When times are slow, restoration contractors may dream of a large loss that would solve their cash flow problems, boost their reputation and help their bottom line. But as the old adage cautions, “Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.”

Large losses are unique. When the loss must be remediated on a tight deadline, there’s zero room for error. One such loss will be the subject of a presentation at the upcoming Executive Leadership Conference in Phoenix, May 15-16.

Martin Woods, vice president of marketing at Woods Restoration Services, LLC, will discuss the challenges his company encountered after a water main underneath a school building broke during this past Christmas break (see “Ringing in the New Year: A Case Study” on page XX). When the school reopened Jan. 2, people found 6 inches of water and a couple of inches of mud covering the floors of the Enfield, Conn. high school.

“Roughly 4,000 gallons of water per hour washed through the school,” Woods said. “This was discovered on a Wednesday and we were told the high school had to re-open the next Monday. There was no Plan B.”

Working 15 to18 hours a day, Woods Restoration completed the half-million-dollar emergency job in five days. It took a massive effort to coordinate all their workers, subcontractors, cleaners and the engineering, health professionals and other specialists they had to bring in.

“What surprised me most was how committed everyone was,” Woods said. “Had we not had the right people to make critical decisions immediately and workers who just wouldn’t quit, we would never have finished that job on time.

“Our workers, the subs, day workers and all the school officials gave above and beyond to get that school reopened.”

Woods Restoration has plenty of experience with large losses. Previous jobs have ranged from a heavily damaged 96-building condominium complex in Florida to a mold-infested mosque in Massachusetts. But this job had the tightest schedule.

“This situation is definitely an example that ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’,” said Walter Lumpp, executive director of NIR. “Martin Woods will help restoration contractors consider the questions they need to ask and the contacts they should already have in place.”

Other topics covered at the conference include marketing and management issues, ways to manage customer expectations and the devastating impact that giving away work can have on your business.

The two-day conference will be preceded by a project management workshop. For more information, call (434) 973-2400 or go to www.nir-inc.com.