Last week we saw how the BBC highlighted the bad practises of a certain installation company. We took to Twitter to condemn it, and I duly wrote a post about it. And whilst I think we all agree that those types of sales tactics and those types of companies in general are bad for the industry, is there anything concrete that the industry could be doing more to try and stamp out bad companies, or at the very least, bad people?
Refuse to supply
It was pointed out to me last week that if fabricators don’t wish to be seen to be associated with companies of the type highlighted last week, then why not stop supplying to them. It’s the association thing. Think about what happened to the News of the World newspaper. Once they were seen to be corrupt and ethically bankrupt, their advertisers, their lifeblood very quickly dropped away, forcing the paper to close. So in a similar way, if suppliers don’t wish to be seen to work with companies with a bad reputation, they could just pull the plug.
There is a strong argument for this I believe. If all suppliers and fabricators took a strong stance on the types of companies they dealt with, the reputable, profitable ones, with good sales practices etc, then that creates an industry where the deadwood companies would struggle to trade in. Hopefully falling by the wayside. It would also protect suppliers against rogue companies going bust and costing them money in the end.
If they come across installers that are found to be going against a set of good core principles, it should be within a supplier’s powers to drop them. Sounds a bit final, harsh even, but if the industry is genuinely sick and tired of being bad mouthed by the media and general public, it really has to start getting tough on the cruddy companies dragging the rest of us down with them.
Will of the suppliers
All of this comes down to the will of the suppliers in the end. The idea of dropping installers won’t be one that sits well with many. At the end of the day that is potential business lost. But does a quality supplier really want to spend time dragging along an installer that is slow to pay, non-cooperative with them, one who might go bust and lose them cash? Or would they rather drop them in search of installers who are profitable, forward thinking and have a better chance of growth, therefore actually making the supplier more money. Probably that second one.
But I fear that for all the energy and bluster we all have when our industry is in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, there is little will to change. It’s easier to say yes to new installer than check them all and filter out the rubbish. The industry is generally lethargic when it comes change.