How Quoting The Right Waterproofing Products Can Drive Profits Upwards
Today I'm going to talk about how quoting the right product for the right project can help drive your profits upwards where you want them to be, and so quoting is the piece of when you get this right it actually ensures that you can be profitable, but if you get it wrong it goes the wrong way. And so it's where the fine points are, and if you spend time in the preparation part of your work, particularly when there's jobs that are not your standard type of work ... When you know you're doing the same thing every day for a client or a builder that perhaps is just giving you a whole lot of showers, you know exactly what it is, it's a simple one, but if you come across a project which could be either repair, remedial, or something you haven't done before, that's where you need to really spend some time on the quoting and the preparation side.
If you allow too much, you risk losing the job. If you cut it too fine, you may not be making the rate that you need to because you haven't allowed for enough materials. And if you don't pay attention to those critical pieces, that's where you can make a loss. We're help to help you make the profits, so first of all you need to know the size of the project. That's an easy one, you get the plans, you can perhaps do a site inspection, but what about the unknowns and taking all the factors into play here, because sometimes you see a job and you go, "Yeah, this is an easy one for that product," and then when you're on the job and you're doing it, it goes wrong, it goes the wrong way, it goes a bit pear-shaped, and then you start trying to invent things to ensure that you make a profit. That's when you compromise quality and all sorts of other events snowball from there.
So firstly, do you have the right practical system for the project ahead? Sit and work through that first. Don't just look at things from face value, okay? Is it a liquid system you need to use? Is it a sheet system you need to use? Is it a multi-system or a combined system you might need to use? Think about that. The surface, what sort of surface is it? The timing that you need to do this, okay? What time of the year, the time of the day, the restrictions on it, and the conditions that you might be laying it in.
If you are laying product in Summer it could impact you significantly different than what it could in the winter time. If it's an outdoor job, you might not be able to work after midday, and if it's in the cold conditions you might not be able to start work until late morning because you're got to ensure the freeze thaw is gone if you're in an external area, so these are the things you need to take into account.
The cheapest product doesn't always mean that it's the way to go, okay? On face value you might go "Okay, this membrane's going to cost me $10, $12, $15 a square meter, and that's going to be more cost-effective for me," but it's your time you need to value the most. It is the commodity that everyone always has 24 hours a day. Bill Gates said, "Everyone gets 24 hours in the day." How he uses it, how I use it, how you guys use it, that's the defining piece, so protect your time. It's the one that I always harp on about, and those of you that have been down to our GAPP Program for training would know that I talk about time. Time is the differentiator.
So if we're talking about time, Gripset 38FC versus GC1, which one will actually do it quicker for me or be more suitable for this job? I need to take that that into account. GC2 for an external job, or do I go with our new Xpress range? You need to look at that. Is it the Xpress versus the 38FC? All these things come into account, and you need to take your time and assess that and think about all those things I said before about the timing, the conditions, the surface, et cetera. But always, always, always focus on your time, that is where your money is made. You can use a product that can be a few dollars more a square meter, but if you're going to get the job done and you save 10%, 20%, 30% of your time, that is where the profit is.
Second part, the product quantities, estimating the volumes is critical. Now I know many of you have got this down pat, but I still talk to guys and sometimes they get caught out in this part. Understand the surface, the absorption of the surface. The surface preparation might be needed. Do you require primers, and which type of primers will you want for this project? And always allow for that buffer, and like I said before, if you allow for too much, then you could be actually pricing yourself out of a job. If you allow for too little, then you're cutting it too fine.
I normally talk to people about a 5% buffer, they might stretch it up to 10%, it depends on the job and the unknowns, but if you know it's a fairly standard job, particularly a new surface, then 5% should be doing the right thing for you, allowing you the right amount of materials to go that way. The bigger the job, you need to think about "Okay, it might be 5%, but what is that in value?" You don't want to be over-killing and adding a few thousand dollars when the job might not even be worth that amount to actually allow for that buffer, so just take that into account and judge that very, very carefully.
And then when you're talking about product quantities, think about you as a buyer now, okay? With your monthly volumes, that could give you buying power. Now, I know a lot of applicators we speak to, and it can be down to stories, but a lot of them, they go in and they go and buy a few buckets a week, a few buckets a week, a few buckets a week. At the end of the month they might have used half a pallet to a pallet or more, but they actually haven't been buying it at the rate they could if they bought it by the pallet, okay? And shopping week-to-week can cost you more compared to buying larger quantities with your reseller.
Now, I know a lot of our reseller customers, they understand the contractor and the mindset, and they're there to help you. Talk to them, okay? See what triggers the price breaks. Ask, okay? Because you might find that if you've estimated you're going to be using a pallet of Gripset 38FC a month but you can't take it all at once, who knows what a deal you might be able to get. Or can you store it somewhere? Because if they can save costs, then they will normally pass it on to you, and you have then got a percentage difference in your price. So think about these opportunities because they're out there. Resellers, contractors, Gripset, we're all working together, how can you make that work, how can you make it work better? But be smart and play smart.
The last piece I'm going to talk about is product calculators, okay? Advice from the old Jewish Rabbi, "Measure twice, cut once." Now, there are tools available to you to understand the quantity that you need and you should utilize these tools, okay? Because you can sometimes do your math and you've worked out the old length by width, and area per square meter and the depth, and sometimes we've got tanks, we get a lot of people when they're doing volumes like planter boxes or water tanks, and they ask us "How much am I going to need here?" So you need to take that all into account, but we actually have a Gripset product calculator.
It works like this as you can see now. Give it a try if you haven't seen it before. Get onto our website or call the 1800 650 435 number, we can help guide you on how to use it. But try that out, because that actually allows you to punch in your areas and then calculate your materials accurately, and then you can add your buffer to that that you might need for that project, and if you want someone to run that by with you, like I said, we're here to help. I'm looking forward to hearing the stories how you guys are going to make 2019 more profitable.