How start-up contractors can enter a new world of resin flooring


In my previous post, I talked about the tough time start-up contractors had in our industry and how it was linked to the unhealthy focus on products and preparation instead of a complete process (the Five Rs).   

If you missed it, you can read the full post here.

At the end I also suggested there was an answer; a way ALL contractors could immediately build a better process; a way they could quickly move on from the old world of gaps, flooring problems and frustration, and enter a new world of resin flooring that promises much greater peace of mind for them and their clients.

The answer is: stop thinking products and start thinking systems.

Why? Because systems that have been formulated, tested and approved by manufacturers come with a whole host of benefits that make the things I just mentioned – and ultimately running a successful business – much easier to achieve. Below is a list of the main advantages and the reasons why they can make such a big difference.

A diagram showing the composition of a premium thin-film rollcoat system

1. Better support from manufacturers


Using manufacturers’ systems gives contractors access to a collection of powerful tools that manufacturers can provide to boost process, support and even sales. These include:

  • Specification guides and marketing material
  • System technical data sheets
  • System application instructions
  • Inspection and test plans (ITPs)
  • Daily record sheets
  • Maintenance instructions
     

At the moment, many contractors are putting together their own systems and completely carrying the can if things go wrong. The only way this will change and manufacturers will be able to share that load is by using their systems. It’s the only way because by using their systems they know you’ve used the right products, at the right thicknesses, with the right equipment and preparation – and recorded it all. If something goes wrong, they have a much better chance of figuring out why.

2. Better performance and warranties


Like it or not, a manufacturer’s system will invariably perform better because they know the products inside and out – the chemistry, physical properties, strengths, weaknesses, what works and what doesn’t. Their brand name is also on the line, so their systems will be designed to last as long as possible based on the applications they know it can handle.  Best of all, if you use their systems the right way in the right applications, manufacturers will be able to offer better warranties.

3. Less work, less risk


Using systems from a manufacturer takes all the hard work and risk out of contractors developing, testing and proving their own, which is usually done through costly trial and error on real jobs (where contractors need to be making their money).

4. Allows independent training and certification


Not only is there greater risk in contractors using their own systems, it could also have an increasing impact on their plans for training and business growth. The independent training used for Cert IIIs and other trade qualifications is built upon recognised systems and standards. By starting to think systems instead of individual products, you make the task of getting qualified much easier, which is important because in the future contractors will be competing against other contractors that are qualified and the choice will be an easy one for the consumer.
 

5. Stops the "smoke and mirrors"


A lot of suppliers out there are just middlemen selling home brand buckets of resin for a buck. This type of low-value supply relationship will soon become a thing of the past if contractors start seeking proven resin flooring systems because it’s something middlemen simply can’t and won’t offer.

Last but not least...


What really matters at the end of the day is what the client wants. Manufacturers’ systems and warranties are simply what consumers expect these days from other trades, so resin flooring can’t be any different. As I suggested in the first post, people would never buy a car that was cobbled together by an untrained mechanic using parts from all over the place, and the same thinking applies to resin floors.

Once again, I’d love to hear what contractors think about what I’ve talked about in this post. Do you use systems from manufacturers or put together your own? What advantages or disadvantages do you see in either approach? Do you agree or disagree with any of the points I’ve made above?

Take care and keep smiling,

Jack