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HPM November 2015

WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com BUSINESSFEATURE An informed installer is a prepared one As with many fast moving industries, being in the know is vital. The installers with all of the info are the first to get the best offers, learn about new legislation, discover new products and find jobs. Plumb and Parts Center looks at how installers can find the knowledge they can take to the bank... As a heating installer or engineer, having plenty of bankable knowledge is a must, but it’s not always clear for the busy installer where to pick up the best intelligence available. With the rise in installers getting involved with new and sometimes complicated renewable and energy efficient technologies, keeping up with the latest information goes beyond just training courses Knowing where to get the right information can be the key to getting ahead of the game. But where are the best places for installers to find the answers? THE GOVERNMENT Government bodies like the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) can be top sources for literature to help with various obstacles and problems installers may face. DECC has loads of facts and figures on the impact of renewable technologies and is great for finding out the carbon emissions that various heating products emit. If installers are unsure about what health and safety precautions to take with certain jobs they can log on to the HSE website for informative guides on the tools and safety gear they need. It can be a valuable source on health and safety information, from dealing with a building that has asbestos, to working with fossil fuels. COUNTER CHAT It’s always a good idea to become pals with your plumber’s merchant, after all they know what they’re talking about. They spend all day with their products and hear all sorts of feedback from customers, making them a vital source of product information. Plumb and Parts Center train their staff to the highest level so they know exactly what they’re talking about when it comes to the products they sell. Each branch also has experts that specialise in different parts and products. Whether they want to learn about the latest air source heat pump, or find out what parts they need for an installation, installers can ask in any branch. Installers can get online too, and follow Plumb and Parts Center’s official Twitter account, @TradeOnTap which is a valuable source of information on all things heating, plumbing and renewables. READING Trade magazines are also a great source of information for installers. Readers can find Befriend your merchant, staff spend all day selling products and they hear plenty of customer feedback articles by people who produce and sell the items they use on a daily basis. Most industry magazines, like HPM, are free to subscribe to, so installers don’t have to fork out to get great, informative articles to help them with their trade. HPM fans should subscribe to the weekly newsletter, Plumbzine, for important news from all over the industry. Installers can also follow us on Twitter at @hpmmag and browse our website for all of the latest plumbing and heating scoops. TALKING THE TALK Next to the internet word-of-mouth is the quickest way for information to spread. Like in any sociable industry, installers talk, and chatting to contemporaries can help them avoid potential pitfalls in certain jobs or with handling certain technologies, just by referencing to past experience. Getting a good consensus on a product from people that an installer genuinely trusts can be reassuring when working with something unfamiliar. It’s important for installers to pass on all of the information they can, even if it’s negative. Every industry has its information network, and installers are the foundation for the heating and plumbing sector. Installers must talk the talk to help each other walk the walk. EVENTS It may not always benefit an installers’ coffers to take time off of the tools, but visiting trade shows, can certainly boost their knowledge bank and, indirectly, their actual bank. Reading about products is a great way to swot up on information, but you can’t beat listening to an expert talk about them in the flesh. Installers can also benefit at events by witnessing hands on demonstrations and getting to grips with products themselves. Installers can also pick up plenty of useful literature on products, training and job processes that can be excellent additions to their growing work library. HOARDING IS REWARDING Smart, reliable installers know that they should never go into a job without being clued up. Doing a good job helps retain customers, but being a fount of knowledge is also a great way to keep the punters coming back. No information is worthless, it’s a varied job and an installer can never be sure what sort of questions are going to be asked, or what’s going to happen on a job. Installers should keep hold of all the literature they accumulate, even if it’s the manual for a product they know how to install – complications can always crop up. So it’s worth developing a reference system for these useful materials as a hard copy or, better still, a digital version that can be accessed when they are on the road. 18 NOVEMBER 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY enquiry number 108


HPM November 2015
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