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Posts tagged ‘Budget cuts’

How Teamwork Cut a Hotel’s Expenses by over $120,000

The hotel management explained, versus announced, to all staff the “need” to cut expenses “across the board,” as much as $120,000.

 

To kick off the effort, all managers – salaried staff – volunteered to take a 10 percent reduction in salary. “To start.” In addition, they agreed to pay 50 to 100 percent of certain expenses “out-of-pocket,” and non-reimbursable later by the hotel business.

 

Examples: Vehicle gas for local driving, association membership dues, event registrations and meals, and business entertainment.

 

They opted to fly 100 percent coach seats for all hotel-related business travel. Also, they gave up their vacation and bonus packages for one full year.

 

Then, the entire staff got accountable, and very creative.

 

1. Each department set a goal to reduce its budget by $10,000.

 

2. Management and all department directors and supervisors agreed, committed to, and announced: “No staff member would be let go.”

 

3. Then, the staff members in each department voted themselves pay cuts: 50 cents an hour for part-time employees; $1.00 an hour for full-time. Like the management they gave up their vacation pay for one full year. (A big sacrifice for employees with families.)

 

4. Each staff member assumed responsibility for reducing his or her supplies budget by at least 10 percent. The supplies had to relate specifically to his or her job description. Also, management’s productivity expectations for staff members was set in proportion to the reduction in supplies and materials available for them to do their work.

 

Examples: Painter. The “paint shop” expense reduction goal: 25 percent.

A. Less expensive paint would be ordered and used for low traffic and less visible areas.

B. Used rags still in good condition would be soaked, laundered and reused.

C. Worn, essential brushes would be replaced with mid-brand products – eg. Linzer, Branford, Arro Worthy, Merrit, Bestt Liebco, Proform. Worn, rarely used brushes would be replaced on an as needed basis during the tight budget year.

       Note: Read “Paint with Budget Cuts: Your Paint Shop Brushes,” posted March 07, 2015.

 

Examples: Maintenance techs. Maintenance shop” expense reduction goal: 15 percent.

A. All recyclable parts, from no-longer usable air conditioners, would be removed, cleaned, catalogued, and stored for making future repairs.

B. Parts, which were tarnished or mildly corroded, were cleaned instead of replaced.

C. Some parts were painted and reused, until replacement parts could be budgeted.

 

5. Each department group launched a “team support” program.

A. Whenever possible, team members shared rides to and from work.

B. Staff that were parents, especially of younger children, created a plan to save each other babysitter and transportation costs.

 

6. A related “Share My Ride” program was implemented interdepartmentally.

Example: Keisha, a housekeeping supervisor, picked up and dropped off PBX operator Elsa at her apartment complex’s front entrance, on days that both worked the same shift.

 

7. Departments shared supplies, tools and equipment whenever and wherever possible. This practice reduced overall purchasing expenses by 15 to over 20 percent with some essential items.

 

8. Monthly, each department hosted its own “carry-in” lunch. During every shift.

 

9. The hotel kitchen sent no good food to the dumpster. Especially leftovers or over-cooking from guest/conference banquets, dinners, buffets, etc.

A. The leftover food was made available to all staff members at meal and break times.

B. Depending on the quantity of leftover food, staff could pack “doggie boxes” to take home at the end of their shift.

 

The hotel management incurred no major problem – and no resistance – from any department or any staff member in meeting the budget cut needs.

 

Everyone pulled together to make it all happen. They protected their own jobs and livelihoods by helping to protect each other’s jobs.

 

They focused on need. They prioritized. They got very creative.

 

Two Engineering Department examples:

 

  1. A maintenance tech attended a technical college two evenings a week. To catch his connecting bus, he had to clock out one hour earlier those afternoons. A coworker passed the college on his way home each day. So, he offered the tech a ride to the college’s front entrance. The tech was able to work his full eight-hour shift, and could afford to pay a few dollars to the coworker for the rides each week.

 

  1. The painter generated free supplies from construction supply and paint stores where he did business. Also, he tapped the superintendents of several large commercial contractors that he knew. In kind, he arranged for the store managers to be able to (1) test out a few new product and equipment lines at the hotel and (2) videotape the new products being used. The construction superintendents received comp stays for their families at the hotel.

 

Hotel budget cuts provide a great opportunity for teamwork in action. At its best! And, at every level: organizationally, interdepartmentally, departmentally.

 

It invites tremendous creativity, collaboration and cooperation on a small-to-large scale. Most important, at a particularly stressful time, team-driven hotel budget cuts bring people together.

 

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An early “HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY” to all ye Irish lads and lassies.

A special “Hello” to everyone in the Chicago area.

 

Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting with Budget Cuts: Your “Paint Shop” Brushes

Seventy-five percent of the time, I used my own brushes to paint surfaces at the hotel. Most of the brushes were manufactured by Purdy.

 

Consistently, they handled perfectly, performed well, and produced – left behind – the fine surface application finish that I wanted and needed. Consistently, they met all standards for a top quality paint brush.

 

Our “Paint Shop” owned many paint brushes.

 

However…

 

The good quality brushes – Purdy, Wooster – had bristles missing, or too many split ends from wear, versus “flagging”. Also their edges were worn unevenly. And, dried clumps of paint melded multiple natural bristles together up near the “ferrule” (metal section that holds the bristles).

 

A sign of a good brush: “Flagging.” That refers to split ends that were manufactured on or in individual bristles, then housed within the brush’s “ferrule.”

 

The poorer quality brushes had bristles made of synthetic fibers, such as nylon. Most had bristles that were very worn, “fuzzy” at the edges, and poorly maintained. Overall, their low level of maintenance equated with their low level of investment at purchase time.

 

The other engineering staff members, that did painting touch-ups on my days off, used brushes from the “Paint Shop.” These maintenance techs did the best they could do with what they had to work with.

Sometimes, I had to go back later, and repaint the surface(s) they’d done. Management’s complaints were always about the appearance and coverage of the touched-up surfaces. They were never aimed at the techs themselves.

 

When number-crunching necessitates the purchase and use of less than Purdy or Wooster caliber brushes, try these tips. Especially for your “Paint Shop.”

 

1. Brushes to purchase.

 

Brands: Linzer, Branford, Arro Worthy, Merrit, Bestt Liebco, Proform.

Types: China (natural boar’s hair) bristles, Nylon/polyester.

Bristle compositions: China bristle, nylon/polyester, synthetic.Brush thicknesses: ¼-inch to 1-inch. Standard brush widths: 1-inch to 4-inch.

 

TIP: Thickness determines the volume of paint that the brush will hold. The width of brush to use is determined by the size of surface, object, or area.

 

NOTE: Nylon/polyester combination bristle brushes are a good “paint shop” choice. They can be used with both water-based and oil-based products. Exceptions: Urethane, polyurethane, epoxy products.

 

2. Which brushes to use with what types of product.

 

Nylon brush:                        Paint product(s): Latex, all water soluble finishes (clear acrylic).

Nylon/polyester brush:   Paint product(s): Latex, oils, alkyds.

China (boar) brush:          Product(s): Oils, varnishes, polyurethanes, epoxy, stains.

 

TIP: Most manufacturers label their brushes about uses – types of products to use.

 

3. Which brushes to use on what surface(s).

 

China (boar) brush:              Surface(s): Wood, metal, masonry, gypsum board (eg. drywall).

Nylon brush:                            Surface(s): Wood, masonry, gypsum board (including drywall).

Nylon/polyester brush:      Surface(s): All surfaces.

Low nap roller:                       Surface(s): Synthetics, plastics, etc.

 

NOTE: Which brush to use depends on the surface to be coated, and product to be used.

 

4. How to clean and maintain which brushes.

 

China (boar) brush:            Cleaning agent(s): Mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, methyl/ethyl ketone.

Cleaning method: Soak, wire brush bristles, “spin out.”

Nylon brush:                           Cleaning agent(s): Soap and water.

Cleaning method: Soak, wire brush bristles, rinse, “spin out.”

Nylon/polyester brush:     Cleaning agent(s): Soap and water, or solvent cleaner.

Cleaning method: Soak with appropriate solvent, wire brush bristles, rinse, “spin out.”

Custom brush:                       Cleaning agent(s): Follow manufacturer’s instructions for brush.

Cleaning method: Follow manufacturer’s instructions for the brush.

 

TIP:  Always check primer/prep, paint or finish label for the proper clean-up method and product/solvent to use.

Example: If the label says “Use lacquer thinner” to clean up tools, use it. Also, that means use on brushes with natural bristles only.

 

 
5. Four ways to recycle brushes too worn for regular use.

 

  1. Clean and use as a surface duster.
  2. Use for one to three small projects, then throw away the brush.
  3. Use brush for hard-to-reach places, where bending bristles won’t matter.
  4. Use for solvent cleaning or degreasing.

 

6. When to retire and replace which of your “Paint Shop” brushes.

 

All “PAINT SHOP” brushes. Replace: When bristles have lost their flexibility, are worn unevenly, and/or fall out. Also, replace when dried paint comes out into freshly applied paint or finish, painted surface shows a lot of brush marks, etc.
 

TOP TIP: Retire a paint brush from active service before the brush’s finish retires your good reputation as a painter and decorator.

 

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“Brush your surfaces with a fine finish! Finish your surfaces with the best brush you can afford!”

 

Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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