Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JUN 2015

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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they feel the responsibility of knowing it's a good product and doing what it should. I like having them working for me instead of just me on the phone with some distant supplier who may have 50,000 other clients just like me. I like knowing I'm more than a number." THROUGHOUT HIS 20 years with Standards of Excellence in Sacramento, Calif., which supplies kitchen appliances, Nick Kress, CR A, UDCP, meets with clients and end users, and also develops and maintains relationships with contractors, designers and architects. "One of the things I discovered in the business is it's all about relationships," he says. "I'm an appliance supplier. Prices are the same in 20 diferent stores, so who has the best price isn't in the equation. It's down to service and how clients are handled." Kress goes on to explain that viewing a job from a remodeler perspective is paramount when meeting with end users. "I have a better relationship if I look at the job from the remodeler perspective," he says. "It's all about communication every step of the way. We're part of a team as opposed to a company that simply supplies to the end user." Problems will occur in any given job. When they do, says Kress, "it's important you have a strong team that knows how to take care of them as quickly as possible. When I have a good relationship on both sides, there will be times when the contractor or designer will make an error, or I might make an error. If I make a mistake, they'll do what they can to make my problem solving as easy as possible. When they make a mistake, I do everything I can to minimize expense and hassle, while still reassuring the client they made the right decision with this professional and problems om Miller, CR, CKBR, president of Portland, Ore.-based Tom Miller Remodeling Inc., explains that in his experience there are either prob- lem creators or problem solvers. "If someone is a creator, I don't use them, whether it be an employee, subcontractor or supplier. I just can't aford it," he says. "If they're a solver and they help me solve my needs and problems, that makes them valuable to me." Realizing it's a two-way street, though, Miller tries to teach the same concept to those he works with to ensure they're not a problem to suppliers. "We're a solver," he says. "Tat generally makes for a healthy relationship. Te rest is getting to know suppliers, teaching them what services are important and what we expect. Tey let us know what's important to them.Tat usually means not changing orders unnecessarily, having our facts together when we place an order and paying on time." Miller continues: "A supplier can be big or small and have great relationships. It's really who they are and how they view their profes- sion. Are they really there to solve problems, or are they simply there to move product and get cash in the door? If they're not service-minded, I'll fnd that out fairly soon and won't stay there." Miller lists one example of a supplier work- ing to solve a problem as if there's a rush for a certain product they don't currently have in stock. "A good supplier will fnd a way to get it to me without a burdensome overcharge for doing that," he says. Although a product can be shipped from nearly anywhere, Miller prefers to work with local suppliers. "Teir service backs up everything we get from them. If there's a problem with the product when it comes in, they'll resolve it. When it comes through them, Communicate,Communicate, Communicate A supplier and remodeler agree the best way to build and maintain a positive relationship is to be present to each other By Laurie Banyay happen. What matters is the team works together to solve it." Kress also serves as chair of the NARI certi- fcation board. "Certifcation is an important step for suppliers," he asserts. "Te business acumen you learn from the course is invalu- able. As a supplier, it makes you understand what you do and how it afects the professional you're working with. It gives you knowledge of every perspective. You learn about safety, project progress, project management and what your role is in the process all the way to concrete, which may seemingly have nothing to do with you, but it ultimately does when you're part of the whole picture." Suppliers and others related to the industry, such as real estate or banking professionals, can take the CR A course, which runs parallel to the CR course contractors and subcontractors take. Certifcation also enhances credibility and gives clients confdence they are working with a team of certifed specialists. ULTIMATELY, THERE are no great secrets to building a great relationship. "It's like building a social relationship," Miller says. "You want to become important to your supplier and your supplier be important to you. I train my people to really make those personal connections. If they sense they're important to you, they'll make you import- ant to them. Tat's more important than the technical things." | T 14 June 2015 QR QualifiedRemodeler.com | ForResidentialPros.com PROFITS: NARI Recertification QR has teamed up with NARI to create a convenient way to earn credits toward your recertification. After reading this issue's article, take the test for CEUs at ForResidentialPros.com/narirecertification.

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