Training – Why It Pays To Stay Ahead Of The Game

We all know that the current recession has hit the construction industry hard, and as more and more flooring contractors are competing for less and less jobs, making sure that service levels and quality standards remain high is more important than ever. 

The current economic climate has really driven up the importance of having the right skills and expertise to differentiate you from the competition, ensure a happy, satisfied customer and hopefully secure repeat business.

There are numerous resources out there to help contractors deliver a first rate service to customers.  For example, Altro’s technical services department is on hand to offer on site help, arbitration, fitting advice, help with specifications etc.  Most manufacturers will also offer installation guides, after all, it’s in our own interests to help contractors make products look as good as possible.  But when it comes to really raising the bar for installation standards and helping to ensure quality flooring companies survive the current economic downturn, training is key.

With continuing technological advances, now more than ever, it pays to keep up to speed with new techniques and materials.  It’s never too late to learn, honing your skills can prepare you to face the most challenging installation and even experienced flooring professionals can reap the rewards of brushing up their skills.

The Altro Contractor Training School at Letchworth offers practical training sessions run by highly skilled ex-fitters.  As well as these specialist courses, less formal, tailored training sessions at contractors’ or distributors premises are also increasingly in demand and more and more people are using the installation videos which can now be viewed on our YouTube site.   Forming and welding mitres are particularly popular topics as it’s the fine detailing that has the greatest potential for going wrong and spoiling an otherwise good job.

But it’s also worth remembering that training is a two way street that can benefit manufacturers too. Today’s flooring contractors are different, the trade has come of age and at last quality flooring companies or highly skilled individuals are justly recognised for their ability and contribution in helping to make manufacturers products look their best.

I particularly value my continued contact with contractors through the training school and technical support as it keeps me in touch with the challenges you all face day to day.  It is by keeping in touch with all aspects of the industry that we can work together to raise product, service and skill standards.  Ultimately, that will be good for all of us – and our bottom lines.

This article first appeared in the June 2009 edition of the CFJ.