In yesterday’s post I touched on a number of issues that the window industry is struggling to cope with. A couple of those were poor product quality and bad customer service. To catch up on that post, click here.

This isn’t going to be a long post. You all know my thoughts on these matters. We’re seriously lacking in both areas, and I identified this as a major issue that the window industry had to tackle this year else risk massive financial problems.

But it’s not enough for me to report on my own experiences and that of others. Yes, you guessed it, it’s another poll-post. On a serious note, the more that take part in these the better we can understand the lay of the land on issues like these.

Major problem, multiple causes

There has been a massive diversification in our industry over the past decade. On the whole, this has been a good thing. It has forced forward our industry at a time where we had become stagnant. Home owners have tuned in greatly to the vast array of choice and personalisation that they can now have in their new windows and doors. No longer is a fenestration purchase a boring one.

Diversification on the scale we have seen however has ramifications for the sector. The pressure on fabricators, for example, to be able to produce a dozen, sometimes more, product ranges, all within a rapid lead time and of a certain quality becomes almost impossible for some. It’s all well and good new products being invented and released on to the market, but it does seem that sometimes the background work, such as marketing, production prep, even basic paperwork is ignored in the rush to bring a product to market. The end result is poorly produced products and unhappy installers.

That, and at least the perception that in many areas of fenestration production we’re understaffed. We are asking a lot more of those producing what we need, but that is a high pressure environment and ultimately standards fall as the demand for a more varied range grows. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be on the shop floor of a fabricator at this moment in time. There are some hard jobs in our sector, I imagine this is one of the toughest right now.

The issues of poor product quality are directly linked to poor customer service too. When an installer doesn’t get the products they need, or they find that the products they have had delivered turn up with problems or missing items, it immediately puts them on the back foot before they have even take an old window out. Pressure then flows back to the fabricator to start putting out their fires, whilst still trying to get on with producing products for everyone else. The end result is a drop in service levels to their customers as they try to rectify things.

Other than the lack of skilled labour out there, product quality and service is perhaps the more important issue for our sector. And to try and gauge the extent of the situation out there, I have a couple of quick polls for you to take part in.

DGB Tech

The polls

Two polls, one for product quality, one for customer service. I’ll close the polls once I have enough votes to be able to draw at least a semi-accurate conclusion. So please take a second to place your votes before you go ahead with the rest of your busy day.

Also, please feel free to kick off the debate on this issue via the comments section below.

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