So what were all those things you thought were so important for you to really get on top off this year when you got into work on Jan 4?
Hard to remember, isn’t it? So much that seemed madly important a few months back seems pretty inconsequential in the world we’re in now.
But if we learned anything with any certainty during our weeks of lockdown, furloughing and fear, it was that the world we were going to come back to would be quite different from the one we’d had before.
As we made our way back to work post Coronarvirus lockdown, just about the only thing any of us could be sure of was that no-one with whom we deal in our work life would be in the same place as previously.
Now everything is under review as residential tenants switch to new, home-centred working models and retail and commercial tenants try to adapt premises and practices to make business viable. Landlords are running numbers to try to figure what new dynamics might mean for occupancy, and contractors of all kinds are trying try to figure out what it will all mean for contracts, materials, rates of pay, employment and working practices.
Just about the only thing that’s for certain is that there will never be a better opportunity to clear out some junk from the way the whole property maintenance business works, and give it a fresh new coat of paint.
There’s hardly a business in the sector that couldn’t benefit in some way from fitter, leaner practices and methodologies. In a time of tightened budgets and reduced workforces, anything that increases efficiency, automates admin and takes us another step forward into the digitised world is certain to pay returns.
Certifications and accreditations have long been the bane of every contractor and maintenance firm’s life.
With the requirement to demonstrate compliance and certification an entry ticket for getting near a tender of any value, it’s not only the cost of maintaining these records that is a nuisance.
For a firm of even modest size, working in multiple maintenance areas, keeping certifications current and processing their renewals can be a sizeable task. On top of this, being able to locate, capture in a sharable format and then collate the certifications required every time you put together a tender or an existing client requests them (again), is disruptive and irritating - especially when you are flat out and working with reduced resource.
When we developed the Credensa platform, our aim was to try to smooth out the irritation of managing certification and compliance both for contractors and for managing agents.
So we built a platform that would mean contractors needing to register credentials and qualifications one time only. Thereafter, they would know that they’d be alerted when renewals were coming up, or if a customer raised a query over any qualification or its currency.
It would make it easy for suppliers to provide appropriate qualifications to customers, and for Managers to review these at any time without bothering the contractor unnecessarily; or to get in touch with the contractor quickly and easily should they need to request any additional evidence from them.
Credensa was also conceived so that it would give contractors a shop window in which to display their profile, along with their accreditations. This would be browsable by property managers looking for new suppliers, and searchable by managers based on which qualification set they needed a supplier to have for a particular contract.
Overall, the idea was that Credensa would make it a less time consuming and frustrating for contractors to keep on top of their accreditations and leverage them to best advantage.
Now, with the world looking very different, the role for Credensa, and the opportunity for everyone in property maintenance, has changed.
In the new order of things, everyone on both sides of the manager/contractor divide needs to optimise efficiency, cut down on wasted time and effort, and make sure that opportunities are not allowed to go begging for want of being able to provide or receive adequately evidenced responses.
By dragging the whole accreditation and certification process out of its legacy mire of hard copy documents, random files saved ‘somewhere’ on a hard drive and posted renewal notifications (or e-mailed notifications sent to unmonitored inboxes), we can do more than simply taking a meaningful step to ease pressure on hard pushed contractors.
By transforming our processes and workflows, we can put down a marker to landlords, investors and everyone around us in the business of managing and servicing Property Maintenance contracts, that this part of the property value chain is back, and is looking to be fitter, smarter and better set to do business than in the world of old.