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NZ Tilers Forum Do We Need A Tiling Association?

Discussion in 'NZ Tilers Forum' started by Bob Neary, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Alec De martin

    Alec De martin New Contributor

    Just adding to my last post, it doesn't matter how many guys want to be in a Tilers Association, 5, 10, 100 doesn't matter. What does matter, is creating that demand and perception that by using a member of an association, the punter will get something better or different than a non-member. There's that old saying "Supply and Demand" in this case it will be "Demand and Supply"
     
    Bob Neary likes this.
  2. Alec De martin

    Alec De martin New Contributor

    Why aren't you at work?
     
  3. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Haha. I'm still on ACC. Tile Warehouse get me 3+ days a week. Was in penrose yesterday.
    Although I do have housework to do...a house husbands work is never done. Lol.
     
  4. Alec De martin

    Alec De martin New Contributor

    You must have long arms, sitting at your computer and still doing the vacuming and washing, or do you have rest breaks (like me)
     
  5. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Yer mate I've not started yet but I feel a coffee break coming on any minute now haha. It's like tiling you know its a very important work and needs a lot of preparatory thinking on.
     
  6. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Just a thought, you should put a signature together with you business details. It will come up every time you comment.
    Just check out the others for a guide.
     
  7. Frank

    Frank New Contributor

    No I wasn't referring to what happened in NZ. Sorry if I offended you Alec, it wasn't my intention. What I'm talking about, is that just about every tiler says "Oh finally, I've been waiting for a Tilers Association to get off the ground", but when it comes to supporting it by joining, it's "What are you gonna do for me? I'll join when you've got something going." It's a chicken or the egg thing, an Association can't get a lot of things going without members, which are hard to get unless you have something going..........

    You're right 'though, it isn't something that can be done part time, which is why this is basically my full time job. I might even get paid for it a some stage.:D
     
    AOS Tiling and Bob Neary like this.
  8. Alec De martin

    Alec De martin New Contributor

    Frank, I understand, it was actually Brent's post. However, all that's history, but there are lessons to be learnt about the difficulty of setting up and running an association. There is always someone ready to shoot it down, e.g. didn't do it right, didn't do enough etc etc.
    If there is anything i can help with, please ask. Where are you based?
     
  9. Frank

    Frank New Contributor

    Based in Brizzy mate.
     
  10. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    To anyone who is reading this whether you are a member or not i put this to you.
    To support a trade association what's it going to take then?
    What's got to be in it for you?
    If you could, what would you do to improve things for your business here in NZ?
    Are you sick of working hard doing the job right using quality products that aren't cheap, only to hear of cowboy tilers undercutting you and getting away with murder?
    These guys use cost cutting practices using cheap and inferior products leaving disaster after disaster behind them.
    But what if the difference between them and you wasn't just price. What if the customer could distinguish you from them based on a proven track record that can be made available at any time.
    If the industry gets cleaned up, wouldn't the public use it more, knowing they have the confidence to go through the process of tiling their home?
    I hear all too often in fact today had a customer with her hands over her face, wishing she had never started the process, being disappointed by tradesman.
    These are people's dreams that we are trusted with.
    Can you be trusted?
    How can they know to trust you?

    Yes I've asked a lot of questions. But I don't have all the answers. But between all of us though, we can come up with the answers I'm sure of that.
    Theirs a lot of good people out there, tradesman, suppliers, service providers and they deserve a fair go.
    Let us know what you think. This forum was set up for you to voice your opinion. Let's have it then, ay!
     
  11. Alec De martin

    Alec De martin New Contributor

    Bob, just following on this thread. When CTANZ was up and running, we made a point of promoting it to a number of outside parties e.g. Master Builders, Architects Institute etc. What happened from all this was that we were being asked to report on jobs etc that had been done. Interestingly enough, while a few jobs were pretty crap, on a number we were able to support the tilers. This was because a lot of outside groups, and the public as well, simply don't understand the standards required, good trade practice etc. So, one answer to that old question "Whats in it for me?" is this. It is a group of tilers, run by tilers, for tilers and the tiling industry in general.
     
    Bob Neary likes this.
  12. Frank

    Frank New Contributor

    That's exactly what's happening here right now. We get asked for written reports all the time. It turns out be be a valuable source if income.
     
  13. Alec De martin

    Alec De martin New Contributor

    Frank, is your association local or national. Are the members restricted to tilers or can suppliers join as well. Personally, I think the industry as a whole needs one voice, otherwise there is a spilt between the installers and the suppliers. From experience, and you probably found it as well, the way shop people see things is different than what the tiler sees when he goes to site. Many years ago, I was asked to fix tiles on the wall around kitchen, under overhead cupboards etc, less than 2 s.m, but it had so many switch cuts and power points, it was unbelievable. Took me lot longer than just fixing tiles. When I gave the lady the bill, she went ape-sh*t, because somebody in a tile shop told her the rate for laying tiles was $45 per m. With 2 different opinions on a lot of things there is often conflict, and the clients generally don't believe some grubby, unshaven tiler wearing shorts and tee shirt with holes in them and silicone smeared all over. They would much prefer to believe the nice young lady in the shop who spent hours helping then make a decision on the right tile and colour. She knows best!!!!!!!
     
  14. Frank

    Frank New Contributor

    We're a national body and membership is open to anyone with an interest in the tiling industry. Tilers, waterproofers, apprentices, suppliers, manufacturers and tileshops. The only restriction is that in 3 states contractors have to have a license, so in those states you have to be licensed to join. If you're not licensed, you don't comply with the Code of Ethics, therefore you can't join.
     
  15. Jacqui

    Jacqui Auckland Area Manager - Tile Direct

    This is a really interesting thread. To me, as the "nice lady in the shop who spent hours helping them make a decision" (lol Hi Martin! Not sure if you remember me from when you worked with Con Chem and met me at Taylermade Tiles out in Henderson?) But I completely agree. Too often shop people can give advice that is contrary to the actual situation. Whenever we get customers ask about a standard rate I always make sure we mention that standard rates only apply to standard jobs, anything out of the ordinary or any extra prep work ie waterproofing, levelling, anything else WILL add extra cost on and I always advise them to get 2 or 3 quotes as what we say in the shop is NOT GOSPEL.

    It would be absolutely beneficial from a supplier and one day consumer point of view (when I finally own a house I can tile!) to have an association that tiler's can belong to. It isn't the answer but it definitely gives consumers the feeling that they are using someone who they can trust but where do you draw the line as inprevious posts about guys who are trained and guys who are skilled by working hard at it for years? Hard one.

    Definitely a tough one - I hear from a lot of our good respectable tilers that they are getting depressed and not getting a huge amount of work because they are being undercut by the el cheapo's who will skip town when something goes wrong - hard to keep the guys buying and motivated when we see them like that!
     
    Bob Neary likes this.
  16. Alec De martin

    Alec De martin New Contributor

    Jacqui, I remember you, and don't worry, the example I gave happened 20 years ago, and I was using the "nice lady" to highlight what can, and does happen. The perception has been that scruffy tilers don't know as much as cleanly dressed shop people. I am trying to find a full time position, and with every job application I am having to explain my "style of selling". When I point out that in any market with numerous competitors only one can be the cheapest. How do the others do business? It must be because they have quality products and/or excellent customer service or something. It is not price. However, I take on board what you say, I know what is going on in the market. I have seen tilers doing a commercial architecturally specified job out west here, where they mixed the cheapest cement based adhesives of 2 different brands together. Not only that, but they then spot fixed tiles onto unprimed fibre cement sheets. I was horrified. I immediately rang up the adhesive companies and told them to get out to the site and sort it out. No architect specifed that. Now to beat them, the guys pricing the next job has to go in cheaper again. That is what is driving prices down, and an Association won't fix that. That's why I say it doesn't matter how many guys want to join an association, but when they do, it gives them a high degree of credibility and makes them more attractive to the punters wanting work done. Even if only 10 guys want an association, they just start promoting the fact to the public, and they will get the benefits.
     
    Bob Neary and Jacqui like this.
  17. Jacqui

    Jacqui Auckland Area Manager - Tile Direct

    Yes I totally get what you are saying and the industry definitely is fickle that's for sure. I have been in and out of retail in the tiling industry now for 8 years and have seen good tilers come and go but the great ones are still around even though their knees may be shot to bits. I think, the key with getting a lot of work is to be polite, show up on time, do a good job and clean up afteryourself when you leave. We have one tiler in particular who our customers love and we reccomend him all the time. We have only ever had positive feedback but the number one thing we hear is that he shows up on time and is a nice, polite guy. The fact that he does a good job is even better.

    What I see in our tradesmen which is exactly what you're saying Alec is that they are scruffy and yes of course they are, their job is messy! But often times, they lack the ability to sell themselves and therefore Mrs Bloggs does have the tendency to listen to us in the shops. Perhaps the answer is a personal secretary who will log jobs and send the tiler out to do the quote, a bit like how Blue Cross Builders work so the consumer feels safe when ringing up to book in for a quote, the tradesman doesn't have to pick up his phone with adhesive all over his hands and interrupt his job and the tiler just gets sent out to the corresponding address.

    Flipside is you get the guys who are too good at selling themselves and then do a bad job never to be heard from again.

    You're right Alec, an association would be good but it definitely won't solve all problems.

    What kind of job are you currently looking for?
     
    Bob Neary likes this.
  18. Alec De martin

    Alec De martin New Contributor

    Jacqui,
    It's called professionism. Professional business practices, (written quotes etc) clean tools, clean presentation equals good job. Basically if a tradesman won't look after the very things that he uses everyday, e.g. tools, vehicle etc, things that cost him money, then he is not likely to be different on other peoples joibs and properties. I am not surprised with the example you gave, and good on him. I bet he is one that seldom runs out of work.

    As far as jobs go, I am looking for any full time job. I want to stay in the tile game, trade sales or somethinglike that, as I have had considerabl;e experience with 2 adhesive companies and been in tiling all my life. But it is pretty tough out there, and I am applying for anything in the construction game, sales generally. Too old and dodgery to do anything too physical. Thing is, if I find something away from tiling, then I am having to start all over again, and you have no doubt heard the saying "can't teach an old dog new tricks"
     
  19. Jacqui

    Jacqui Auckland Area Manager - Tile Direct

    I will keep my eyes and ears out. Heritage on Porana Road were looking for a sales person. Will let you know if anything comes up on my end also.
     
  20. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    You would be surprised at what you can do Alec. After four months of part time work using a computer system that resulted in hair loss, I only now feel confident to be left alone in the store to handle most things.
    The thing is Alec, it will only be a matter of someone appreciating your experience and knowledge to the extent of hiring you on the spot.
    I was in the same situation 6 months ago, it wasn't product or industry knowledge that employers wanted, but sales and design exp. for them it's been their loss. Fortunately the Tilewarehouse valued industry knowledge and here I am. Sure a pay cut resulted but I'm ambitious.
    Don't sell yourself short, it will just be a matter of time, I'm sure.
     

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