‘Evolution’ theme reflects industry’s professional credentials
Restoration is maturing as a ‘profession’ and, perhaps more significantly, it’s an honourable profession that stands alongside other services responsible for public safety and hygiene. That was a key message imparted at the Network Restorers 2013 Conference, the Group’s 10th conference.
Held at the Sofitel Gold Coast (Qld) early June, more than 60 group members (‘suppliers’ of restoration services) attended the event – themed ‘Evolution’.
“Evolution is the way we do business,” stated Network CEO Ashley Easterby. “You know your trade… the difference is in the admin detail,” he added, alluding to Network’s ongoing investment in developing superior administrative processes that support supplier members in an ever changing industry.
Saving the best to last, Network unveiled, after the speaker program’s completion, its mobile command centre [see breakout story]. A very significant investment, it truly reflects Network’s ‘support for suppliers’ ethos.
The two-day event was a fast-moving program of presentations that emphasised management practices as well as highlighting Network’s marketplace progress and mooted initiatives.
Keynote speaker was highly respected US-based restoration industry advisor Pete Consigli and he was supported by external guest speakers as well as Network people.
Guest speakers included Auto & General Insurance’s Chris Jarrett; Black Belt Business’s Nathan McDonald; Suncorp’s Peter Behm; Pearson Partners’ John Pearson; CPK Training’s Roz Bennett; Novoss’s Aaron Nicol; and Dr Sam Baroudi from the University of South Australia.
Network director Duncan Bennett MC’d the conference as well as delivering a number of presentations. Network employee speakers included Carly Watts, Fae Daunt and Vishal Rawal. Network suppliers who contributed to the program included Goldy Sodhi, Lex Moir, Val Waskiewicz, Johnathon van Blerk, and Greg Lewis.
While much of Consigli’s presentations’ content pertained to how suppliers can better deliver their services as well as create competitive advantages, he continually drove home the message that restoration is now recognised by academia.
“In the US restoration has matured into a profession,” noted Consigli. “Our industry and academia work together and collaborate on research and in tertiary (university) course content.” He cited the Disaster Restoration and Reconstruction Management course, a ‘specialised concentration’ at Purdue (university) under its four year Building Construction Management degree.
He also told his Network audience that an opportunity exists for Network to secure a competitive advantage by developing a “pool of people who are water loss specialists. They would also undertake an appropriate building science course.”
Complementing Consigli’s academia message, the University of South Australia’s Dr Sam Baroudi talked about the application of project management to restoration projects. “Research into restoration project management has to-date been very neglected and we are trying to change that,” Baroudi emphasised.
CPK offers cost-effective courses
Network is in an enviable position of having a training organisation as part of the ‘family’. CPK Training’s Roz Bennett reminded suppliers that, “as well as offering a comprehensive range of carpet and restoration courses at very competitive prices, CPK also recognises the need for more advanced courses.”
Command centre debuted
Designed to meet the demanding needs of managing service delivery at ‘events’ or catastrophes, Network’s mobile command centre supports both its member suppliers and insurance companies, on-site. A significant investment, the centre comprises bedroom, kitchen, laundry, bathroom and office.
It is powered by solar panels and re-chargeable batteries; has a 1,000 litre water tank; and uses a 3G/4G aerial for communication. The centre can carry a small car.
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