I have been running a poll within one of my recent posts, asking people to vote on whether they believe the window and door industry is corrupt or not. You can catch up on that post, and take part in the poll here: http://www.doubleglazingblogger.com/2018/01/do-you-believe-that-the-window-and-door-industry-is-corrupt/
The early numbers are in, and there’s no other way to describe it, the figures are damning.
The early breakdown
These are the votes and figures cast at the time of writing this poll:
The early voting had “not sure” way head, in the 70% range. It has since been pared, with more votes coming in for “yes”. There seems to be one person out there who think the window industry is squeaky clean. Make of that what you will.
Either way, that makes 97% of people who voted think that the window and door industry is not an honest industry. That is a depressing state of affairs. But this is a situation of our own making.
Way back when, as PVCu was taking off, the industry was plagued with sales people that were pretty accurately portrayed in the recent White Gold TV series on the BBC. Rogue sales tactics, being used by people who would do almost anything to make sure they got a sale created a massively negative and corrupt image of our industry in front of the general public. We have been trying ever since to shake off that image, which has had mixed results.
Internally, our industry has always seemed to be at war with itself. There has long been competition between the industry’s biggest companies, but it often spills over into something a bit more public and a bit more sharp. Then there is the disdain from many SME’s towards the most well know industry bodies and organisations. There is the regular phoenix-ing of companies who fail to run a business properly but somehow manage to shirk out of their debts and responsibilities. Then there are the numerous reports, stories, whispers, about the shady behaviour of certain groups of people. I would guess that if we knew the total truth behind the stories we’d think even less of our own industry.
We have done this to ourselves. If most of us think that the industry we work is in either partly or fully corrupt, then it is down to our actions. The good news however, is that our actions is the very thing that could turn things around.
A more honest approach
Speaking from experience, this industry runs on pacts, cliques, booze sessions and long standing agreements that make little business sense. All of this combines to create an industry framework where new players find it difficult to make a positive mark. Or even just get their voices heard.
This is something that both irritates me and motivates me to make sure that whatever I do in this industry is different and promotes a better way of doing things.
In my sales capacity at our family installations business, we make sure that we treat home owners with respect. No hard-sell. No phoney sales or discounts. No pressure. Just information, design, service and the best price in writing from the start. Home owners like it, and we win orders on the back of how we approach our leads.
With DGB, I approach the real issues and topics that affect our sector. Even though I have a number of advertisers on here, who pay to have their content published on the site and across DGB social media platforms, I still maintain my ability to write what I want to write about. DGB continues to be independent, run by me, with all decisions on the running of the site made by me. I am not held to ransom about what I can or cannot publish. I write about issues, companies and products, where others won’t because it could be politically sensitive. And at no point will DGB ever become just another media site that churns out paid PR after paid PR. There’s nothing fresh or different about that.
On the NFA front, I started the awards six years ago now, determined to show the industry that there was a better, far more inclusive way to find and reward the very best people and companies. I got laughed at in the beginning. Walls were put up from the establishment to make it as difficult as possible. But we stuck at it, determined to break through and invite everyone to be part of the NFA process. Something that had never been done in our industry before. So, from a standing start, with no outside investment, with money from my own pocket, it was made to work. Now, the NFAs have caused ripples across the industry, and I hope that it has spread a more positive and inclusive message.
My point to all this is that it is only us who can alter things in our industry for the better. It will take the majority to rail against the established norms and the age-old cliques. To break down the walls, shake things up and make it very clear that corruption, rogue behaviour and secrecy won’t be tolerated.
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