Sunday, 23 December 2012

The surveying fraternity

In the last 13 years I have worked for a wide variety of Surveying firms and departments, however it is only in the past 18 months that I have realised how many Surveying firms exist and the level of interaction between them.

Many years ago I noted that a lot of surveys were being lost to small independent firms with low overheads and a fast turn around.  At that time I floated an idea to my then boss about setting up a firm to handle this growing demand which worked as a separate entity to the main firm, but still within the same operating standards.  The idea being to keep the work virtually in house, but not stuck under the same umbrella for overheads/insurance/management.  We'd keep clients happy by doing the work, and keep the work away from the smaller firms - a good principle but it wasn't seen as a viable option at the time because of the insurance & QA hurdles, and working a balance between the two areas of the business.

Well here we are now as a small firm with low overheads, fast turn around times, and a good quality product but without the net of the larger firm should times get slack.  However there are many firms out there willing to pass on any excess work load, and this act can also be reciprocated.  I'd love to go through and list them, but lets face it that would be like cutting off my nose to spite my face!

The challenge now will be to maintain that close fraternity of firms whilst balancing our own needs as a company to grow.  The companies we work with closely are spread across the UK so in essence there is little competition between them, but perhaps in time as each of these companies develops we might find ourselves in the position to create a much more formal agreement to enable the larger group of firms to tender for larger jobs as one, and then split the rewards.  But for now we shall all soldier on through the wind & rain alone to reach our goals.

For more information on the services R L Surveys can offer please visit our website at, or for a more relaxed view we can be found on Facebook, or Twitter.  We are also on LinkedIn, and this is an area we are looking to develop going into 2013.

A new development on the blog is a reaction bar at the bottom of each blog just to keep us on our toes to see what areas people are interested in for future wonderings.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Supporting the Local Community

An area I'm sure we all agree with, but putting ideals into practise is a far more difficult affair!  For a smaller company defining local community is a simple affair, but as you grow the communities you could be involved with also grows.

What are the true options available?  There are the very business orientated routes such as employing local suppliers & employing staff from the local community, but in both these instances there is always the underlying consideration of economics.  Why buy local when a supplier from out of area can provide at a lower cost, and what if the staff with the skills you need are not based locally?

From a much more out going stand point you have to look at considerations such as doing work for local charities either at no cost or at a considerable discount.  This is an option we have gone down in the past when working for certain charities.  Then next option might be supporting local schools in their career programmes, offering work experience to teenagers in  half terms breaks or offering talks on the industry in schools (this should possibly be a demise of the RICS or CICES).  Finally you could sponsor local events such as fireworks displays,summers fairs, sponsor local leagues, or even a roundabout!  The problem with the sponsorship options is the lack of return on an investment - it would generally be done out of sheer good will, with the slim possibility it might lead to more.

For many years I have played table tennis in Medway, Maidstone & Ashford.  Currently I am only playing in the Maidstone league for Hillreed Homes.  The firm sponsor the local league, cover all the costs of entering their teams, and provide a venue for the home matches.  The firm have a very long and successful affiliation with the league, but recent developments mean a nationwide house builder have brought the firm and it will lead to their withdrawal from the league in any capacity.  What this means for the league only time will tell, and I'm sure alternative sponsors will be sought to assist the league financially (and in many other ways).  What is certainly true is that the league/local community has benefited from the company support, and may suffer as a result.  But the support was purely to support the league, there was no true financial benefit to the company beyond a small amount of publicity, and the odd blog!

Perhaps it is any area every business should be required to help in, part of the big community - I seem to be turning conservative!!!!

Food for thought, and make sure you watch out for our first sponsored event!!  But for now you can find out more about R L Surveys through our website, or follow us through Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.  Failing that we can always be reached on 01233 800109.