Jon Griffiths – Marketing Manager, Bostik
Here at Bostik, we believe that listening closely to the challenges faced by flooring professionals is the best way to ensure we provide the right products to help get work done efficiently and to a high standard.
One area we have focussed on is product quality and performance. We understand that competition for work is as tough as it has ever been, especially when looking to keep healthy profit margins and win important repeat trade. With this in mind it is crucial that all aspects of flooring work must not only stand up to scrutiny in being durable and fit for purpose, but also deliver the right value for money for the contractor.
This is certainly true of smoothing compounds, and an example of this is our new Screedmaster Speed product. We recognised that a big challenge for flooring contractors is to deliver high quality work to tight deadlines, and that doing so successfully can play an important part in winning repeat trade. So we developed Screedmaster Speed specifically for projects where work needs to be completed to a high standard and to a tight deadline – meaning the finishing can be fitted as quickly as possible.
This consideration of how a product works in real life also means that this and our other smoothing compound products such as Screedmaster 2 Ultimate and Screedmaster Smooth are low-odour as well as being protein and casein free, meaning they can be used in biologically sensitive areas such as hospitals.
As a manufacturer, it is important to be regularly looking for new innovations that can help to improve the sustainability of products. There is a balance to strike here, as it is crucial that product performance and quality is maintained.
So, a lot of hard work is put into finding materials that can offer the right level of quality and performance whilst also having the least possible environmental impact from “cradle to grave” – that is, from where they are sourced, through manufacture and use, to the end of useful life in current form. The bottom line for those in the flooring trade is that you are able to do the same high quality job with a product that is having a reduced impact on the environment.
Of course, it’s also very important to offer the right level of customer support for products. From time to time contractors are going to need help – perhaps in getting the right specification, or understanding how to get the best out of new products. Our dedicated support team is based in the UK and has a wealth of experience in guiding users through the right steps when needed.
Our commitment to helping contractors goes beyond our support department. We also focus on training in a number of forms, all geared towards helping increase knowledge and skills. The training centre at our Staffordshire site is dedicated to this and runs a range of courses to help flooring professionals get the inside track on what we offer. It’s proved particularly useful when introducing new products with important practical benefits.
Helping with the development of flooring professionals, and to educate the next generation is also something we focus on with training. Many companies of all sizes are realising that ensuring existing and new staff are given the opportunity to learn important new skills is an excellent way to maintain a high quality of work and help to build business.
It was for this reason that we set up the Bostik Flooring Academy, working closely with a number of colleges to offer courses for both industry newcomers and those with more experience looking to build on existing skills. Training is available in floor covering at NVQ Levels 1, 2 and 3, as well as two year construction diplomas on a day release basis. In addition to this, the colleges run On Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) for experienced workers, and Experienced Workers Practical Assessments (EWPA) for those with CSCS cards.
In short, we believe in taking a full look at how a product manufacturer can help flooring professionals, especially in the current tough conditions. By offering product innovation and quality with real practical benefits for the industry, coupled with support, guidance and training when needed, we can best help our customers to build their businesses.