The most recent poll to be run on Twitter has come to and end. This time round I was asking the industry whether it thought product quality and custoemer service was better now than it was ten years ago.

Here are the results.

45% say yes

This was the question posed online and the votes that were cast:

Personally I am slightly split as to what to think of this one. Given the amount of complaints I have seen in public and private this year from all sorts of companies, to see nearly half say that its actually better than a decade ago, considering the now huge array of products available seems a bit generous. That being said, you can argue that a combined 55% have said that its actually no better and even worse than it was ten years ago.

In an ideal world, if the industry really was performing better than the decade before you want to be seeing that number comfortably at two thirds or higher. As it is, its still below half, which indicates there is much work to do.

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A 2020 issue

As we near the end of 2019 and we look to the start of a new decade, product quality and service will and quite rightly remain in focus. Our industry is at a crossroads right now. We’re evolving and learning to operate whilst vastly understaffed when it comes to fabrication and installation. Prices are heading upwards all the time. Profitability remains problematic. Product choice has never been so diverse. All are pressures which bring different difficulties. The one thing we can all do at all levels of the supply chain is ensure that our service to customers and the quality of what is being made, sold and installed is as high as it can be.

Mistakes cost money at the end of the day. Whether its missing or damaged items on deliveries, delays to installations, wrong products, poor communication, it all costs money somewhere in the supply chain. Money that we can ill-afford to be throwing away.

In conversations with others last week, I described the approach to how we do business in this industry as juvenile in comparison to other major markets such as the automotive and food industries. This is something I might expand upon in another post. But in short, we don’t have the “big business” approach to how we do our work that we think we do. If a CEO from a major company outside the industry was to join us, they would look at the landscape of our industry and wonder why we don’t take our approach to business much more professionally and profitably.

One thing is for sure though, as we start 2020 the problems of service and quality don’t look like they’re going to go away.

As a side note, as we approach the new year I’ll be doing a series of review-based posts as well as polls asking for feedback on the year that has passed. Your input to those would be much appreciated!

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