On average this country receives 900mm (36 inches) of rain each year with some areas receiving four times that amount.
If you own or rent properties across multiple locations, you know that the maintenance of these properties is a drain on your resources and your capital. A necessary drain – who can trade from an environment that is unsafe for staff and clients? However maintenance costs are not seen as directly adding to the bottom line and therefore can be frozen out as being not a priority in terms of budgeting and investment. How can you sell the need for an adequate budget internally?
An ineffective budget can lead to a number of issues, if you own the properties, the value of your asset is being depreciated. If you lease them, you face a heavy bill should you be about to hand the building back to the landlord. Both of these issue DO impact the bottom line and it is frequently the staff employed to manage the properties that are faced with the problem together with the Financial Director who suddenly sees a chunk of his profit being removed from the bottom line. Then you are asked why the maintenance was not managed better to save this problem from occurring.
Traditionally then there are two main approaches to property maintenance: sites are made responsible for their own maintenance or Head Office controls all the maintenance of the sites. In both of these cases however it tends to be when a problem actually occurs that an issue is addressed and it tends to be based on price to solve that particular leak only. The problem with this approach is simple: cost versus price.
You can pay a local roofer £300 to stop your leak ten times a year or you can have a review of the roof in questions and discover that for £2000 you could have the section of roof with the defect(s) repaired properly and without the constant interruption but how do you know in order to make the right decision?
The answer of course is to have the roof areas surveyed but again that is seen as a wasted investment A survey in itself it does not stop any leaks or improve cash flow, however in order to get on the front foot you need:
- Reliable survey data about your properties
- Survey data that is available electronically
- Time to carry out the raw data manipulation
- Time to analyse the findings
- Copies of the surveys available when needed
Try presenting the cost of a nationwide property survey to a hard-pressed Financial Director and you know you are just going to be kicked back. How then can you get the information that you need to budget and make lowest-cost decisions? You can’t and so the cheap-price, cheap repair, high cost cycle continues to turn.
It is true that up to 60% of leaks are either caused by or exacerbated by poor quality water run off – guttering and downpipes. These areas lead to underfelt degradation in turn leading to roof leaks, or on a flat roof a small leak in the membrane or cover and your insulation becomes a giant sponge spreading damage far wider than the simple leak area itself.
So it makes sense to maintain your guttering and downpipe systems. However whilst you are doing that and working at height it makes sense to get the most out of the investment. It would make sense to have a roofing survey carried out at the same time as you have access that gives you an indication as to the works that you need on a building so you can make a pro-active, lowest cost decision. It makes sense for that company to also have a fit out capability to repair any damaged internals. In this case, the survey also needs to provide prices that you can use to tender with or at least use to understand the size of the problem your balance sheet or budget is actually facing. It would also be beneficial if this costed data was time phased so you could see an expected budget requirement into the future. Then you really would be in a position of knowledge to have conversations about the provision of adequate financing and pro-active H&S managment.
In short a package like this would give you an ROI basis on which to have a discussion with the business around pro-actively saving money and assisting cash-flow. Let’s face it, a free survey whilst you are receiving a service that minimises a buildings downtime and reduces H&S risks is not a mountain to sell internally. It does in itself have and drive real value to the business.
At PPM this is what we do. As a business we seek out and find real-value solutions to your exterior maintenance issues. We utilise technology to use your internal reports into electronic reports for our staff to complete for example so you see data in the formats that you are used to seeing. We maintain asset data, create board level reports on budget management and expenditure. We create bespoke solutions to business needs that deliver real value at each stage.
Our gutter cleaning process described above does exactly what we have laid out above. It gives property managers a value add package to drive real knowledge around which to make decisions to really reduce cost. What can this look like? Well to Spire Healthcare it looks like a 26% saving on £1.3m spend in 2017. Imagine trying to negotiate a 26% saving with your local roofer again and again and again……
PPM - Innovative solutions driving real savings. Please contact us to discuss how we could support you to develop a costed business case that demonstrates real ROI.