May 19, 2014

A Simple 3×5 Card Will Bring You More Business

By Paul Bieber

I was involved in an interesting glass story this week. In my local town, a retail merchant called me about a break in her storefront. It had started out as a BB hole and wandered a little bit south and north from there. She had read about low-E glass and asked me to help her decide what kind of glass to get. Well, she had four lites in her storefront—two on each side of the door—and I explained to her that if she wanted to get the best performing low-E on the market, her storefront would no longer look consistent unless she changed all four lites.

Upon visiting her the next day, I learned that she had low-E in her storefront, and it appeared to be a hard coat on the number 3 surface. I tried the old match trick and saw a definite bluish-green color on the third light. But whose was it? 

I advised her to call three different companies for quotes and information and then share the quotes with me. 

Which company got the job and installed the replacement IG unit? 

It was the one which knew what type of glass it was. One glazier had an index card file with all of his jobs listed by street name and location.  He went to the file and discovered it was a Pilkington low-E, and he had installed it about four years ago when a different person owned the shop.  He saved having to reglaze the entire store front and prevented it from looking odd.

This cost him nothing. No fancy software, although a simple spreadsheet would certainly be better than 3-by-5 cards. No extra investment beyond a little bit of thinking of the future. How many of you keep track of your jobs? Other than in your memory? Because you can’t and shouldn’t answer every phone call. You have to depend on your team and the information readily available to them. 

It is not too late to start. Go with street and address as your locator, as names and ownerships can change. Keep the size and type of glass. Add the type of metal and the gasket, and you are ready to do a fast and profitable replacement while your competitors are still spinning their wheels.  

Work Smart!