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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. jay

    jay Awesome Contributor

    Sorry to rock your boat Frank but who is the association going to be looking out for if retailers are involved you never know they are already running one tiling association to suit themselves what will stop them from doing it again money talks ,

    Give me both barrels Frank i have broad shoulders
     
    ray likes this.
  2. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    I think there should be certain parameters that determine how decisions are made, who makes them and why.
    Wouldn't a constitution and code of ethics be what determines these parameters?
    I know you have the Australian Tile Council over there but there must be some issues going on if there is need of another. I don't know what the problem is with the ATC but whatever it is, does it require the existence of another? I'm just asking is all because I don't know and nobody has told me what's been going on. I want to know though because I don't want it to happen over here.
    A Tiling Association won't be a cure all but it's a beginning. If all parties including Tilers, tile companies, suppliers and other industry providers can't come up with a solution to the problems and issues we face today then surely if they all co-operate with one set of objectives in mind then that can not be a bad thing can it. If corruption raises its ugly head then if it has to be then complete transparency within the an association have to be implemented.
    I might be naive, but if there is a will there will always be a way.
    If someone wants to explain the need for two associations in Aussie and you don't want to air it then please PM me. The more info I have the better armed I will be when the time comes to establish one here.
    I'm not interested in perceived issues but the facts and real issues. Constructive criticism not destructive if you know what I mean.
     
  3. jay

    jay Awesome Contributor

    A forum is to discuss both for and against Bobby you need to view both sides of a story before passing judgment unless the proof is in the pic:)
     
  4. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    I just don't want to get in the middle of something that's going to cause any agro in the forum. Like most of us here I just want what's best for the industry. If the facts are aired and there are real issues to discuss then by all means lets have it. The forum is the place for this I agree. Actually I'm not even interested in judging one or the other but to establish what happened and try to avoid the same issues over here. If both parties have some good attributes, which I'm sure they both do, then I'd rather focus on them to be honest.
     
    jay likes this.
  5. Frank

    Frank New Contributor

    Retailers aren't actually running the ATC. The Australian market has about 2500 tile shops nationally and the ATC has less than 250 members in total. A lot of those members are adhesive manufacturers and wholesalers/importers. The last tile council meeting I went to, in July this year, out of 40ish QLD members, only 10 showed up and out of those 4 were retailers.
    I have a feeling that most retailers involved only do it so they can say they are members of the council and if that's enough for them, then that's great.

    The tilers association on the other hand still has comparatively few members, but then we haven't been up and running since 1960 like the ATC. The reason we want tile retailers involved is because for the industry to keep growing and to be profitable, it has to be a win-win-win. For consumers, tiling contractors and tile retailers.

    Simply put, if we can help tile retailers sell more tiles, guess what happens to the tiling contractor's business? As far as taking over the Association for their own benefit is concerned, our constitution has been written in such a way that the power remains with the members and not the board of directors. Statistically, there should always be significantly more contractors than retailers. The way we've set this up, money can't talk, the members do. Whoever has the majority wins the vote.

    Like I said, getting retailers involved in the association makes financial sense for tilers and retailers alike. One party can't survive without the other, unless tilers start selling tiles or retailers start installing them.
     
    jay and Bob Neary like this.
  6. Frank

    Frank New Contributor

    Sorry for the double post, just seemed easier.:)

    Bob, you would have gained a little insight into the ATC from the above post, but I'll go into it a little further.

    If retailers and contractors would actually talk to each other, one association would work, but we both know that they don't. The ATC has always said that they want tilers to join, but when I asked them at a meeting a couple of years ago if they were going to release an installation manual of guidelines for installing the new 3mm thick tiles, I was told: "That's not the tile council's problem."

    So there you have it, on the one hand they want tilers to join, on the other hand, when it comes to helping tilers out, it's in the too hard basket. Actually, it makes complete sense for them to keep tilers away. If 100 tilers went to one of their meeting, it would very quickly become the Australian Tiler's Council.

    That's why we decided to establish the AMTA. It's actually not unusual for two associations to be established. In the US you have the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) and the National Tiling Contractor's Association (NTCA). Both are well established and work well together. Our objective is to do the same here.

    The UK has only one association, The Tile Association (TTA). When you look at their board and committee lists 'though, most of them seem to be in the supply chain. That just seems to be the way it works.

    My gut feeling is that and association primarily run by contractors would work better for the industry as a whole than an association primarily run by suppliers.
     
    Bob Neary likes this.
  7. Alec De martin

    Alec De martin New Contributor

    I think the industry in NZ is too small for 2 associations. I think Bob hit it on the head, the guys involved have to be there for the good of the industry as a whole, and I agree, it is all about how the constiution is set up. Who has voting rights, etc. As indiacted in an earlier post, when we had CTANZ going, it was a mixture of all parties, tilers, shops and other material suppliers. We had that mix on the board as well, it was an industry focussed group, and we all made sure that we worked together for the betterment of the industry. After all, every tile sold by someone needs to be laid by someone else with yet someone else's adhesive and grout. There is no doubt you could have separate groups, just by getting the minimum number required to set up an association, say 20 tilers. But they will have tilers interests primarily and not the industry's. Same with suppliers. It needs to be with one voice, not two, sometimes conflicting.
     
  8. AOS Tiling

    AOS Tiling Superb Contributor

    Ok chaps, Bob asked me to contribute with details on my experience of being a member of The Tile Assocation (TTA) in the UK. Maybe I will start with a forward that appears in The TTA Directory 2012-2013.

    "For over a decade The TTA has represented the UK wall & floor tile industry. Consisting of tiling contractors, fixers, distributers, retailers and manufacturers it has more than trebled in size since it was originally formed. Its mission is to promote professionalism and technical standards in the tiling industry, as well as providing technical support to both members and their customers.

    The TTA supports it members by providing economic benefits of preferential rates on a range of essential services. It supports the members and the industry in general with its work on British and International standards and with its technical support and publications.

    Its retail and fixer training programmes are aimed at raising standards across the industry and its extensive marketing campaigns raise the profile of tiling in general and it's members specifically.

    The TTA owes a huge debt of gratitude to every one of the board, committee and working group members who give up their time without receiving payment or expenses, to work on behalf of the industry and the TTA in particular".

    So chaps, for my sake lets hope that Forward isn't copywrited aas I might face expulsion tomorrow!!!!!

    I'm not sure if my figures are correct but based on a quick count in the directory, there appears to be around 90 Independent Fixers, 180 Tiling Contractors and I haven't counted the retailers, manufacturers, distributers, training centres etc. No fixers are listed on the Board but I recognise one name on the Committee under the training section. As I understand it, the Assocciation was instigated and founded by manufacturers / retailers and these sectors certainly contribute most of the budget as their fees are way higher than a fixer like me, based on turnover.

    My annual fee is around £250 incl VAT which from my experience proves to be good value. Hope I don't get shot down for starting with the economic benefits but with such low membership from Independent Fixers and quite a bit of apathy, hey ho, shoot me down. Membership includes Public Liability Insurance which I would value at approx £80-£100 per year which I would need to spend without membership. I also make good savings on my van insurance. Their preferred insurer is consistently the cheapest and the nearest quotes I have had are approx £70 more expensive. I also don't need to haggle. Premiums over the last 3 years have risen by £10, £20 and £10. My experience with private car insurance renewal is always a battle where premiums rise by 20%-30% so I have to trawl the brokers and haggle. I also receive the Tile & Stone journal ( trade mag) which apparantly costs around £70 on subscription. Would I buy it.... probably not so maybe not such a saving there. Over the year we also receive Tile installation guides ( maybe 3-4) on subjects like Pool Tiling, Tiling with Resin Agglomerated tiles etc. Very useful guides to have. So, over all on the fees that I pay, I see value for money straight away.

    Bearing the above in mind, I didn't join to gain these benefits. My main objective was to gain membership which in turn would help me instill confidence in my clients, especially at quoting stage. Does my membership make me any better a fixer than some non-members? Not at all but when I am out there quoting I certainly use the membership when marketing to clients, reminding them that using me at least gives them a recognised independent body to follow up with in the event of any issues - not that any will arise! Do I tell my clients that I am the best around when quoting, you can be sure I do and anyone who doesn't needs some lessons in sales! Regulation is very poor here in the UK and working out of London where clients are wary of tradesmen in general, my membership certainly helps with the package I present at quoting stage. I print my membership details and number on letterheads, quotes, business cards and online.

    Do I win work via the TTA? I receive on average 4 requests per month, many where the client has had a bad experience and need help with a re-fit. Unfortunately, by their nature, many then won't wait on my lead in time as the job is already disrupted - some people never learn!!! I picked up a few jobs last year, one in particular with a £4,000 value and I am very confident that I will win one via a TTA request for the new year with a value in excess of £8000.

    Negatives - members do not receive copies of BS (British Standards) free of charge. The cost is probitive for a sole trader which is ludricous in my opinion. 'Work to these standards, but unless you have £7000-£8000 you can't see them'. I also find their Technical Report fee charge for clients who have encountered problems with rogue tilers quite excessive at around £900. Most clients who are already facing a loss after being turned over, would find such a fee cost prohibitive considering that they have no guarantee of getting it back, even if they win their law case. Interestingly I have received one of these reports from a client - detailed but I'm pretty sure that the one I saw was no more that 2 hours work on the write up, plus visiting and travel time expenses to undertake site visit. Couldn't see £900 in it.

    Training - I can't comment. Never received any circulars on whats available.

    Annual Awards Dinner - I have never attended. I'm not sure I could justify a business gain to attend such an event - loss of a days work, travel, overnight stay and a few beers. Good for networking maybe, but I can't see me winning any business drinking fine wine with manufacturers and a few retailers.

    Thats my two pence worth, hope its useful.

    Andrew
     
  9. Grace's Dad

    Grace's Dad Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Good post Andrew.
    And just to add, personally I never say I'm the Best tiler in the area, but I do say I'm definitely in the top 1.
     
  10. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for that Andrew, much appreciated.
    Are you open to questions if any are asked here?
    The prospect of a Trade Association may be a little intimidating and I know that in NZ there is the element of "fear of the unknown". But I'm sure if the readers make an effort to familiarize themselves with this issue they may find that a Trade Assoc. may be beneficial to all within the industry including and especially our customers.
    This is where the tradesmen can voice their opinion and here on the Forum we welcome all opinions.
     
  11. AOS Tiling

    AOS Tiling Superb Contributor

    Fire away with questions but I may not have all the answers Bob. I'm a member, I get the benefits for me 250 bucks and thats as far as I take it. If I was really pro-active I'd be attending the AGM later this month which as a member, I'm entitled to do. Their HQ is around 20 minustes drive from me so other than the loss of a days earnings, it would be easy for me. I care about the industry as it provides me with a livelihood and would help anyone out, but lets be honest, do I care enough to sacrafice a days earnings to attend an AGM? All comes down to what's in it for my business, so I guess I care more about me than the industry.....

    That said, I'll try and answer any queries the lads have. There are also a few other members on the forum who might jump in - one who is listed on the Training Committee in the Directory.
     
    Bob Neary likes this.
  12. Frank

    Frank New Contributor

    Bingo, well said mate.

    I recently Googled a tiler's name and got nearly 7 full google pages of his business. He advertises everywhere! It almost looks desperate and in my mind, he'd be better off reducing that to the 2 or 3 which give him the best return and using the Association membership to win the jobs like you described.

    On the Standards, we have just signed a licensing agreement which allows the Association to make fully licensed copies of the relevant standard available to members at our training sessions which they can take home with them.

    The website is being updated constantly with what is hopefully useful and free information and as Australian Standards often are used in NZ, I'm happy for you guys to use what you need, provided you follow our copyright guidelines. (That reminds me, I have to put the guidelines on the website :)).
     
    Bob Neary likes this.
  13. jay

    jay Awesome Contributor

    May want to get your facts right Frank// i was the tiler you goggled and the advertising you found has not been done by me or my partner the only advertising i do is yellow pages ( which wont happen this year) and word of mouth,
    as far as membership goes don't think you would fork out money just to be a member or have a fancy sticker stuck to the back of your work ute.some of us dont make the big dollars and are cautiouse were we spend it
    next time check before you judge

    jay
     
  14. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Negatives - members do not receive copies of BS (British Standards) free of charge. The cost is probitive for a sole trader which is ludricous in my opinion. 'Work to these standards, but unless you have £7000-£8000 you can't see them'. I also find their Technical Report fee charge for clients who have encountered problems with rogue tilers quite excessive at around £900. Most clients who are already facing a loss after being turned over, would find such a fee cost prohibitive considering that they have no guarantee of getting it back, even if they win their law case. Interestingly I have received one of these reports from a client - detailed but I'm pretty sure that the one I saw was no more that 2 hours work on the write up, plus visiting and travel time expenses to undertake site visit. Couldn't see £900 in it.[/quote]

    Would a warrantee system where the customer pays a one off fee that would cover such a situation. A bit like an extended warrantee you might get for a washing machine for example.
    Then if at some stage a failure occurs the trade assoc. would carry out a report and act accordingly.
    Surely there must be a way to make it easier for the customer to get assistance from a trade authority.
     
  15. AOS Tiling

    AOS Tiling Superb Contributor

    Would a warrantee system where the customer pays a one off fee that would cover such a situation. A bit like an extended warrantee you might get for a washing machine for example.
    Then if at some stage a failure occurs the trade assoc. would carry out a report and act accordingly.
    Surely there must be a way to make it easier for the customer to get assistance from a trade authority.[/quote]


    Sorry Bob, I forgot that the TTA offer a warranty but its an extra charge on top of membership. http://www.tiles.org.uk/newsfile/news.shtml?item=20100506.130916
    I can't remember how the charges were worked out but recall when the scheme was launched, it just didn't look attractive to me so I never used it. Of course I have a chance of failure, but being proffi, I try and eliminate the risk with my technique and section of productsCan't see any Trade Assoc or underwriter offering to insure against failure on client demand when they have no control over if its a tradesman or a momkey undertaking the work - or if they did the premium would have to be high! Just look in the rogue gallary!
     
  16. Grace's Dad

    Grace's Dad Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    jay likes this.
  17. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member


    Sorry Bob, I forgot that the TTA offer a warranty but its an extra charge on top of membership. http://www.tiles.org.uk/newsfile/news.shtml?item=20100506.130916
    I can't remember how the charges were worked out but recall when the scheme was launched, it just didn't look attractive to me so I never used it. Of course I have a chance of failure, but being proffi, I try and eliminate the risk with my technique and section of productsCan't see any Trade Assoc or underwriter offering to insure against failure on client demand when they have no control over if its a tradesman or a momkey undertaking the work - or if they did the premium would have to be high! Just look in the rogue gallary![/quote]

    Wouldn't that be the point of registering. A public liability insurance policy has no control over the actions of anyone they insure, surely this is no different? And after all if the customer paid the premium like any user pays system, it could be offered as an option they can choose or not. No insurance and disaster=no cover for an investigation And report. It doesn't have to be very expensive either. Really what would it take to investigate and report on a failure or bad works?
    But like a lot of policies, there are some pre-requisites before you are covered. The same you could impose on membership. I may be wrong but I would like to see registration a privilege than a right. If the benefits outweigh the negatives then I for one would jump at the chance to be distinguished from the rogues. I'm not saying you are a rogue if you dont join but if the line is drawn then I know what side I would want to be on. But if an individual has got his business to the point he needs no assistance to get work and can earn a respectable living then great, good on him. He would still be someone I would recommend despite not being a member.
    The other view to look at this is mr and mrs Bloggs, they don't have the luxury of knowing who is good and who is not. To make the choice easy for them can only instill confidence in the industry and certainly, those who are a registered member of an official Trade Association.
     
  18. AOS Tiling

    AOS Tiling Superb Contributor

    I have always looked upin PL as cover for accidental damage - say I whack a shower screen or damage a bath then PL covers me. But I'd assume that PL would not cover failure? Failure will be caused by poor workmanship (wouldnt have thought PL would cover that), product failure (again, they'd send you back to manufacturer) or I guess on rare occassio, bad luck/act of God which I cant see an underwriter covering. Am I correct? Car insurance wont cover me if I'm drunk / using my mobile / not taking due care.

    I'm busy Bob and don't depend in TTA membership to generate leads but for what I see as a net fee of £100 per year after the economic benefits, I like the security it brings to me and my clients. If i do get a failure and need legal / tech advice they will be there for both me and my clients. I try to understand the apathy but at a net if £100 per year, I struggle with it. Any such overhead is simply built in to charges surely? I reckon I spend more on sponges (well, especially when I havent seen a Bal reo for a while- eh Danny?)
     
    Bob Neary likes this.
  19. AOS Tiling

    AOS Tiling Superb Contributor

    Just a thought, my brother in law is a black cab driver in London and from a distant converstaion I'm sure he gave me a figure of £1500 every 3-4 months for servicing and upkeep of his cab (this doesnt include lease or fuel). The standards are high and Joe public hold the service in the highest regards. If he has say a bump on the bodywork, she has to be addressed which means taking the cab off the road and into the bodyshop - in other words, stripping him of his income earner. It puts the fees charged by the TTA in perspective maybe.......
     
  20. garythetiler

    garythetiler Serious Contributor

    just to add to the conversation the b.s standards are not the figure quoted by Andrew which may have been a typo ,if you register as a member of the bsi you get a discounted rate there are 5 parts to bs 5385 and each part would cost as a member £90 each ,£140 each for non mmbers so the costs are £450-£700 the tta do produce technical guides which are free when you join .the report for £900 is in my opinion a fair price when you consider they are produced by the top experts in the industry and there are very few people qualified to write them , they may be used as evidence in legal proceedings ,would i be happy to have to find 900 to get one no? but I do think they are a fair price for the work involved
     
    AOS Tiling and branty1uk like this.

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