Stagnating in business and the processes that drive it unfortunately does not make for a competitive, profitable or sustainable company. With the ever changing environment brought about by globalisation, every company needs to fight off stagnation because, for some, it’s easier to become complacent and never question whether you have the most effective and efficient solution for clients.
District Watch is striving to be Green by trying to reduce its carbon footprint, recycling and streamlining processes. It has changed to using grey water, biodegradable products and to more efficient light bulbs. The initial capital outlay proved to be quite expensive, but within months it saw the benefits when operational expenditure decreased. LED Lights alone might cost more, but they last 40-times longer and use about a tenth of the energy of normal bulbs.
Taking the next logical step, the company evaluated ever-increasing cost factors like the increase in the petrol price and realised that it had some hard choices to make. “We either offset the costs of patrolling against an increase in our tariffs, or we can change the way we operate by patrolling less,” explains Gawie Venter, sales and marketing manager at District Watch. “As an armed response company whose passion is the safety of our community, we found these choices unpalatable and refused to sacrifice effectiveness for profit.”
The company therefore invested in its first BMW i3 electric vehicle with its own backup generator, which Venter says was such a game changer the company invested in two more.
“The logic is irrefutable,” says Venter. “Each armed reaction vehicle travels between 120-180 km per 12-hour shift, which works out quite expensive in petrol money alone. Now offset that against the fact that each electric vehicle can travel 220 km on a single charge and you have a winning recipe.”
With less moving parts, the maintenance on these vehicles is practically non-existent and District Watch is looking at return on investment much sooner than anticipated.
“This is a sustainable solution that ultimately reconciles both economic and environmental concerns we are morally and financially obligated to take into account. This catalyst for innovation has already started further discussions and ideas we as a company see as opportunities.
“You have to listen very carefully now to hear one of these quick, nippy electric vehicles approaching, and there are no carbon dioxide emissions.”
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