Installing a positive culture

Phil Beechinor, MD, Alexander

Whether you’re a lone wolf looking to expand, or a large outfit seeking to improve customer satisfaction, you may be able to learn a thing or two from Alexander managing director, Phil Beechinor, who has operated his own installation team for more than thirty years.

I’ve been in the KBB industry for the best part of my life, initially starting as a trainee kitchen fitter at Paula Rosa in 1984. I left soon after to set up Masterfit, my own installation service, which has operated side-by-side with Alexander since 1994. 

In this time, I’ve installed and designed thousands of projects, but one of our crowning moments was seeing Alexander named as kbbreview’s Installation Company of the Year in 2022. So, what led us to winning one of the most prestigious industry awards? And how can other installers implement our successes themselves?

Your client will either admire or be dissatisfied with your workmanship for years to come, so ensuring a great end-result is imperative for your reputation. Our philosophy has always been to add specialists in each area to our installation team, and where possible we offer full PAYE employment. 

Specialists are often more efficient in their work, and usually will provide a better outcome. The saying goes that a jack-of-all-trades is a master of none – which isn’t necessarily true and naturally there is some overlap between trades – but by employing specialists, we feel we’re providing our clients with the best possible level of service.

We’ve found that offering full employment creates a cohesive team and adds further responsibility to those installing projects. 

Skills shortages and an aging generation of installers are both concerning factors for our industry. We find that when hiring, offering a competitive salary is key, but many are simply fed up with undertaking their own administration, and that joining a company with a continuous workflow and internal support is also a strong pulling factor.

If you’re a small business, you may not have the workload or budget to hire specialists, so surround yourself with trusted subcontractors. If you have the opportunity to hire, make sure you employ those that match your standard of workmanship.

For every project, our installation manager undertakes a professional survey, and our support staff and project coordinators provide clients with a detailed schedule of when tradespeople will be due at their property. If unexpected delays occur, our team are able to ensure a smooth outcome.

Satisfied clients

With many projects underway at any one time, and more than twenty installers, our support staff have to work very effectively to ensure everyone is on the same page, and importantly, that our clients are kept in the loop. It’s always better to contact the client before they contact you. 

Our support team is made up of four dedicated staff members, but if you are smaller outfit, one single person may be able to handle the support for all of your projects at once.

Either way, it’s imperative to keep your clients informed. Investments in this stage of the process will reap rewards when your clients recommend your services in the future. 

In addition to providing great service via our support staff, we have also introduced great aftersales initiatives to further ensure the satisfaction of our clients.

As well as providing a yearlong installation guarantee, we contact our clients three times within their guarantee period to ensure the workmanship is as expected. This can generate extra work for our remedial installer, but by taking this step we are able to assure our clients of our commitment to a quality project. 

We also assist our clients with any issues that may arise outside of their installation period. By adding these small gestures into your process, your clients will be assured of your commitment to quality and to their project.

Home > Opinion > Installing a positive culture