Cowboy installers. Quite easily the biggest plague our industry has to deal with day in day out. They have been almost the sole reason why our industry has been tarred with a brush that has seen the reputation of the industry languish at the bottom, along with MPs, banks and estate agents. Despite there being many high quality installation companies out there, the industry’s poor reputation always goes before them. So who should be taking the fight to the industry’s deadwood?
Putting up the fabricator barrier
Installer vs installer isn’t going to kill off the bad companies out there. The good ones might steal some contracts away from the rogue installers, but they always have a way of finding business and keeping their clock ticking. So that’s not going to work.
But every installer needs a fabricator. So I believe that fabricators should be fighting the war on cowboys at that point in the chain. Fabricators should be carrying out thorough checks on every single new client prior to signing them up. If they pass the relevant credit checks and have a good history, then welcome them on board. If however credit checks show they’re not to be trusted, then it’s time to show them the door.
I can that fabricators will want to sign up as many new installers as possible. It makes their client base look bigger and will increase the frames being shifted out their factory. From a numbers point of view it’s good. But in the long term, it’s these shady installers that can cost them quite a lot of money. You often hear of companies going bust and taking their suppliers for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds. It only takes a few of those to put a small to medium sized fabricator in danger.
Fabricators have to start weeding these sorts of companies out. Not only to clean up the reputation of the industry and force genuinely bad business out of business, but to also protect themselves and the other good quality installers they provide a product and service to.
Working with the good installers
Instead of signing on as many installers as possible, fabricators should be working on the ones they already have. They need to be making sure they have all the help and expertise they need to grow their businesses. If installers are growing, then the fabricators will be growing too. But crucially, through installers that pay their bills, fit quality products, and are on a sound financial footing.
It’s these companies, young and old, that we need our industry’s fabricators to be working with. Ignore the temptations of signing up hoards of new installation business as there is a fairly large percentage that won’t make it past the guarantee period. Focus on the solid, quality installers that are already doing a good job and help them to grow and prosper.
It would be great to get opinions from both fabricators and installers on this one. So as always, please leave all your comments in the section below.