Help required for the time ahead

It has been a couple of weeks since Certass was crowned Trade Association of the Year at the BEIS sponsored TAF Awards (see p8), and already work is being done to build on this success and further improve the offering to the local glazing business.

Historically, glazing membership bodies have done little to help the local tradesman, believing that if you are well known in your own market then your brand logo is enough and can be charged at a premium.

Local tradesmen are not fooled as neither are their customers who statistically do not ask for a specific logo, as they focus on the quality of your work, your local reputation, and the price you can offer.

As the recall level with consumers of any glazing industry mark is below 10%, what the tradesman needs is therefore more than just a badge; we need benefits of actual value, information delivered so we can quickly and easily understand it, and guidance on how we tackle the upcoming regulatory minefield.

This has set Certassapart from others within the glazing market. Through helping the local business trade by giving access to free advice and guidance on legal, health and safety, contracts and HR, something tangible is being delivered. This is then coupled with short training videos on key installation topics, along with information and guidance on the regulatory road ahead.

All this, combined with the fact that Certass was able to offer finance to homeowners from a top European bank, has enabled the local installer to not only compete with the large national but in numerous cases win.

Given the regulatory road ahead there is no more important time to be part of a trade association than now. We know that regulation will change, we know that how we judge competence will evolve, and we know that having access to the right guidance can be the difference between business success and failure.

Too many people pretend to be ‘in the know’ and ‘influential’, but it is time to look at their credentials for making these statements. Government is inundated with requests for meetings and information, and with more than 3,000 trade associations in the UK it will only be listening to a specific few. So be certain that the membership body you belong to actually has the connections and influences that help you.

Certass stood up to be counted and was awarded for doing so by the industry body for trade associations. I am excited by the journey ahead as we can make a significant difference to how glazing is perceived and the opportunities available to it. Glazing needs a new list of friends and we are actively working on it. History is now obsolete.