As our economy struggles to recover from the Recession, and the realities of the 'credit crunch' impact more and more on our everyday lives, we all look for ways to cut costs. But with each cost-cutting measure, we run the risk of creating a false economy, sacrificing other - equally important - considerations for the sake of saving a few pounds.
As the UK's leading synthetic pitch maintenance specialists, Technical Surfaces has a wealth of firsthand experience in helping customers whose budgets can't quite stretch to the ideal all-inclusive maintenance programme, but who are keen to secure a good return on their initial investment. We view synthetic pitch maintenance as a philosophy, a continued effort throughout the life of an artificial surface, and it is satisfying to see the many leisure centres, schools, sports clubs and universities we work with generate maximum use from their facilities.
Here, we outline a series of measures to help synthetic pitch owners give their facility the best possible care and attention, with the resources available to them:
The basis of any good maintenance regime is preparation and forward planning. Establish a routine of daily, in-house inspections to familiarise yourself with your synthetic sports surface and help you identify and address any minor issues before they become major problems. A lifted seam can be re-stuck for much less than it will cost to replace a full seam, and with less hassle, too.
Maintenance from day 1:
It is vital that the right amount of time and effort is invested into maintaining a synthetic sports surface from as early a stage as possible. As the old adage goes, prevention is better than the cure, and Technical Surfaces offers a wide range of preventative maintenance packages to suit all budgets and requirements.
Budget for the future:
Just as you might have a 'sinking fund' in place to finance the eventual replacement of your synthetic sports pitch, it is important to put funds aside for the ongoing maintenance of your existing surface. Your budget should reflect the age of your facility and may need to be increased as the surface becomes older, if the correct care hasn't already been afforded to the pitch. Technical Surfaces offers our clients the option to fix contracts over a longer period to help them budget effectively, and our Technical Managers offer clients a choice of maintenance packages, reflecting their individual budgets and requirements. We also produce a budgetary forecast of maintenance costs over a five or ten year period to allow customers to plan ahead.
Even with regular care and attention, the effects of age and usage do eventually catch up with a facility, and at this point resurfacing may appear to be the only solution. However, the cost of resurfacing can prove too prohibitive and not necessary, and it can often be successfully deferred with a deep-cleaning Rejeneration® undertaken by Technical Surfaces instead. This process can add a further five years to the life of your facility, with significant implications for the continued revenue this will generate.
Optimise your in-house resources:
Why not carry out an element of the routine maintenance work in-house? If you have the grounds staff on site to perform the day-to-day requirements, why not invest in some dedicated in-house machinery, such as the R.E.D Primary Care Package from Technical Surfaces? We encourage our customers to have an active role in the maintenance of their synthetic facility, and offer demonstrations on the correct use of such machinery. We also run a series of seminars in conjunction with the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) to help our customers gain a better understanding of the need to carry out regular maintenance.
Speak to your pitch maintenance provider:
At Technical Surfaces, we do all we can to work within the parameters of our customers' budgetary limitations. As well as offering longer-term contracts for preventative maintenance, we can also fix the price of remedial works such as Line Marking if ordered over a specific number of years. We believe that such flexibility is essential for the successful maintenance of a synthetic sports surface.
If you are concerned about being unable to meet the maintenance needs of your own facility, talk it through with a specialist company such as Technical Surfaces. There will be options available to suit you, and you will find that favourable discounts are often applied when you commit to a maintenance programme over a longer period of time.
The problems caused in January as a result of heavy snowfall brought home to many the damaging impact that prolonged downtime can have on the revenue generated by their synthetic sports facility. But it is important to remember that neglecting to properly maintain an artificial pitch or court will result in even greater disruption - and cost.
At Technical Surfaces, we understand how important it is to strike the right balance between running a cost-effective sports facility and offering a quality playing surface for your customers. Equally, as the UK's leading synthetic pitch maintenance specialist, we advise our clients not to lose sight of why regular maintenance is so vital, and why it must not be viewed as a luxury they can afford to do without. The question we ask our customers is not whether they can afford to maintain their synthetic sports surface, but whether they can afford not to?