When it comes to identifying and resolving property issues, it would be great if there was always a straightforward and obvious answer. Sadly, real life just isn’t like that, and it often takes a good deal of creative and lateral thought to come up with solutions to the more intractable problems you might face.
The good news is, thinking outside the box often not only leads to a successful job done, it can also end up saving time and money. Here are some examples of situations where lateral thinking can make all the difference in facilities management.
Be Proactive (And Use Technology to Make Your Life Easier)
You could wait until your roof starts leaking before you look into repairs. Alternatively, you could regularly inspect your roof to look for worn areas that can simply be patched, instead of waiting to replace the entire roof.
Now before you protest that climbing up on the roof requires a lot of effort, it’s time to think laterally! Instead of pulling out the ladders, why not use a drone to carry out your roof inspection? A drone with a camera attached allows you to locate defects and damages using high-resolution images. You could even go a step further and equip your drone with 3D modelling software to plan structural alterations, or utilise thermal imagery to detect hotspots, water ingress, or other issues that may not typically be so visible to the human eye.
The great thing about drones and similar technologies is that they make regular proactive inspections simple and affordable to carry out.
Consider Alternative Solutions
Imagine that you know you have a leaky pipe beneath your concrete floor. Your only option is to rip up all of the concrete to find exactly where the leak is occurring, fix it, and re-lay the entire concrete floor. Or is it? Instead, why not consider simply sealing off the pipes beneath the floor and diverting flow through new pipes where access is much easier? Sometimes working around problems instead of facing them head-on can be far cheaper and easier.
Identify Small Problems Before They Become Big Ones
Thinking outside the box can allow you to identify potential issues and resolve them before they become a real concern. This often requires taking a look at your property with a fresh pair of eyes to notice little issues that you may ignore when you walk past them daily.
Condensation on the windows? You’re likely going to have problems with mould and damp if left unchecked, but noticing the pattern early allows you to make minor changes to improve ventilation and reduce moisture before the situation gets that far.
Do you have doors or windows that stick or don’t close properly? Cracks in the paint above doors and windows? Your building could be giving you subtle signs that there’s an issue with the foundation. You can then call in a structural engineer to have a look. Minor repairs to the foundations are typically not very expensive, but the problem will increase in cost considerably if allowed to worsen, and may reach a point where it cannot be repaired at all.
Start Small Before Resorting to Major Options
Perhaps your business has been struck by a spate of spray paint graffiti. You pay to have your walls professionally cleaned, but a few days later, more graffiti is back. You’re ready to declare war on the vandals, whether that means installing an expensive fence and gate, or even hiring a full-time guard staff. But perhaps all that’s needed is to install a few extra streetlights in the car park to make it less inviting and the problem will resolve itself.
Need Some Lateral Thinking Inspiration?
At Red Rock FM, all of our consultants are experts in lateral thinking. With years of experience in property management, we’ve seen it all and have been faced with situations where some fairly ingenious solutions were in order. If you’ve got an issue with your property and are thinking to yourself “there must be a better way”, but can’t quite put your finger on it, give us a call or send us an email and see if we can help!