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WEB EXCLUSIVE: Five Ways Birds Cost Your Facility Money

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Exteriors, Interiors, Safety

Tagged: , , , , , ,

Published on September 10, 2010 with No Comments

This Web Exclusive article is provided by Cameron Riddell, president of Bird Barrier America, a Carson, CA-based inventor and manufacturer of humane and unobtrusive bird control solutions, including the patented Bird-Shock Flex-Track.

Bird droppings, like those seen on this canopy inside a train station, are unsightly and unhealthy.

It’s no surprise that birds, their droppings, and nesting materials can cause serious health risks. There have been many documented cases of humans contracting diseases in areas with bird infestations, beginning with Histoplasmosis and West Nile Virus.

But the financial health risks are arguably more substantial. Some are budget line items, directly impacting return on investment (ROI) from a cost standpoint; others are opportunity costs, impacting ROI from the other side — potential lost business. None are a good move, when facilities worldwide are struggling to keep financially fit and viable among competition, the economy, and the media.

Here are five examples of the ways birds can cause money to “fly” out your door:

  1. Birds can damage or down equipment. Whether you’re running one, two, or three shifts, downtime costs money. Idle workers, overtaxed backup equipment, delayed jobs, unhappy customers… this all affects profitability.
  2. Birds and their droppings send a negative image about the cleanliness and the quality of the facility, the product, the workers, and the community. The “ick” factor does not bode well with customers, employees, or potential employees, making your facility someplace they’d prefer to not be. Further, no organization’s public relations department wants to be the subject of a news story on its bird infestation!
  3. Droppings are expensive to clean. It’s a huge waste of time to have valuable personnel hosing off the same parking lot, the same window ledges, the same entryway, every single day. The same goes for clearing the nesting materials out of clogged drains and channels.  With the current economic slowdown, we’re all forced to do more with less — is it really smart to use maintenance staff to perform a repetitive (yet preventable) task when they could be doing more productive things?
  4. Droppings can cause slip and fall accidents. Insurance premiums (and potentially, lawsuit settlements) are on the rise anyway, and unnecessary hazards make them rise higher still. Droppings on walking surfaces are preventable, and risk managers won’t look kindly on a slip and fall hazard like this.
  5. Dead birds and bird droppings attract bugs and rats. Granted, every facility has budgeted for regular pest control. But smart facility managers will try to minimize that cost by getting rid of the “obvious” paradises for pests, like food (and, decaying birds and droppings are considered food to scavenging rodents and insects). A lack of dead birds and droppings not only reduces the incentive for current intruders to stay, it helps prevent new ones from sensing and finding the bounty in your facility.

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at schwartz@groupc.com.

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