DGCOS Chief Executive, Faisal Hussain, raises the idea of forming an installer Think Tank with a view to identifying issues installers face and opening a debate to find common solutions that help installers in their businesses. In this month’s column, he discusses his thoughts and invites responses to the idea of industry co-operation.
The work that we do with our installer members means that the team at DGCOS is aware of the issues and challenges they face in the industry. We have regular conversations with installation companies through our role in providing them with support, assets and advice which result in an understanding of the challenges our members are facing. Often, though, it may well be that the wider industry is also well placed to advise or input on these issues and challenges because they have experienced the same problems.
Proactive action for a positive future
Over the last few months, I have increasingly been thinking of ways in which we can address these challenges in our position as an independent industry body. It has become apparent to me that there is potential for the creation of a Think Tank, to bring the industry together and open a debate.
As I’ve discussed before, there is a clear link between the pressures that installers encounter and their mental health, the extent of which is well recognised now as a serious issue. Often, installers can feel isolated when issues or circumstances, many of which are outside their control, conspire against them – they do not always know where to turn. Not only does this have a negative effect on their business operations, but on them as individuals. Both have damaging consequences. The key is that no one is alone and if you are experiencing challenges in your business, someone else is probably going through the same thing. Or they may have already dealt with the issue and could help advise on a potential solution. My belief is that if we can find a way of coming together and asking for help and collectively find ways to overcome them, the benefits could be huge.
Collaboration, debate and action
A Think Tank is the ideal place for this type of interaction, but how could it work? My vision is to create a forum for any installers across the country to access (regardless of whether they are a DGCOS member), which acts as a platform to discuss issues that affect the smooth-running of their businesses. This would be a confidential space where companies can be open about the challenges they face on a regular basis which interrupt their time, their service levels and the ability to grow or develop their businesses.
Through discussion and collaboration, we would then be able to identify actions that collectively we could take forward to help mitigate against these challenges over the short, medium, and long term. It may be that DGCOS would be able to build on resources already available, or that we need to work to develop strategies and initiatives that would offer support to the installer community.
This approach is already built into the culture at DGCOS. We already have a stable of resources that installer members can access to help them run their business with confidence. The Think Tank would go further, though, and I envisage it to be a wider installer community, helping each other, sharing best practice, and identifying areas where we can help raise the standards across the industry by all pulling together.
What happens next?
I believe that there is an appetite within the industry for a forum of this nature, but I would be interested to hear what the fenestration community thinks. To develop the conversation further, I am inviting individuals or companies to contact me with their thoughts and opinions, the concerns that they feel need to be addressed and ideas about how best to achieve a more collaborative, joined-up thinking approach to our industry that will ultimately benefit everyone. Let’s face our challenges head on and work together to make our businesses better, our lives less stressful, and raise standards across the industry.
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