I hope this finds you well. I am sure that you are very busy – home shows, marketing calendars and lead generation, gearing up for sales, making sure you have your crews in place – all of that is in full swing right now. Decisions you make now will have huge bearing on the success of your year. I hope that the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report is valuable as you make your evaluations and decisions.
For the past several months, we have looked at “best practices” that hallmark leading home improvement and specialty metal roofing contractors. In previous issues, we have looked at Business Systemization, Professionalism, Commitment, Knowing Your Numbers, Marketing and Lead Generation, Referral Maximization, Gaining Local Expert Status, Total Industry Knowledge, Lead Qualification, Appointment Setting, Permission-Based Selling, Needs-Oriented Selling, Value-Added Selling, the In-Home Presentation, and Leadership. In this issue, we’re going to discuss Proper Installation.
Over the years, I have seen many home improvement companies go out of business because they did not properly control and manage the installation side of things. Many of the business owners were so focused on marketing and sales that they lost track of the importance of quality control. Inferior installation resulted and then the negative reviews started to build up on social media. Eventually, the phone stopped ringing as the repair bills and other problems grew. It’s a short, steep spiral.
Today, with the skilled labor shortage, it is more difficult than ever to maintain installation quality. And, the reality is, things are not going to get easier. Even if unemployment should increase, it is just increasingly difficult to attract younger workers into our industry. Working outside on roofs is very “foreign” to them and simply not in their realm of thinking career-wise. That makes our industry challenge quite significant. Companies that do not stay on top of installation will find themselves in trouble, perhaps sooner rather than later.
But, as with anything where quality is sought, the companies that determine the recipe to do things right will stay at the top.
There is a key to success though — just like all critical areas of your business, you must have someone within your organization who has the responsibility and vested interest to ensure proper installation. Companies that sell jobs thinking they will just “find someone to put it on” are disasters waiting to happen – we’ve all seen it time and time again. You must have a trusted leader watching over installation.
Even if your model is to hire a sub contract crew, someone in your organization must still have ownership of being the person to find and select the best possible crews and then to watch over them throughout the process, making sure they are using best practices and installing the products per manufacturer specifications. Take advantage of any and all manufacturer and industry training opportunities for as many of your crew members as possible.
A well-trained and properly compensated crew will take great pride in working for you and for your company. And you should take great pride in them as well! In fact, they should be an integral part of your sales presentation. If at all possible, your sales presentation should include photos of your crew members and short bios on their experience, their training, and even their community involvement and ties to your local community. This may surprise you but your installers are the members of your team who your customers care the most about – do not ignore them. Your installers make or break the project in your customers’ eyes – do not neglect to make them a part of your sales process!
As always, let me know if you’d like to discuss any of these ideas in further detail. I’d love to hop on the phone with you some day and discuss the challenges currently being faced by your company. I can be reached at 1-800-543-8938 ext 201.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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