Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cutting costs . . . Part 2

This is for guys who may be involved in lots of construction within their institutions and if you're doing the constructions yourselves (without the involvement of a contractor). 

Here, at NJH, we need quite a lot of new constructions as almost all of our buildings are quite old and much beyond repair. In addition, we need newer buildings for new facilities

When the burns unit construction started, few of my friends who were in the business of constructing buildings advised me to invest in a brick making machine. 

Now, it's quite a time since we had been using it. 

We did a little costing exercise to help us find out if the machine is worth buying. 

Now, a concrete hollow brick is equivalent to 8 smaller oven baked bricks. 

The costs . . . 

Bricks made per day (min 500, max 550)
Labour cost (12 labourers X 130 INR)
Cement (12 sacks X 350 INR)
Gravel/Stone chips (2 tractors X 1800 INR)
Stone dust (2 tractors X 300 INR)
Electricity (max 50 units)


Therefore, the cost per brick is about 20 INR if you discounted the machine cost. 

To substitute the 500 hollow bricks, we would need about 4000 (500X8) oven baked bricks the cost of which would be approximately 20,000-24,000 INR in our part of the country. (In South India, the cost per oven baked brick is about 8-9 INR)

That's a 50% saving. And if you consider the cost of the brick making machine, we break even as soon as we have made 12500 bricks (25 days of working). We've already made about 3000 bricks. 

There are quite a lot of advantages of the hollow brick. However, the best thing I like about them . . . they are much environment friendly compared to the oven baked red bricks. Of course, we have a control on the quality of the brick. 

The reasons . . . we use waste material (stone chips and stone dust); there is no baking of the bricks, we save cement during the finishing of the building as the surface of the hollow bricks are quite smooth, the hollow space saves quite a lot of materials used . . .

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  1. Great Job! You should start a new department - "Cost Cutting with Quality" Prakash

  2. Excellent! Keep it up! A big cheer for you all from Thane