Lerch Bates Inc. Building Insight

Global Leaders in Technical Consulting for the Building Industry

Saudi Arabia-The Next Jewel of the Middle East?

I just returned from a three day real estate show in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. What struck me was the level of market activity. We have all seen the activity in UAE over the last decade and it appears the activity has now switched to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Currently there is US$283.8B of projects in the Saudi pipeline. This represents a 21% regional market share. In 2010, another US$144B is expected to be added. Foreign direct investment is expected to grow by 20% in 2010. In the last four years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has risen from 67th to 13th position in the World Banks ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index and currently holds the #1 position in the Middle East. The commercial and hospitality sectors expect the largest growth, especially in Jeddah and Makkah.

Will the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia learn anything from the UAE? We all watched as the UAE overbuilt and then melted down. Let’s hope there were lessons learned. Only time will tell.

I would be interested in hearing observations from other professionals within the industry.

Want Greater Success in Life? Become a Better Sales Person.

I have noticed throughout my life that success is tied directly to how good a person can sell.  I first noticed this in my children when they would ask for toys or food when we were out shopping.  I would say “NO.”  First came the temper tantrums, then the crying fits, then the bouts of verbal anger and, finally, the kisses, hugs and “I love you.”  I must say that they were quite quick to learn how to sell their ideas and get what they wanted.  Persistence and change transformed them into successful sales persons (Success at getting what you want).

We all can remember dating when we were teenagers.  This, again, was a process of selling yourself to someone you wanted to date.  The better you were at selling yourself meant the higher the probability of getting the date you wanted.  This is also true of marriage.  The individual who can’t sell the idea of a better life to a potential spouse is bound to be single for the rest of their life.  Continual trial and error will help develop an individuals’ skill to become a successful sales person (Success at getting a date and getting married).

Job hunting meant submitting a resume and hoping for an interview (A resume is a device used to sell yourself to potential employers).  The interview allows you the opportunity to sell yourself to the interviewer.  Like dating, continual trial and error will help you develop the skills necessary to become a successful sales person in front of interviewers (Success at getting a job).

I got my first job and after a short period of time decided that management was the place I wanted to be.  After much work and determination I finally got here.  Know why?  Yes, I became better at selling myself.  Here’s how.  I learned the job responsibilities of the position on the next rung up on the ladder.  I would then assist higher-ups with their job responsibilities until they relied on me week in and week out.  After becoming competent at these duties, I asked management for the higher position when it became open.  I had sold myself to management by doing the job, without being asked.  (Success at getting the position I wanted).

At a certain employment level within a firm you will be working on teams.  These may be project teams, research teams, company committees, etc.  This is when you need to learn how to sell your ideas to a group.  One of the fastest ways to a promotion is to sell your idea to a committee that impacts the bottom line (profitability) of the company you work within.  I now work in a position that compensates me well enough so that I can do the things I want to do when I am not at work (Success to live the way I want too).

I want to remind everyone of this fact.  You may have more knowledge, experience, or longevity than anyone else in your company.  These things don’t mean a thing if you can’t sell yourself and these attributes.

If you think I’m wrong, then sell me on your idea!

Bags Fly for Free!

Herb Kelleher’s Southwest Airlines legacy lives on.  Through his creative leadership, SWA, not only benefited from a niche in the market, but became a leader in customer service.  For major industries, it is very easy to ‘continue-to-continue’, instead of taking a hard tack into a prevailing headwind and creating a ‘New Best Thing.’

Advance elevator and escalator monitoring and intelligence are one of these ‘New Best Things.’  Real time monitoring, statistical analysis and predictive service indicators allow building owners, facility managers and extend the life of expensive assets and increase responsiveness of the equipment.  Just like Southwest, it takes a company that is willing to take a hard tack into the wind to create massive value from a simple concept.

Insitu Photography, LLC

Six years ago, Chuck Olsen, then President of Lerch Bates, took a simple concept … ‘Real time elevator monitoring’ and gave it a unique twist.  The twist focused on the analysis and presentation of elevator monitoring data in a manner that created demonstrable value for building owners working in partnership with their service maintenance providers.

For the building owner or a facilities director, he now had access to third-party independent data from one of the most expensive mechanical assets in their building.  They now had information that allowed them to make intelligent decisions on maintenance, equipment modernization and user satisfaction.  He now knows that quality of the service being provided be the installed vertical transportation unit.

For the maintenance company, using this data in partnership with the building owner creates a tight working partnership.  The maintenance company now can tailor its approach to the building to the exacting needs of the owner.  The maintenance company reduces it’s labor exposure, can better anticipate the needs of the owner and provides a better relationship with the owner.

Everyone wins!

With SWA, – ‘Bags Fly Free’.  This simple concept has allowed this airline to soar to new heights, and as Herb Kelleher as said , “We defy gravity!”  Elevators, escalators, moving walkways, dumbwaiters and other vertical transportation devices have ‘Free Bags’… they are called ‘Operational Statistics’.  They are available from almost any device and available to building owners and facility managers to allow them to improve efficiency, reduce maintenance, and put them back in control of their assets.

‘Ding’ – You are Free to Move Around Your Building.