Chris Harvey, Marketing Manager at Stelrad Radiators, explains how manufacturers can provide support for installers outside of conventional technical advice helplines.
Manufacturers have been supporting installers for years, and their offering includes much more than just a quality product range. It now extends to things like free training at local merchant branches, support apps with tools and technical information, CPD presentations, and even loyalty schemes that offer rewards for brand loyalty.
Product training is a well-known aspect of support that manufacturers can offer. Many hold training days at their headquarters but, given that certain locations can be prohibitive, it makes sense to bring the training to local merchants around the country.
For example, Stelrad’s Mobile Training Academy has undertaken more than 200 training visits around the UK so far this year. The academy is delivered by the Stelrad team of Brand Specialists, and has been primarily targeted at builders’ merchant staff during 2019, to help them to provide the support required by their customers – the installers looking to purchase Stelrad radiators from their local branches.
The courses on offer help to inform and educate participants on what to look for from their radiator selection, to help improve their radiator installations. Attendees of the Stelrad Academy courses also receive a certificate to recognise the time they have dedicated to learning more about radiators and their installation.
Manufacturers also offer various tools to support installers with everyday tasks. We have seen installers engage with our free heat loss calculator, as well as radiator sizing software programmes available via the Stelrad website. And, if there are complexities to the property installers are selecting radiators for, there is a more advanced version of the system available at starsapp.co.uk. All calculations in the system are based on dT50°, in accordance with BS EN 442.
Stelrad has also released a new app to help those specifying Stelrad Radiators to envisage them in a real life setting. Architects have been providing 3D graphics for years to give an impression of how buildings will look, but to be able to utilise accurate 3D images of real products can offer huge benefits to installers and the customers. It’s now entirely possible to visualise what a product will look like home or commercial property, ensuring that the customer is fully aware of how the finished product will appear.
Loyalty schemes are another popular way in which manufacturers are helping to support their installer communities. Stelrad’s Loyalty Club operates like many others – installers register as members of the scheme, and once they purchase products they upload their invoices and, in return, they get points. They can redeem their points for rewards in the rewards catalogue, choosing from branded clothing and similar items, or they can save the points and exchange them for product if they prefer.
Manufacturers are always on hand to provide you with technical advice and information on their products, but there’s so much more that they can offer the installer to ensure that they are prepared for any situation they might encounter while on the job.
Look to your preferred manufacturers to see if they can provide you with additional tools to improve the way you do your job, and stay ahead of the competition.
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