Being able to provide customers with up to date and accurate information regarding their heating systems is one of the most important factors in being a heating installer. Change happens often within the heating industry, whether it be with new products and technologies or the introduction of new EU legislation, and it’s up to plumbers and heating installers to be aware of these changes for the benefit of their customers.
However, time is tight, particularly for those who are self employed. Any time spent learning and researching means the installer is not earning money, so it’s very important that time is not wasted on unimportant or inaccurate information. So with the vast array of sources of information to be consumed, where should the average heating engineer go to ensure they’re getting the best?
An excellent place to start is with the Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) as they have a huge amount of statistics about carbon emissions, renewable heating technologies, energy consumption, fuel poverty figures and much more. For any installer wanting additional information, going straight to a Government department makes complete sense.
Another source of incredibly useful information is the Health & safety Executive (HSE). For any information on dealing with health and safety issues, such as dangerous substances, risk assessments or reporting shoddy workmanship, the HSE is an organisation any plumber or installer must familiarise themselves with. It also produces a range of publications that offers a huge wealth of information across the whole construction industry.
Building a good relationship with product suppliers will always be beneficial, not only for sourcing parts and components, but also for the fantastic insights to be gained from people who spend all day, everyday with the products you will be installing. Having good dialogue and communications with suppliers will provide any installer with invaluable knowledge that just can’t be found anywhere else.
It’s also a good idea to network with others who are in the same industry. This can be online, by reading blogs by manufacturers, social media accounts of other plumbers and installers or by signing up to industry newsletters and magazines. Chatting face to face with others in the know is also a great way of getting word of mouth information from people who have gained vital hands on experience with many of the same products, problems and solutions.
Another good idea is to go to carefully selected trade shows and events. Of course, taking time off to go to lots of different events is probably not practical or affordable, but choosing ones that feature products by manufacturers that you use a lot can be a superb source of information. Many will feature new products that you will be working with, so hearing manufacturers talk and perhaps give hands on demonstrations will often give you a headstart before the products come to market.
Getting good information from a range of quality sources is an important feature of any heating installers business. Ultimately, the better your knowledge and experience, the better the service you can provide, which will lead to increase in business and profit.
Article by Benjamin Clarke
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