Did you know that almost 50% of all glass companies are sole traders? And did you also know that the Australian Glass & Glazing Association (AGGA) who is supposed to represent and support the Glazing Industry is predominantly represented by big business, which makes up just a fraction of the industry.*
That means that there are whole lot of glaziers out there who are doing their own thing with little to no relevant industry support. And the industry big guns are making decisions for an industry they can’t possibly fully understand, because more than half the industry is not represented.
But the Industry is on the cusp of change where there are a number of forces combining to make the industry ripe for disruption:
Firstly – There is a push for industry regulations whereby all glazing work completed will soon require a compliance certificate similar to Plumbing or Electrical trades.
Secondly – The Master Glazier program which has been introduced through AGGA, is providing a pathway for the sole traders and small business owners to elevate their profile. If adopted successfully by the industry, it will give the smaller operators the opportunity to show off their professionalism and a pathway to improve their skills ongoing, in a way that was not available to them before.
Thirdly – With the emergence of online marketplaces and google ratings, glaziers now more than ever need to be more accountable for the work they do because if they do a crappy job, then unhappy customers can vent very easily in the very public forum known as the internet and social media.
These three forces are combining for the perfect storm. Those tradies who don’t understand the minimum requirements for glass installation according to Australian Standards are going to be found out. Those tradies who are not registered with AGGA are going to have to register – to gain access to industry compliance certificates. Those tradies who operate on the level that ‘near enough is good enough’ are going to be called out by customers. There is nowhere to hide.
This is going to lead a push for a higher standard of service industry wide. There will be less emphasis on price and a greater emphasis on safety, professionalism and convenience. But who in the Glass Industry is focused on the sole traders and small business owners that represent half of the industry? It seems that most industry players are focused on the big end of town. It’s time for the industry as a whole to open its eyes to where the real value lies, in it’s grass roots tradesmen and women.
There is going to be an industry shake up – and it’s happening sooner and faster than you think.
* Reference: IBIS World Industry Report E3245, Glazing Services Australia, March 2016