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A TALE OF TWO BUILDINGS Let’s Talk About Thermal Imaging
Today, I’m going to tell you about two projects I worked on this past summer that involved the tricky business of water. The first project was in a high-rise apartment complex in Houston. A tenant on the eighth floor had a bad water leak which spread throughout the building. This was a disaster, and the building owner wasted no time getting on the phone with the water restoration company. In addition to getting the mess cleaned up, the building owner also requested thermal imaging be conducted. That’s where I came in. The water restoration company hired me to come out with my thermal imaging equipment and walk around the building. This technology lets us pinpoint exactly where the water is within the walls. The leak from the eighth floor had also saturated half the seventh floor, part of the sixth floor, and a good portion of the remaining floors all the way down to ground level. Thermal imaging also showed that water had reached the elevator shaft. It was a good thing we made this discovery early on, because the water could have easily moved out of the shaft to other unaffected portions of the building. There’s a good chance the water in the elevator shaft would have gone unnoticed if they hadn’t brought in my thermal imaging equipment. It’s not like the water restoration guys could have put someone in a harness and dangled them down the shaft with a moisture meter in hand, looking for water! Due to the tricky way water behaves, it’s not uncommon for moisture to end up in unexpected places. The owner of this apartment complex was well aware of this and had me come back a few days later to check for moisture again. Sure enough,
an enormous problem. This time, though the building owner didn’t request thermal imaging. I was called out there by the water restoration company to help determine the magnitude of the situation. We worked our way down, floor by floor, and found there was heavy water damage all the way to the basement. nonnegotiable. If you aren’t calling me to help take care of the problem, then at the very least, you should insist that the guys you do call use thermal imaging to find all the moisture and get an accurate picture of the problem. With the way water moves, this technology is the only way to really track it. Thermal imaging is a huge resource for building owners and insurance companies when dealing with water damage. If any moisture gets missed and mold ends up growing on the gypsum wallboard or ceilings down the road, it’s the building owner who will be responsible for the repairs. In my experience, when it comes to water restoration, thermal imaging is
“There’s a good chance the water in the elevator shaft would have gone unnoticed if they hadn’t brought in my thermal imaging equipment.”
while most of the water had dried, thermal imaging found moisture in new places it hadn’t yet reached during the first scans. (Someone I respect highly in my industry says, “Water is insidious! It goes down … unless it goes sideways or up!”) Around the same time, a commercial building, 28-stories high, was having the same sort of problem. A large leak sprung on the 16th floor, but no one caught it for several hours, and it ended up causing
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MARKETING HORROR STORIES A Lesson inWhat Not to Do Offer Alternatives Every marketing professional wants their campaign to be memorable. They want consumers to take notice—or take the bait —and make their company a big profit. But sometimes, things don’t go exactly as planned. The campaigns below certainly won the attention of consumers, but in each case, what started out as a marketing dream quickly turned into a nightmare. Fiat’s Direct Mail Disaster In 1992, women across Spain received anonymous letters inviting them to go on a“little adventure.”The letters stated,“We met again on the street yesterday, and I noticed how you glanced interestedly in my direction.” Fearing a stalker, many women locked themselves in their homes. A few days later, another letter arrived, revealing the identity of the“secret admirer”as the new Fiat Cinquecento. Yes, the creepy letters were part of a marketing campaign by the Italian car company. Fiat apologized and ended the campaign after criticism from consumer protection groups, Social Minister Cristina Alberdi, and the 50,000 women who received the letters. KFC andHoover Can’t DoMath A shocking number of companies hold giveaway promotions without calculating exactly howmuch they will cost. Here are a few examples. • Back when“Oprah”was the biggest show on television, KFC ran an ad offering a free two-piece chicken meal with two sides and a biscuit for anyone who went to their website and downloaded a coupon. Over 10.5 million coupons were downloaded, and KFC had to give away $42 million in free food. • In the 1990s, Hoover Company in the United Kingdom offered two round-trip plane tickets with the purchase of a vacuum. Unfortunately, even in the ‘90s, most vacuums were still cheaper than plane tickets, and Hoover lost 50 million pounds in what remains the biggest promotional disaster ever. CartoonNetwork Causes a Bomb Scare Guerrilla marketing can create valuable word of mouth— think about the success of the movie“IT”last year. The marketing for the film included simple red balloons tied to storm drains. But Cartoon Network didn’t have quite the same luck in 2007 when they tried to promote their show“Aqua Teen Hunger Force.”When the network put electronic devices featuring a character from the show all over Boston, city residents thought the
Done Is Better Than Perfect How One Simple Concept Can Change Your Business Forever
In the modern realm of business, you’ll find attention to detail and high standards are required for businesses to be successful. With multiple markets oversaturated with similar products, marketing, and
services, the quest for quality has turned into a necessity for survival. But somewhere along the line, the focus put on providing superior amenities becomes more of a hindrance than an assurance. The pursuit of perfection in daily tasks creates a paralyzing effect on productivity. The concept of“done is better than perfect”has rapidly circulated in business over the last couple years. Current times require on-demand delivery of knowledge; paralysis by analysis can make a company less relevant if they can’t keep up. This fixation on the minutiae of a task not only hinders customer engagement, but it also has a negative effect on a business’s bottom line. Isn’t Perfect Always Better? Detractors of the“done is better than perfect”mantra suggest that going the extra mile makes all the difference in a client-based relationship. And they’re right, but their interpretation of this philosophy is wrong.“Done is better than perfect”is not about churning out mediocre work. It’s about not wasting money. The Devil Is in the Details When you obsess over a given task, it’s usually not something foundational to the success of the project. It’s more likely that you spend your time in the weeds of what is relevant to the consumer. Trying to find just the right shades of blue in an email or type of lightbulb for your office isn’t going to drastically alter the course of your business. Spending a disproportionate amount of time on menial tasks that do not move your company forward is counterproductive. Pull the Trigger There comes a point in every project where you’ve reached the threshold of quality work. The measure of a great leader is knowing when this moment has arrived and marking the task as done. Every minute spent beyond this moment is time not spent on other important responsibilities — and that’s money down the drain. ROI on Perfection To see if your business needs a boost in productivity, try running an analysis on where the time in a specific project goes. You’ll find that the more time you spend chasing perfection, the less profitable that project is. Done is better than perfect because it’s efficient and cost-effective, but most importantly, because it’s done.
strange contraptions looked like bombs and called the police. This triggered a terrorist scare that ultimately cost the general manager of Cartoon Network his job.
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A Little of Everything
Jody Thomason, VP of Products Division & Corporate Purchasing, EMSL Analytical, Inc.
Since 2006, I have worked with EMSL Analytical, Inc., as their Vice President of the Products Division & Corporate Purchasing. This is a position that covers a wide field, which is fitting, because, as the nation’s leading environment testing firm, EMSL offers a wide array of analytical testing services. However, many of our most loyal clients don’t often realize the full extent of what we offer the marketplace. Some people get into a mindset where, because they called us with a specific problem the first time, that problem must be the only kind we can solve. There are
means there’s a good chance we can refer you to someone who can help.
The field isn’t as expansive as a lot of people assume, so there’s a lot of camaraderie between experts. Travis
many companies that call us for asbestos testing, then have another number they use in mold testing, and yet a third guy who handles lead and metals. EMSL can help in all of these matters, as well as radon, nanoparticle labs, and Legionella testing! Why run all over town when you are already working with a one-stop shop? If clients aren’t sure whether we can help them with a problem, I always encourage them to give us a call. We’re able to do so much because we have such great teams at our numerous labs across North America. We can take care of everything, from sampling products and investigative equipment to analysis and lab services. And if we aren’t able to solve your problem, we have the privilege of working with a wide range of commercial, industrial, regulatory, and law enforcement clients, which Have a LaughWith Travis
West, for example, is someone I’ve known for over 20 years. He was a local client for another lab I worked for in Arizona. Travis is a great guy who really knows his stuff when it comes to IAQ. Plus, he’s a fan of competitive shooting, like myself, so we’ve always got on well. I haven’t convinced him to get out and ride ATVs in the desert yet, but now that the weather has cooled down here in Phoenix, I have hope. One thing I have always enjoyed about the work I do is the clients. From a professional standpoint, getting to talk to people like Travis is always interesting because I learn so much about the IAQ issues out in the field. I enjoy learning about the work our clients do because I feel it better prepares me to help them find the solutions they need within the realm of EMSL.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
What Goes Unseen
Would You Survive These Marketing Nightmares? Why Done Is Better Than Perfect
3 3 4 4
Jody Thomason, Solving Problems
Discover ‘The Art of Learning’
‘THE ART OF LEARNING’
A Child Prodigy Rethinks Success
This is a book about a journey. It chronicles a life of international chess tournaments, high-stakes martial arts competitions, a boy who found too much success, and the man who had to relearn everything because of it. Yes, “The Art of Learning” reads like a gripping, emotional memoir, but make no mistake — Josh Waitzkin’s work doubles as an effective guide for business owners striving to attain perfection in their fields. Josh Waitzkin’s name will be familiar to longtime chess fans and movie buffs alike. As a child prodigy, Waitzkin won his first national chess title at age 9, which quickly made him an international sensation. His father, Fred Waitzkin, wrote the renowned book “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” chronicling his young son’s journey into the world of chess. This then inspired the movie of the same name. Now, one does not normally think of child prodigies as being great sources of insight into finding success. By definition, prodigies are
exceptional — exceptions who operate on a different playing field than most. But Waitzkin firmly positions his journey through the chess world as the antithesis of what he calls “the art of learning.” As the author states, “The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability as opposed to resilience and hard work, we will be brittle in the face of adversity.” Waitzkin was very gifted at chess, and he didn’t have to push himself early on, but by the time he did find challenging opponents, he found loss and adaptation impossible to handle. It wasn’t until he stepped out of the rigid grids of chess and into the flowing movements of tai chi that Waitzkin was able to formulate a guide to success. Appropriately subtitled “An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance,”Waitzkin’s story of grappling with childhood stardom and climbing the brackets of the tai chi chuan circuit is full of
wisdom applicable to anyone looking to achieve mastery in their field. With compelling personal anecdotes and a unique perspective on what success really looks like, “The Art of Learning” is a fresh, vibrant addition to the personal development genre.
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