Welcome to the Tile Ledger - John Trent Construction's newsletter for customers & employees. The Tile Ledger is a tool for sharing JTC stories and communicating with you directly on some of the important issues facing the tile industry.
The topics will be wide ranging, customer focused and we hope of interest to everyone in the construction industry. We plan on regular in depth features on issues such as current projects, changes in service levels and service charges, new projects, problematic installations, industry standards and new initiatives geared to making us more efficient and cost effective.
We hope that The Tile Ledger will serve to inform, while promoting active dialogue between JTC and its customers.
The newsletter is being created with you in mind. We would like your feedback and suggestions on what stories and issues you would like to see covered.
We look forward to hearing your views at email@example.com
I am pleased to offer this editorial in this inaugural edition of The Tile Ledger. I'd like to begin by emphasizing how central our customers are to the way we do business. This is something I personally address with veteran employees as well as new new hires. Over the last 2 years
we have evolved into more than just a tile installation company. We have drawn the attention to focusing on customer service as a core value in our mission statement. Our industry is one that has suffered with a flood of new installers who lacked the proper training and skills to install the ever changing size, shapes and materials we are beginning to see. It seems that everyone with a notch trowel and a wet saw became an instant competitor in a world they knew little about or cared to learn about. Some of the problems this created were customers who became frustrated
with tile failures and maintenance issues. These customers began to look elsewhere for product selections as their previous installers had given them a black eye with regard to tile. As this issue grew competing on price became a determining factor for many as it was assumed that the lifespan of the installation was short -" Why pay top dollar today if we are going to have to pay again in 3, 5 or 10 years?" became the thought of a consumer searching for tile installation. Exacerbating this problem was the boom in th construction industry in which it became almost a given that any project completed today would most likely be sold in 6 -12 months to new owners that would likely change things again before flipping the property for the quick buck. With this type of activity it became easy for installations to be done with sub par quality as the likelyhood of the property changing hands before a failure had reared its ugly head could surface was almost a given. As the bubble has burst and some of the repercussions of choosing an installer based soley on price are starting to come into light people are beginning to change mindsets. Getting it done correctly is once again starting to replace "Just get it done" mentality.
As painful as this has been for the construction industry as a whole I believe it will also be beneficial in regards to leveling the playing field. No longer is there the abundance of work that allowed shady installers to prosper at the expense of customers who sometimes stood in line just to get a body on the job. This has forced a lot of realignment for the betterment of those concerned with doing a job correctly. People are seeing the reasons for the big price differences were because things were being left out - whether it was customer service, prep work, quality materials, insurances, taxes or an installer who adhered to industry guidelines.
Things evolve so fast in todays construction environment it is imperative that installers stay abreast of these changes or risk failures that further erode our customer base. The materials and way we install tile has changed so much over the last couple of years that without a commitment to staying educated within the industry an installer is doomed.
In years past, tile installation was mainly a skill based occupation. Today we see that skill has taken a side seat to knowledge within the industry. Staying abreast of changes in materials, their limitations and expectations and communicating with customers is leading the way for the tile installers of tomorrow. Skill will always be a part of this equation and will shine when combined with the knowledge required to ensure a lasting installation.
What's more, customers - no matter their size, mix of projects or range of products - must deal with the downturn in the economy, shrinking demand, rising costs and an industry in the throes of transformation. Managing our costs and trimming the necessary excess are just as important
as our commitment to training. Developing initiatives to further enhance value to our customers has become a renewed focus here at JTC.
One such initiative is a refocusing on project management and is discussed in this issue of The Tile Ledger. Also featured is a look at current and upcoming projects. We have many other exciting things to share with our future issues of The Tile Ledger and hope you will stay tuned.
Beyond these initiatives, diligent scrutiny of costs will continue to be a part of the way we do business as we pursue avenues such as field measurements, scheduling, training and safety in an effort to keep costs in line. It is this type of focus that has enabled us to enter our 3rd year in business with an increasing satisfied customer base. Numerous other initiatives to reduce costs consistent with safety are underway and we will update our customers regularly thru The Tile Ledger and other communications.
I'd like to conclude by acknowledging the vital contribution of our dedicated employees, on whom we both depend to deliver a finished product we can stand behind. Their attention to detail and commitment to ensuring installations are done correctly are applauded and appreciated. Our business maybe knowledge driven in today's world but people deliver the services and people meet or exceed customer expectations and our safety obligations. It is these very people we will be turning to as we manage through a year that promises to be challenging for everyone in the construction industry. I am confident that JTC is up to the challenge and I look forward to working with employees, customers and vendors in the year ahead.