Technology | Japanese Knotweed Solutions Ltd

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My car pretty much drives itself – I have a button to keep me within the white lines on the motorway and I have a button to set how near the car in front I want to be …. then I just leave it to get me to where I’m going…

Automatic gears, automatic headlights, wipers, Wi-Fi hotspot….I can even get massaged as I float from meeting to meeting*.

*NB this only ‘comes’ with the… ‘happy ending’… pack.

I have an i-watch an i-pad an i-phone and a Mac Pro …and they all talk to each other. Tell one gadget a password and they all whisper it to each other so you only have to do it once. I can ask the system where my wife is …and it will tell me to the nearest decimal place – exactly where she is – which… in 35 years of being together she has never managed to do…. without exaggerating her nearness to where she is supposed to be…

I can make phone calls from my wrist – like ‘Joe 90’ – Google it those of you too young to remember Joe and his watch….

I have a mountain bike – with …an electric engine. This machine will propel me for miles and miles with very little effort on my behalf – whilst telling me how many calories I have burnt whilst climbing and descending an exact figure of climbs and descents…

I have a TV which follows me around the room…yes – you read that correctly – it follows me around the room. I tell it who is the ‘key’ viewer and it optimises its position to give… ‘me’… ‘viewer one’… the best picture in the house.

I have a lawn mower which will cut my grass then charge itself up and repeat the process every day until I tell it to stop….

So… I would say I’m pretty much up to speed with technology – yet – I’m a great disappointment to my clients who expect me to see what is beneath the ground…with some sort of X-ray vision?

On an almost daily basis we are asked to provide prices for excavation and removal of Japanese Knotweed where we have no idea how far the root and rhizome will have spread. We all know the ‘mantra’ …’the plant extends two to three meters in depth and seven meters in all directions…’ …but within this ‘guide’ there is scope for huge variations in volume of material to be removed.

We can give rough guides once we have seen soil type and age of infestation – but it’s a ‘guess’…

Sorry Mr. Client but that’s the truth.

We can give you a fixed price but it will be based on a ‘worst case’ scenario.

Soft ground with an aged infestation we could easily be looking at three meters plus depth – and seven meters plus spread…which will be a far greater volume than a site with hard ground with only a relatively new infestation….

Surely the way forward with excavation projects would be to have an ‘open book’ agreement?

Rates agreed, profit margin agreed – then we dig ‘all’ the knotweed out and keep digging till it’s all removed (remember – a piece as small as a finger nail can produce a new crop of this troublesome weed).

What I’m trying to avoid here is the unscrupulous contractor who prices works based on minimal excavation – carries out minimal excavation …. then leaves significant root and rhizome behind.

I’ve said this before and I will no doubt say it again – there is far too much mistrust in the construction industry. Personally I’m not interested in ripping off clients. This is just a no win situation – I’d far rather have clients that knew my margins, knew how much money I made – and negotiated contracts based on the service provided and the level of skills that they were employing…

Let’s get rid of this ‘competitive tendering’ lark where nobody wins…? why do you need 5 prices?? Seriously 5 prices…?

 – 5 people running around the country in five cars with 5 surveyors all sweating in five different offices to produce the sharpest price when none of them actually know what’s beneath the ground….

So five guesses then.

Technology might be clever but we as humans seem to have been left behind? …

What’s the point making everything quicker and automatic… when we then just ask 5 people to do the same thing five times…?????

Come on?

Let’s get smarter, let’s get as smart as our cars and phones??


Mike C