As an installer, how many times have you realized, “I am stuck with entrance mats in my scope,” and worried about how much money you were going to lose? Probably more times than you want to admit, but you don’t have to be worried about installing entrance mats. In reality, you can be excited about the increased revenue that you are going to make from this portion. Throughout this article, we are going to cover some common pain points of installing entrance mats and the easy solutions.
There are a variety of reasons behind the stigma of an impending entrance mat installation. You know these headaches well.
“Mats are hard to install.”
“We make little money for the increase of labor.”
“We don’t know how to quote them.”
And most of all: “There is a greater potential to lose money.”
These issues have simple solutions that can reduce your fears and make installing mats profitable.
Pain Point #1: Entrance Mats are Hard to Install and May Not Show an Increased Return on Investment.
What many installers don’t know is that you can take advantage of the manufacturers as a resource. Some manufacturers offer services like visits from a field technician, who will come to your site and measure the recess opening for you to ensure the mat is manufactured in the correct size. This also decreases your liability if the mats don’t fit.
Look for manufacturers that have installation videos available or offer live workshop training. Some manufacturers are willing to visit project sites and act and as a consultant during the installation process. These services usually have some cost associated with them, but they pay for themselves in the long-term, especially when you are able to take a new skill and apply it to future jobs. You can also lean on the manufacturer for approximate labor times for putting bids together – some even offer WebEx training to get you and your team up to date on products. These solutions will make the installation process easier for you and lower your labor costs, and your team will be more comfortable with entrance mats.
Pain Point #2: We Don’t Know How to Quote Entrance Mats and We Have a Higher Chance of Losing Money.
There are a variety of entrance mats available from a large number of manufacturers, all with different installation methods. This can cause a lot of fear for an installer. If the product requires more steps or time to install and there is not enough money in your quote, you have the potential to lose money. If the product is easy, requires little time to install and you put a generous amount of extra money on your quote to account for labor and time but lose the project, you lose money. Then, there are those last-minute bids that you have to quote very quickly just for a shot at winning. These entrance mat-related challenges can cause a lot of frustration.
Once again, there are simple solutions to this. Look to the manufacturers for assistance. Use them as a resource and create a lasting relationship with them. Manufacturers want you to be profitable from installing their products. If you make money using their products, you have the tendency to use them again, therefore helping them to profit as well. So, if you are unsure about how labor-intensive or time-consuming it may be to install a product, contact the manufacturer. They will jump at the chance to help you win the award. They can explain to you that certain products have a few extra steps and that you need to factor in some extra time for a successful installation. They can also tell you which products install easily with minimal steps and labor.
Develop a relationship with the manufacturer for those last-minute quoting opportunities. Some manufacturers are able to provide installers with factory pricing sheets that outline a budget price to use for such a situation. Keeping the communication open will benefit both parties and make those surprise opportunities less stressful and easier to win.
Paint Point #3: Modifications to the Site and Installation Materials
There are other factors that can contribute to the frustration of installing entrance mats. For instance, was the concrete recess poured correctly? Perhaps the recess was prepared by the general contractor or the concrete subcontractor and it may not be ready for a flooring installation.
You might also find that there are problems with the entrance mats and now you have to make modifications. Before you just start cutting the mat to resize it, contact the manufacturer. Otherwise, you run the risk of adding significant labor time, especially if you are unsure of what you are doing, and you could potentially damage the mat. A good manufacturer will be able to walk you through how to make those adjustments quickly and correctly, helping you to save valuable time and avoid costly mistakes.
You should also consider the amount of site prep that needs to be completed prior to installation. This is another area that can be cause for concern if you have limited prior experience. Site prep can range from a simple dimensions check and cleaning the debris from the recess to discovering that you need to completely level out the recess.
Manufacturers have instructions readily available on proper site prep and most will talk you though any of those issues to ensure that you are adequately prepared for installation. Remember, a successful installation is a reflection on the manufacturer as well as the installer. They want to help you create the best entrance possible with their products.
Building an open, honest and professional relationship with a manufacturer can help you begin to remedy these problems. This will not be the catch-all for every problem you may run into involving entrance mats, but it definitely will help make your job easier and more profitable. Just remember — good manufacturers are a resource, not just a material supplier.