28 Jun How to pitch your roof maintenance strategy effectively
4 tips to help you communicate with stakeholders efficiently – and get results
As a facilities management professional, you’ll probably be called upon to pitch high-cost remediation strategies to key stakeholders at some point – perhaps even regularly throughout your career.
Whether you’re talking to a single owner, a body corporate or a tenant, explaining and justifying a complex maintenance plan can often present numerous hurdles.
There are many factors that can make your task more difficult, including complex scopes of work, technical industry jargon, and various exclusions.
This step-by-step guide offers four tips designed to simplify the presentation process, and help you to justify and explain your budgetary allowances when talking to the “man in the street”.
1) Present technical jargon in an understandable way
Technical jargon can present a significant road block to your audience’s understanding of a report.
As a facilities manager, you’ll no doubt have a comprehensive understanding of technical terminology across a range of maintenance services. Yet the board members, body corporate members, tenants or agents you’re talking to can often struggle to see the value in a report they cannot fully understand – not unreasonably!
The solution? It’s often as simple as arranging an initial meeting between you as facility manager, your chosen roofing maintenance contractor, and the relevant stakeholders.
While a meeting may not always be possible, there’s no doubt a considerable amount of confusion can be overcome by a capable contractor simply explaining their recommendations to a client. A reputable contractor will be happy do so. You can also highlight any points of concern within the report, and ask the contractor to explain these in layman’s terms for everyone’s benefit.
It’s also a good idea to wrap up by requesting the contractor provide an emailed explanation for all stakeholders, to ensure a written record is available.
2) Present the cost/benefit breakdown of action versus inaction
As you’ll appreciate, there is often a cost associated with insufficient building remediation, such as reduced occupancy rates, rent reductions, or health & safety hazards. So if stakeholders are uncertain about whether they really need maintenance services, it’s important that they understand the potential consequences of not acting.
One excellent example of a cost-saving service is carrying out a roof inspection prior to installing solar panels at a facility. This is a wise move because solar panel warranties usually only guarantee the panels themselves, not the roof they are installed on. That means placing panels on a roof which is deteriorating (either visibly on the surface or invisibly within the substrate) will inevitably lead to the heartbreaking need to rip up the panels down the track.
In this scenario, the stakeholders would be required to pay the costs of two installations: first for the solar panels and then for roof repairs. Arranging the inspection (and any necessary repairs) before the solar panel installation, regardless of the visible state of the roof, would have eliminated the costs associated with the second installation.
And it’s not just solar panel installation – a similar situation can affect multiple aspects of your facility if the roof’s condition is allowed to deteriorate.
Blocked box gutters and downpipes can lead to ‘waterfall’ effects over internal walls, damaging carpet and paintwork. Roof corrosion can lead to leaks through the ceiling, damaging the internal roof tiles and increasing the potential for mould issues to occur.
These issues will inevitably lead to enormous expense and inconvenience both for owners and tenants, and often require extensive remediation works to the facility’s interior and exterior.
You can see why it’s so important that you help stakeholders understand that by spending money on roof remediation immediately, they’re ensuring the continued long-term integrity of their building and avoiding the costs associated with ongoing water penetration issues.
3) Make sure you understand and can explain the scopes of work
As a facilities manager you’ll no doubt often need to obtain multiple quotes before proceeding with remediation works. And while this ensures that contractors are fair and transparent in their pricing, it can make it difficult for stakeholders to assess differences in price against variations in the proposed scope of works.
Scopes may often appear very similar, but “the devil’s in the details”. For example, a contractor offering to seal all roof penetrations at a low cost may be using a poorer quality sealant that will deteriorate far more quickly. Or perhaps they’ll use an incompatible roof primer that may react negatively to specific membranes, leading to bubbling and cracking. You can appreciate how the long-term value of the works will be limited in such cases.
Opting to go with an experienced contractor – even at a higher cost – will usually avoid such quality issues. Expert contractors will be aware of the pitfalls, and ensure they select the best products for your individual facility.
Comparing scopes of work at face value is important, since it allows facilities managers and stakeholders to determine whether the core works are similar in value. However it’s also important to examine the less obvious components, such as material quality, in order to fully understand the overall value of the works.
4) Evaluate exclusions and avoid unpleasant surprises
You should expect that most roof remediation and consultancy proposals will include a number of exclusions. That’s because not all issues present on a roof – from air conditioning ductwork to heritage property allowances – are strictly related to the roofing works themselves.
When you present these exclusions to stakeholders, it’s important to convey the reality that works should be presumed to begin and end with those outlined in the proposals. It all comes back to that important initial step of sitting down with your contractor and discussing their recommendations.
Reviewing each point in the proposal and discussing the associated works is the key to ensuring there are no unpleasant surprises to deal with at the end of the works process.
Involve your roof maintenance contractor in the process
Like many building maintenance works proposals, roof remediation and consultancy proposals are often difficult to interpret and compare against industry standards.
Stakeholder discussions can easily become complex and lengthy, thanks to technical jargon, complex scopes and exclusions, and the difficulty in comparing costs and benefits.
If you take one thing away from this news post, it’s the value of involving a roof maintenance contractor closely in the decision-making process.
Thanks to the considerable sums they spend on building maintenance, facilities managers and stakeholders tend to form ongoing relationships with contractors. Why not extract the maximum value from this association?
On-site meetings, proposal presentations, and general advice will not only validate your expenditure, but more importantly improve long-term outcomes for your facility. They’ll assist you as a facilities manager to manage stakeholder expectations and ensure you receive the services you pay for.
Get expert help with a customised roof maintenance strategy
For expert input on putting together the ideal roof maintenance strategy for your facility, talk to the experienced R&BS team. We offer your business a complimentary, no-obligation 30 minute consultation with our experienced consultants before you commit to a comprehensive roof assessment for your facility.
For a complimentary, no-obligation 30 minute consultation with an experienced roof maintenance consultant, call R&BS now on 1800 550 037 or fill out the contact form below for a fast response.