Negating the “Management by Crisis” Scenario!
Experienced Managers Know this Expression.
Typically, a result of lack of resources, every industry manager has had the experience and every manager looks forward to the crisis coming to a swift and economic conclusion. So how do we avoid or reduce the occurrence of situations which envelop us, sometimes overwhelming, and make our day and the lives of our clients easier and be more proactive.
Let’s Set the Scene.
When we first started out, “back in the day”, if there was a problem in the building, be that building a commercial or a residential apartment building, the manager, whom was in his office indulging in card games on his MS win 98 office computer, or in a “Chat room” when Internet was 28.8 K dial up, would typically receive a phone call when something went wrong. The phone call would be from a cranky tenant, or owner, whom has an important person stuck in the lift, or their air conditioning was too hot, or too cold, or both (don’t laugh, it’s happened).
Management by Crisis
The process, which we called “management by crisis”, used an alarm system, which didn’t always work. The system was based upon the occupants finding the problem, interrupting their day, finding the building manager’s phone number, and making the call. Hence, the problem had now become a crisis! Why, a crisis? Because nobody likes to complain, so by the time an occupant was ready to complain, they were already cranky. The Building Manager was hammered, because they was seen as been reactive as opposed to being proactive.
Lets’ move forward in time to the current day and we have all this wonderful technology which can do things for us, including all this social media which keeps us accountable and responsible. Technology provides so many opportunities to make our lives, and the lives or our building occupants, so much easier. So how can we use this to make the day better and our lives easier?
Making the Technology Work for Us
To make the technology work, the technology will need information. I don’t mean your relationship status or if you shop at Coles or Woolworth’s, but information such as which floor the stuck elevator is on, what time did the fault occur, which door is open and should be closed, or how the air conditioning plant is operating.
Just like your car, which now has temperature control, collision prevention, ABS, power distribution, adaptive cruise control, traction control (which has taken the fun out of it for me), and many other technology applications; all of these technologies are designed and implemented to enhance the safety, economy and performance of the car. To achieve this, the car has lots and lots of sensory inputs to a processor, just like a laptop (well almost). These inputs tell the processor what is going on with the car. The car’s processor is then taking that information and activating outputs to do things, like stop the wheels from spinning! The same idea can be applied to your apartment building, but instead of traction control, it might be a stuck elevator, or domestic hot water failure, and the output is an alarm to your email.
Making Life Easier
We have seen the Google car, (unless you have been living under a rock,) which can drive itself and essentially makes the car driver redundant (and cab drivers have issues with uber!). The same idea can be applied with your apartment building, but is the technology developed enough yet, to completely make a building manager redundant? Perhaps not, but, we can improve and optimize apartment building’s technology to make the life of the building manager, the strata manager, and the owners a little bit easier.
As with the Google Car, this is taking technology to the extreme, that is, the idea to replace the building manager entirely may not be plausible yet, however, technology can be partially implemented and turn a reactive or crisis situation into a proactive responsive situation.
Implementing Technology Could be Cheaper than you Think
Implementing the technology on critical comfort assets, such as elevators, air conditioning, domestic hot water, and car park roller doors, can produce a very proactive strata manager. If any one of these assets should fail, the building manager will immediately receive an email to their phone, and, react accordingly. The building manager can then send an email broadcast telling all parties in the building. The Building manager can put signs up, and call the relevant contractor. Occupants are no longer cranky, because they are aware of the issue, and can adjust their day to suit.
Strata Manager then becomes the Hero
The automated email, bringing the fault to the attention of the building manager, is also sent to the strata manager; the strata manager can then follow up on the actions of the building manager and results of the repairs. The strata manager also knows there is a bill coming and can expect full documentation about the event. This creates a proactive transparent event for the strata manager, an easier reporting system, and a follow-up system when they meet with the committee on Tuesday night.
The Strata Manager, the building manager and the owners have all been informed, taking the urgency out of the situation and negating a “management by crisis” scenario.
So Where to Now!
Many Residential apartment buildings already have the technology! it is sitting there doing basic low level work and not being taken advantage of. Different companies call it different things, but often, it’s the same technology in a different box. Why aren’t you taking advantage of it? Why isn’t your current building management firm taking advantage of it? They just are unaware of the technology’s potential and how easy it is to use.
To get started:
1. Find out what you already have (if you’re not sure how to do this, call us)
2. Is your current technology usable, can it be reused, what is your equipment’s obsolescence
3. Decide upon the most important item that concerns you and your client the most.
4. Consider at a staged approach. (prioritize all your concerns/ideas and implement one item per quarter, spread the cost out so you can see results as you manage budgets)
5. Organize some budget pricing.
Competitive Market Place
There are a lot of competitors in the market place all bidding for work to deliver and implement current technology, there is literally a price war out there which Strata Managers are in a strong position to take advantage of.
Conclusion – Crisis Avoided!
Time has passed and the Implementation of technology has reduced your crisis calls significantly, and now the client is seeing a return on investment. What are the other consequences, direct and indirect, of the implementation of technology? Could technology improve the value of the building? What about energy and water management? Can you make money out of it? Is it future proof? (What does future proof mean?)
There is so much potential available, it is only limited by your imagination…….and your budget.
If you’re Not Sure!
We area a property services company with a background in trade and technology, management and construction.
1 We can do an assessment for you and provide some initial budget pricing
2 We can provide a holistic package, which can include our other services:
3 We can perform an Audit and recommendations (this can include an Energy Audit Level 1,2, or 3)
Please feel free to call or email to discuss your situation, budgets and expected outcomes.
Thank you for your time
Forte Asset Services