An abutment is a structure in any laterally inverted structure like an arch, bridge, or beam, and its primary purpose is to offer support to the weight suspended by the bridge. It can also describe an overall support system in a structure, system, or even business.
There are many structures around the areas that surround us, including buildings, monuments, and roads; all of these structures have robust support structures so that they can have the ability to support any weights suspended on them. Abutments are some of the support structures used in some of the building elements mentioned above. Like how pillars and columns work to support overhead weights, an abutment works the same way.
We all need a solid and stable foundation that will support us even when we feel weary. That is the reason why we have people around us in our lives to help us push through the tough times, including our families and friends. When we face difficult situations in our lives, we tend to depend on our close friends or family for physical and emotional support. In this case, we can say that our friends and family are our support systems; hence they are our abutments in times of need.
In business, an abutment can refer to any system or element that offers reliable support to the operations of the business. Support structures in a company may be anything that offers services that the business directly depends on, like the courier and delivery services that deliver a business’s products and raw materials. Without such services, there would be no movement of products to the market, therefore preventing cash flow in the company. It shows that an abutment is an essential element in any business establishment since it plays a crucial role in the operations of a business.
Example of Abutment
An abutment is a type of prop or base that a system stringy depends on for its operations to carry on smoothly. So in any operational establishment, there must be some solid and vital elements that allow smooth operations in a business. Such elements strongly depended on for support can be referred to as abutments. In a business establishment, an abutment might be the supplier of raw materials or even a major shareholder/investor.
Let’s say that you are an employee at a top-rated food processing company that converts farm products like wheat into wheat flour. It shows that your company is a processing company that strongly depends on the raw materials for its operation. Therefore, the company’s primary support is the constant supply of farm products from your associates. Imagine if the supply of food was to be interrupted for like a week or so. The raw materials aren’t available, so there’s no food to process and consequently no processed foods to be delivered. The demand from your customers would still be high, but the lack of products to supply them would lead to a considerable decline in sales. It shows that your company’s operations would halt without the constant supply of farm products to your company; hence, it is an abutment in your company.
Abutment vs. Abutter
As discussed in the section above, an abutment can refer to any form of support system in a business establishment. However, an abutter differs very much from an abutment even though they almost sound the same. Abut is a verb that simply shows that a piece of land or property is adjacent to another or shares a common boundary with another property/establishment. As you might have already concluded, an abutter is the owner of an adjoining piece of land or property.
Therefore, abutment and abutter are both nouns that can be easily confused and misused, although their meanings differ by a considerable margin. As abutment shows a type of support system in a structure, an abutter is a person who owns an adjacent piece of asset/land. It clearly distinguishes the variance in the meaning of the two terms. An abutment is more of a structure, while an abutter is a person who owns an adjacent asset.
Significance of Abutment
An abutment simply refers to something fundamental or vital to any establishment’s steady and smooth operations. Without these critical components in an establishment, your operations are most likely to be affected since they play crucial roles which you might not realize at first. You should, therefore, identify such vital elements in your operations and work towards preserving them to prevent any form of interruptions in your business.