Tragically, there are 7,000 serious road accidents with 600 fatalities in the Netherlands every year. These numbers can be multiplied by 5 in larger countries such as Germany, France, the UK and Italy. Proportionately, less developed countries suffer many more accidents. About a fifth of serious accidents are what are called ‘roadway departure accidents’. These are single-vehicle accidents where the vehicle leaves the road. A third of all fatalities are the result of roadway departure accidents. Globally, there are about 3 million serious roadway departure accidents every year, which result in more than 400,000 fatalities.
Verges must and can be made safer
The Dutch government is putting a lot of effort into increasing road safety, such as the EU Road Safety Programme 2011-2020. This programme aims to halve the number of fatal road accident victims, which currently stands at 100 per day. ByTheWay is contributing to these efforts by making the repair of dangerous verges better, easier and cheaper.
Being a Business Partner of ByTheWay: what does it involve?
In the Netherlands we work with a number of partner companies on the basis of an exclusive license agreement. Within their agreed region, each of these partners has the exclusive right to use KLEISER® machinery. It works like this:
As a business partner, you have access to mobile cranes and personnel, which means your company can carry out the work independently with our KLEISER® machines. You then accept verge repair orders within your own region, and organise the whole project with your client. ByTheWay provides the KLEISER® machinery.
ByTheWay can also accept an order where execution is outsourced to an existing or new partner.
We protect the exclusivity of our partners, meaning that we only provide you, as a partner, with our machines in your area.
How do we support our partners?
ByTheWay participates in trade fairs, registers for innovation awards (nominated several times), advertises, sends out mailings, visits road managers, and much more. In this way we actively support acquisition for our partner companies.
When we realised back in 2012 that we had invented an efficient and patentable machine with the KLEISER®-bh, we needed to decide how much we should charge for its use.
An hourly rate is unsuitable, because a road manager cannot then estimate how much it will ultimately cost to repair a verge. Furthermore, the contractor would benefit from working slowly, so it wasn't the best way to motivate everyone.
In 2013, we decided to start with a rate of € 0.40 per metre. (This was approximately 20% cheaper than it would have cost to repair the verge with a tilting bucket.) However, it turned out that there were major differences between verges (such as type of soil, vegetation, surfacing), which meant that in some places we could easily do 6 km in one day, but in other places only 2 km. As a result, it is not logical to always charge a fixed rate per metre of repaired verge.
Question: How can we charge an acceptable rate per metre for an awkward verge, which is automatically discounted for an easier verge?
We arrived at the following solution:
Rate equation T(€/m) = a + b/n, where n is the average number of repaired kilometres of verge per day. After racking our brains, we ended up with: T(€/m) = 0.18 + 0.44/n. At 2 km per day, the rate is then at 0.18 + 0.22 = € 0.40/m and at 4 km per day € 0.29/m. By filling in a simple calculation form (Excel), the rate and the invoice amount can be calculated immediately.
What is the average? On average, we repair nearly 4 km per day, which corresponds to € 0.30 per metre.
The advantage of this method of invoicing is that you as road manager can benefit from doing some of our work. On the other hand, we profit from executing your project as efficiently as possible.
For example, if you make sure the grass is mowed, we can work more quickly. The result: you pay a lower rate per metre, and we achieve a higher turnover per day. If we are able to work more quickly, through technical improvements or the experience of our operator for example, you will automatically benefit because we apply a lower rate. Now, that is motivating.
Partners outside the Netherlands
For countries outside the Netherlands, we conclude license agreements with partners who want to exploit the potential of our patents in their country or region. For countries close to the Netherlands, the business model could involve us delivering KLEISER® machinery, and our partners setting up an operating structure analogous to ours in the Netherlands. We can also discuss business models where we rent or sell KLEISER® machinery.
For countries outside Europe, it is also possible to take over one or more patents for the country concerned.