Window Maintenance in the Age of Multi-Skilled Operatives: An In-Depth Analysis

The rising cost of labour and the need to improve efficiency are driving the trend for maintenance contractors to multi-skill their repairs operatives.

The need for Multi-Skilled Operatives?

The cost of labour has been rising in many countries over the last 10 years, making it more expensive for maintenance contractors to hire and retain skilled workers. Multi-skilling operatives allows contractors to reduce the number of employees they need, which can help to offset the rising cost of labour.

Additionally, maintenance contractors are under increasing pressure to improve their efficiency and reduce costs. Multi-skilling operatives can help to improve efficiency by reducing the need to send multiple operatives to the same job. For example, a multi-skilled operative may be able to complete both electrical and mechanical repairs on a single visit.

The benefits of Multi-Skilled Operatives?

There are several benefits to multi-skilling repairs operatives, including:

  • Reduced costs: Multi-skilling operatives can help to reduce the cost of labour and improve the efficiency of a maintenance contractor’s operation.
  • Increased flexibility: Multi-skilled operatives are more flexible and can be deployed to different jobs as needed.
  • Improved customer service: Multi-skilled operatives can often respond more quickly to repairs requests and carry out a wider range of repairs without having to call in a specialist.

The challenges of Multi-Skilling

Nevertheless, as with most strategies, multi-skilling doesn’t come without its challenges. The financial and logistical hurdles of training operatives across multiple domains loom large. Plus, the onus is on contractors to ensure these operatives excel in each of their designated skills. This article, rooted in the perspective of a specialist window maintenance contractor, delves into the intricate nature of window repairs—a domain where multi-skilled operatives might find themselves navigating treacherous waters.

Specialist Contractors: An Introduction

For the sake of transparency, Mila is a specialist window maintenance contracting business. The core belief? Leveraging multi-skilled operatives for repairs and maintenance might not be the optimal strategy for complex repairs to windows and doors and in high-risk environments such as high-rise buildings.

The Essence of Specialist Window Contracting

Mila’s expertise comes from over 30 years focused on the repair of windows and doors. Working across various sectors like social housing, commercial buildings, student accommodations, and care homes. The firm’s rich experience also encompasses specialist accredited fire door installations and fire stopping contracts.

While repairing a window or door may seem straightforward, it is rarely so. The actual task often involves replacing hinges, locking mechanisms, weather seals, and glass units.  All these tasks requiring extensive technical knowledge. This expertise ensures that the product regains its original integrity both in terms of function and safety.

The Complexity of the Market

Over the years, the UK social housing market has witnessed the emergence of over 300 specifications for window and door hardware. As many of these have now become obsolete, the value of a specialist contractor shines through. These professionals possess the unique ability to identify original parts and procure apt replacements, ensuring the continued longevity of the asset.

On the contrary, through the MSO approach, there’s a heightened risk of oversimplifying repairs. This mindset often perceives a handle merely as a handle or a lock just as a lock. Such an approach can have severe consequences. For instance, there have been instances where incorrect installations in high-rise applications have posed significant safety threats.

Beyond Mere Repairs

True repairs and maintenance transcend just completing a task. It encapsulates genuine value for money, relying on strong supply chains, skilled operative engagements, extended guarantees, and maintaining accurate stock records.

It is in this domain that specialist contractors truly stand out. Their business model revolves around delivering comprehensive solutions that cater to all these aspects.

New Services and Monthly Newsletter

We are launching several new services to customers in 2024;

  • SAFEKeep – The complete package of Window & Door Maintenance
  • Digital Window Surveys providing full inspection audit trail.

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