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Health & Safety
GSC Gray’s have in recent years been working towards reducing maintenance costs on one particular Estate; whilst improving the quality of accommodation and service provided for the tenants.
The resident agent on the Estate was regularly having to chase private building contractors to undertake relatively minor jobs for what appeared to be the disproportionate costs involved.
The Estate’s one skilled maintenance employee could not cope with the huge demands on his time and the costs of external help brought in for individual projects were getting out of control. A decision was taken to employ a second skilled person to help with the on-going maintenance and to renovate the Estate properties, as and when they came vacant.
After a year of operating in this way, a cottage renovation had been undertaken by the now two man team and after factoring in their salaries and costs, the total renovation cost was half that of the adjoining property, which had previously been renovated by a contractor. The resulting saving on this project alone covered the salary of the second employee for a year. Following this, the team was expanded further this summer to employ a third skilled person and an apprentice, who now work as a team, concentrating on renovation works.
Whilst this appears to be adding more cost to the Estate, more work is carried out using internal labour, which is controlling the current expenditure on repairs and provides the capacity to undertake preventative maintenance. Future costs will also be reduced.
The past few years of recession and high levels of unemployment, particularly in the construction sector, have provided a significant pool of skilled individuals for Estates to tap into. Over 170 applications alone were received for one post advertised on the Estate; a number of which were from widely skilled tradesmen.
The important issues to consider are: firstly that there will be enough work to keep a retained maintenance person/team busy all year and secondly to ensure that health and safety and lone working good practice can be accommodated. If this is indeed the case, there may be positive benefits for many Estates in taking this approach.
GSC Grays are able to advise and assist with the recruitment and training of suitable permanent and/or temporary staff, or indeed undertake an objective assessment of any existing employees. If you would like to talk to a member of the team about the services GSC Grays can offer, or would like to discuss the case study above in more details, please contact Phil Scott-Priestley Tel: 01969 600123.