Is it time for required certification?

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by RFI, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    You are absolutely right about labor issues being a larger percentage.

    With that being said, I find that a lot of stores will turn in a claim to the manufacturers that they know is installation related, hoping that the mill will pay it without requesting an inspection, or that they get a dummy inspector who doesn't know any better.

    Or in the case of the two that I looked at today, the big box store NEVER even sent anyone out to look at it. The consumer complained and they sent it in to the manufacturer, who requestede an inspection. One of them could easily have been repaired if they had only sent an installer first.
  2. Taurus Flooring

    Taurus Flooring Over 30yrs Experience

    RG I have to agree with you, I do ramble on. It's just that I've been at it so long and have not seen any support from the manufacturers and I get frustrated. :eek:
  3. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member


    You are correct about the stores sending in claims all the time that are labor related. I have seen it many times where they say its a product issue when it is not. Sometimes I wonder if they are not doing it just to get themselves out of a spot. Meaning do they know that the installation is bad and looking for the mill to bail them out so it does not cost them. Does that make sense?

    This is why I think that maybe the mills and the installation community need to work closer together.

    Look, the installation community has to step up to the plate and clean itself up period. At some point we need to take the lead and make changes. Start going to seminars, classes, mill tours whatever and quit coming up with excuses that it costs to much or I do not have the time or the one excuse that I love the most "I have been in the business for centuries and I know it all"

    I guarantee you that I learn something new just about everyday. The day that I stop learning is the day to sell my tools!

  4. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Talking about support from the MFG's, I think it comes down to relationships. Taurus, from your posts in the past, You speak like an installer who has worked for some retailers who did not give much support.

    Roland has talked in the past about the support he has gotten from the mills, anything from replacement to $$ to take care of problems.

    Let me give you an experience, this happened to me less than two weeks ago. I had a crew out on a Saturday morning to do an installation. They called at 8 AM to inform me of a problem. I got on the phone to a contact I have at the MFG, he was out working on his personal farm. I explained the issue I was having and he said, "I trust you know what you are talking about, do what you have to do to mitigate the situation, we will send all new material as soon as we can!" Monday I got a phone call from the salesman wanting to know what was going on. He said your new material is on the way and I was told to call and ask what we need to do for compensation. This was all about "relationship" and trust/co-operation.

    Most any store can form a relationship with their salesperson. It is much harder for an installer to do that, I have only been able to do it in the last few years as an inspector.

    My whole point of this long story is that there IS a disconnect from the mills to the installers. Many years ago when installers were employed by stores the relationship was with the mill and the store/installer. Today with installers working for multiple stores as independent contractors, most of the installers have relationship with any mill. Because of this they get no assistance or help from the MFG.
  5. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    I would like to brag on a mill............FORBO.................and especially the mill rep for Oregon and Washington. I think this person has to be the best Forbo rep in the country!

    Here a few years ago I had a customer that was having a cleaning issue with Marmoleum. Forbo was called and the rep came in along with the west coast manager to look at the issues. They set up a date for a cleaning seminar for my customer. Free............No charge! They sent out a Forbo tech and he spent the entire day training everyone involved with the cleaning of this facility. Every rotation of shifts at this place got training. I call that customer service!

    I guarantee you that when my Forbo rep calls and has a question or needs a hand with something, I jump at the chance! No questions ask. I have had the chance to help them a time or two and have enjoyed every minute of it.

    I have to add one more thing. In my opinion Forbo also has the best installation training program too. If you have not attended, you really should put it on your list!

  6. Taurus Flooring

    Taurus Flooring Over 30yrs Experience

    YES exactly, here is a case in point...Last year I did a job for a retailer installing stair treads for a local city hall. The retailer didn't know what glue to use and actually suggested using a multi purpose. Of course I told him he needed a proper adhesive for the job. Before I did the work, I read over the reading material which came with the treads (I always do this in case there are some changes in the product). Everything in the reading material confirmed my knowledge in the installation method. A week after I did the job, the managers at the city hall, complained about the nosing sticking out a bit from the nose and were concerned about a tripping hazard. The retailer without my knowledge brought in a rep and looked over the job. Since I wasn't there I wasn't able to make any kind of comment on it. Next thing I know, I get accused of doing a poor job and that it had to be replaced. To make a long story short, what had actually happened was, the company had realized sometime ago that they had problems with the treads and the installation method had to be changed, but had not bothered to tell us about it. After some discussion and some tips from me, it was resolved.
    What fried my ass was, I never got an apology from the rep for tarnishing my reputation. If you notice, I don't mention the manufacturer's name because it wasn't them that did this, it was the rep. If I hadn't taken the bull by the horn and investigated the problem myself, I would have been screwed over. It was the rep that did it, but the company knew what had transpired and they didn't respond accordingly. It felt like they just didn't give a damn. :ohno:
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2011
  7. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    WILL? Many visit and see that they already have been trashed or bad-mouthed and don't want to join. It's unfortunate that some installers think this is an installer's forum, when in fact, it is for ALL segments of the industry. I know I've said that before and many will claim they already know this. But know it or not, it seems to be ignored quite often.

    Sure, we all like to vent sometimes. I do too. But it makes me very uncomfortable to see so many generalizations about manufacturers and retailers. We have small numbers of both as members and most of them seem to be of high caliber. I installed for most of my 40 years (I decided recently to count my years including the time I have spent in flooring here on TFP and other flooring websites I build and/or manage), but I wore a number of other hats too, including retailer and sales person. I've always hoped this website could bring all the various segments of the flooring industry together to help each other. Some don't want help and others don't want to help. Quite a conundrum.

  8. Jackreed

    Jackreed jackreed Charter Member

    I agree and wish more sales and maufacturers would post on this site. Just think with the years of experience in installation could be increased with there knowledge also.

    I worked for a retailer on a hourly basis for 25 years. I could see how hard it was because I had to help from time to time in that area.

    Manufacturing I have had no problems. If there was a problem they took care of it. I love working with Congoleum products. I get to there seminars one or two times a year. Most of the time it is the same material , but still learn something. The rep doesn't proably know my name ,but knows my face.

    It does help to give any person in this trade the respect to listen what they have to say. But you need to think about what your saying. Is it my fault or someone elses. The biggest problem in any situation is not stepping up and taking the blame if its yours.
  9. TwoStar

    TwoStar Maybe Three

    Just brainstorming here...who affects the decisions that the manufacturer's make?

    Consumers, right? Relationships are nice. Education and experience are important. Expectations of consumers is downright imperative. Lose them and it's all over. This will get the attention of the manufacturers.

    WE NEED TO GET THIS ISSUE TO THE HOMEOWNER!!!! They don't know the importance of this issue. They don't realize what they are losing every time they get their flooring hacked in(warranty, longevity, etc.). They just assume that that's the way it is. Educate them on what is possible, and they will start to expect educated, experienced, responsible installers. This will get the ball rolling much quicker than relationships and self-educating.
  10. ortiz34

    ortiz34 2nd generation Senior Member

    Awww T, you're making me blush ;)
  11. Canuck

    Canuck Pro Member

    In theory it all sounds great but in practice I am not so sure it will ever materialize. A lot of people know some basics about the installation or after care of a product but they still don't follow them. Every retail job I do I tell the customer the best way to get the most out of your wood floor is to control the humidty year round. In my neck of the woods that means de-humidifiers in the summer and humidifiers in the winter, but 99% of the time after you explain this you get a blind stare and you know the advice will not be followed.

    The other big issue I come across is (mostly in the new construction) not following the basic installation guidlines and the job I did yesterday is a perfect example. 460 sqft of 2 1/4 maple in a new home. I get to the job walk in and the place is freezing, the thermometer in my truck was reading 27 F that morning. There was a big propane heater in the middle of the kitchen floor but it wasn't running. I called the store and was told to hang on they would make some calls. About 45 minutes later I am told to GO AHEAD with the install the site super gave his ok and someone would be over to fix the heat. I asked the store if I would be held responsible for issues and they said NO I had been given the ok. About 1 1/2 hrs later the super walks in (still no heat) and I express my concerns to him and he says "don't worry the place will be warm in no time once the heater gets fired up". I told him I was concerned because as the installer I was responsible but he assured me I wasn't because he gave the ok. While I was unloading one of the store owners drives by, as he was doing a measure in the subdivision, and I told him there was no heat and he says "some people, make sure you write it on your work order".

    So here we are all the people involved had some understanding of the issues but all said go ahead and break the rules. So guidlines can be in place but still aren't followed.
  12. Chris Mha

    Chris Mha Charter Member Senior Member

    Not sure which is worse. No heat or running the propane heater. Neither are good that's for sure but that propane heater makes a ton of moisture which in turn will be absorbed into the wood flooring.

    Over the years I have had several installations with no heat and I flat out refuse to work in those conditions. End of story. A portable heater is not going to cut it. When the permanent heat is up and running then we will talk about it after MC testing is done for the wood flooring. Until then I will not even drop the wood onsite.
  13. TwoStar

    TwoStar Maybe Three

    All you have to do is tell the homeowner what you offer, and mention what an installer should know if they charge the prices that you charge. I always mention to the homeowner that if they have another installer giving them an estimate to ask them what is the name of their carpet seam sealer. If he gives them a blank stare or starts mumbling about how not all carpets need to be sealed, blah...blah...blah, send him packing. I almost always get the job, no matter how long they have to wait for me.
  14. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With toes I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    "I guarantee you that I learn something new just about everyday. The day that I stop learning is the day to sell my tools!" Robert Akin

    Then you will learn how much your tools are worth!
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  15. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Folks who work for corporations at fairly high levels have to be sophisticated enough to screen their behavior and communications VERY, VERY carefully lest it cost them a job and potentially a career in the industry.

    It's not comparable to what a tradesman or small business owner can "get away with" as far as the free flow of information and expression of opinions. The difference is connecting that person's name, position, company, opinion and specific job circumstance to multi-million dollar accounts, liability claims and nationwide exposure.

    I've been constrained many a time here from laying it all on the table in some discussions because my employer has relationships with customers and suppliers that would prefer privacy and discretion from those who they do business with for a whole variety of reasons.

    They wouldn't appreciate my taking macro zoom photos of certain "issues" and going into detailed analysis.

    Take it for what it's worth.
  16. Jackreed

    Jackreed jackreed Charter Member

    I think it would be a big help if the consumer knew about the CRI standards. The first time in 38 years I had a new costomer call and asked if I stretch my carpets in. I was amazed and thanked her and said, next time asked if they power stretch.

    I don't know how you could do this. Maybe manufacturers placing them in each roll of carpet. Or handed out by retailers and installers. It would help for installers but I think it would be a little late for them to hand out.
  17. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    Wow! All of you are posting great ideas and opinions! Good work!

    We can discuss this and hammer out ideas without totally ripping into anyone. I feel you will have issues come up where it might get a little ugly but sometimes to clean a wound you have to burn it.

  18. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    I've had nothing but good experiences with the manufacturers aside from obvious complaints about the degrading quality of...........everything. Where I've had to call and ask for help they've always stepped up and done as much as I would expect.

    So I think you're right about this situation where they can't really chase around a couple hundred thousand small installation contractors. The service has to be focused on the customers who represent VOLUME.

    I've always worked through contractors who were large enough to matter to local distributors and national/international manufacturers. In cases where my shop owners didn't like the response given by the factory it would make a difference to the local rep if we stopped selling their material and made an effort to swing accounts and contracts towards the competition.
  19. cproader

    cproader All over T's last nerve Senior Member

    This club is global. In person meetings are only possible fer the few. Put them best of trainin videos on here, and open the forum fer input. I learn a tremendous amount from all aspects here, despite the open speech this forum provides.
    Hey, we gotta help everbody, cause these floor solutions updatin everday, we gotta be "upgraded" right here. We are the ones who care and want change.....but its global.
  20. cproader

    cproader All over T's last nerve Senior Member

    Inperson meetings, are not possible for a global give and take. Ya guys need to posts the "must see training" videos here. I learn more here from all aspects of this industry. Manufacturing reps, are really limited to give unbiased opinion and installation proceedures.
    Heck Omni is a great source of info, and I wouldn't want to exclude him from the movement. And there are a lot of times, the UK shines.....well maybe that might be a stretch, but you get my meaning. This is our central location.....bring it......:cool:

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