
Many states offer worker comp premium discounts as for active safety programs that eliminate job hazards. Insurance agents have told us that it is reasonable to expect a 20% discount on your premium for using tools like the Surewinder / Brutewinder. If you pay your techs $60,000 per year and your current work comp rate is 4.5% ( $4.50 per $100 payroll), a 20% discount would pay for Surewinders for ALL your techs within one year. Similarly, it would pay for 60% of the Brutewinders cost for ALL techs within one year. Then as you use the tools and lower worker comp claims, you could further reduce work comp premiums by lowering your 3 year experience modifier.
6. Employee satisfaction and retention
Your technicians are getting older and are more susceptible to injury. Combine this with the fact that you are having a hard time finding younger people to enter the door trade, and you could start losing the guys that make your sales possible.
Buying your techs tools that ensure their safety and prevent surgery shows you care about their well-being. This will increase morale and trust. When employees are emotionally invested in your company, they want to contribute to making it better.
7. R&D Tax Credits
It is possible that your company may be able take advantage of IRS approved R&D tax credits for the process of experimentation to prove out whether spring winding tools do indeed achieve the desired result of improving the safety of your techs. A tax attorney can advise whether and how much of money spent on tools, experiments / studies, and employee salaries can be include in the tax credit.
8. Safety guidelines
Providing employees with spring winding tools helps employers meet the guidelines laid out under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 to provide a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause physical harm to their employees:
if hazards exist, you must eliminate or minimize them
if workplace hazards cannot be eliminated, you must provide employees with adequate safeguards and protective gear
9. Owner financed - technician owned
Some owners are financing the purchase of the Surewinder for their techs. These owners believe that if their techs own this tool, they will take better care of it and will have a vested interest in using it all the time. They also believe that the techs have a vested interest in keeping their body healthy that they earn their living with. The techs make small monthly paycheck deductions made possible by the owner making the initial purchase and in return, the owner keeps their revenue stream healthy by ensuring that there are no winding bar mishaps or lost work days due to sprains or surgeries.
10. state worker compensation funds pay for tools
Many states’ worker compensation agencies provide money to purchase tools that will prevent injuries to your technicians. Four examples include:
Ohio Bureau of Worker Compensation: Application Form
North Dakota Worker Safety and Insurance: Application Form
Oregon Employer at Injury Program SAIF: Application Form
Wyoming Department of Workforce Services: Details
11. COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Buying these tools achieves all the above listed financial benefits. You can hire and keep the best techs in your region and have lower costs, which can increase your margins and/or give you a cost advantage bidding on new jobs.