CoatingsCoffeeShop™ is honored to be a space for industry influencers to share their expertise and insights. What is an influencer? They are authorities in the industry that are sharing their knowledge to guide others. We foster this type of menorship by asking our CCS Influencer Group monthly questions or prompts about relevant industry topics. For the beginning of the new year, we have asked these experts to share what strategies worked to help them stay competitive, while still profitable, last year that they plan to carry over into 2024. Here's what Greg Hlavaty, the president of Western Colloid, had to say:
As a manufacturer we have a few strategies that we believe in and pass on to our contractors.
First, the old cliché, “think outside the box”, is one of our primary strategies. Meaning, when quoting or bidding on projects don’t just go with the requested scope of work. If you do you will just be one of the pack. Your profits will be held to your ability to get the job done cheaper than the next guy. Offer alternative systems that can give the building owner the equivalent system but using systems or products that are more cost effective and allow you to make more profit. Often at a much lower cost to the building owner.
A good example in our business is when a tear off and re-roof is requested. Give a quote for that system but throw in an alternate for a fluid applied maintenance system. If the existing roof is a good candidate, then the cost of tear off is eliminated. There are maintenance systems that carry equivalent warranties as re-roof systems. If the savings are significant the smart owner will take a serious look at your alternate proposal. This may not work every time, but I can guarantee you it works often enough to make it worthwhile.
I know contractors that have used this strategy to build their businesses and have been very successful in doing it. In addition, these fluids applied maintenance systems use far less labor which also means less insurance costs and all the overhead that goes with it.
Greg Hlavaty is the President at Western Colloid. Read his full bio here.