Faisal Hussain, Chief Executive of the Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS) takes stock of the industry and what’s going on for installers as we move into the Autumn months.
Looking through the lens of DGCOS Installer Journey Benefits, it’s clear that the areas of support which we offer to installers, have been and will continue to come to the fore. I’ve spoken a lot about the broken supply chain and poor mental health that is impacting our sector, sadly both trends which look set to continue. But in this column, I wanted to broaden the reach to outside of our industry.
Essentially, our market is driven by consumer behaviour and psychology. The last two years have had a massive impact on how we all live and work, and how we spend our money. Just one example is the amount of time people are spending in their homes because of home or hybrid-working, with recent data showing the average UK worker is going into the office less than 1.5 days a week. The exodus from cities and the move to the countryside, often into more traditional properties in need of renovation, has also fuelled regional growth for door and window replacements. On the flipside, in suburbia, there has been a surge in people looking for extra space for home offices. Our industry has seen record months. But with the cost of living at record highs, are consumers going to get nervous and put brakes on their home improvement projects? Will this slack be taken up by the retrofitting projects being funded in public sector owned homes when the second phase of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund kicks in?
By your side
I don’t have a crystal ball but what I can promise, is that whatever happens, DGCOS will continue to protect consumers and support members throughout good times and bad. In fact, membership becomes even more important when things get tough in the installation market. We’ve spent the last few years working hard to ensure we can add value at every single point of an installer’s journey, from setting up and registering a new business, marketing and digital support, sales advice and POS, installation, customers service and satisfaction, to annual reviews to see how together we can keep on improving. Just to give a flavour of some of the practical ways in which we’re currently helping our installers: we’re paying for the Competent Person Scheme notification fees saving members approximately £1.65 per notification; introducing them to finance brokers/lenders to gain access to consumer finance; offering 24/7 access to the online portal for CPS building control regulations to cut down on admin; providing access to alternative dispute resolution to prevent issues from snowballing in time and cost. And of course, yes, we do have the powerful endorsement of our Brand Ambassador, George Clarke, for members to use.
More than business support
“As an organisation, DGCOS has always believed strongly in collaboration with our members’ best interests at heart. We engage with and listen so they can contribute and collaborate in industry topics and feel heard. This feedback is turned into actions which serve purely to raise standards, protect consumers, and help our members’ businesses stand out and thrive. We now want to expand this out to the wider industry and as an independent body, we are in a good position to lead this forward and remain impartial with the formation of the Fenestration Working Group. The working group is open to anyone operating within the glass and glazing sector and the first step is to email me personally at [email protected].
“In preparation for what could be some tough times, we’re keen to finalise and launch the industry’s first Mental Health Toolkit too. To this end, we’re currently asking the industry to contact us with what you feel would be most valuable to include in this toolkit. Again, please email me directly.
“I strongly believe that by working together, whether through membership of DGCOS and the Installer Journey Benefits, by joining the Fenestration Working Group, or finding value for you or someone you know in need of the Mental Health Toolkit, we can celebrate the positive and weather any future storms together.”