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Call Backs! Ouch!

August 14, 2019

How many times has this happened to you? You finish up a floor, walk out with your head held high, only to get a call stating there are areas that need re-work. Let’s be honest. Nobody likes to admit they have call backs, but it’s the reality of the flooring industry. Whether it is damage from other trades after the floor is completed or issues during the install. It’s a Call Back. Although we can’t always control what happens to the floor after we leave the job, thankfully we do have control over the installation. Here are a few things that can be done to lower the possibility of call backs.

Perform a mock up: One of the key factors for a successful floor install is managing the customers’ expectations. Color and texture are the two main items that customers want to see prior to the install. Typically, a 3×3 sample for color selection is sufficient, but texture is a different story. It is hard to envision the texture of the entire floor by simply rubbing your thumb across a small sample. There is a fine line between slip resistant and easy to clean. Why make this choice for them? A mock up provides an opportunity for the end user to see exactly what they are going to get. It allows them to walk on, drive on, spill, scrub, clean and really get a feel for the final product. Once the mock up has been approved, you simply have to replicate it.

Man Power: Gone are the days of sending a 3 man crew out to install a double broadcast epoxy floor over 5 days. It seems like every project nowadays is on a condensed timeline. Advances in material technology have provided more options to meet these quick turnaround installs. In turn, these faster setting products have a shorter working time, which means you need more man power to apply them. I can hear the grumbling now…..6 guys to install a floor! That’s right, and not just any 6 guys. You need a crew that is trained in the product they are installing. Each member of the crew has a job and every job is vital to a smooth install and consistent finish. Attempting to install a fast setting product with insufficient man power directly affects the quality of the finish.

Training:  Last, but definitely not least is training. Often overlooked, training has become a fundamental part of a quality install. A properly trained crew can greatly reduce the number of call backs. Our ATP, Applicator Training Program, is a great tool for getting new hires up to speed and updating experienced crews on new products and procedures. The training focuses on the principle of “best practices”. The concept is to set a standard procedure for installing the products so every finished floor is consistent. The ATP provides a solid foundation that contractors can build upon in future.

At the end of the day, quality is everybody’s responsibility. This principle needs to be instilled in the culture of the company. Managing the customers’ expectations, providing adequate man power and training them in best practices is an excellent start.

Author: Dylan Snyder
Dylan is a Technical Services Manager in the West. His role involves working with customers to answer technical questions, troubleshoot issues and recommend the proper flooring system for their application.

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