The partitions industry has seen many changes: the 70’s use of drywall factory-made wall systems, aluminium in the 80’s and timber systems in the 90’s. Not forgetting the recent years, which have brought glass, glass and more glass! During this time, the one thing that has not changed is the need for specialists in our industry, as SIG Distribution’s sales & marketing director, David Hope, highlights.
Like the skilled joiner of the past, the specialist interior contractor has to evolve to meet customer demands. With the increase in demand for value engineering, and contracts being awarded to general contractors, we have a responsibility to ensure that value does not come at the price of performance, quality, design, flexibility and, of course, safety.
So what does the specialist interior contractor of today need to provide? Expertise, professionalism and the commitment to provide the very best service. This can only be achieved if this ethos is felt by everyone throughout the supply chain, from the manufacturer to the specialist distributor, who can themselves add value through support on acoustics, off-site construction, quality assurance and conformity. And finally, this ethos must be felt by the interior specialist, who builds their reputation on the products and services supplied to them, and by ensuring customer demands are not only met, but succeeded.
As we go into the future, customer demands will continue to put pressure on all, safety and performance will continue to take precedent and we will continue to see an increase in demand for performance-led systems, including fire screens, which provide insulation and integrity. Aesthetics and environment are increasingly important and the interior space can be enhanced through clever use of lighting, manifestation, design panels and customised designs. As an industry, we must all strive to use our expertise to ensure the customer understands the value of the specialist interior contractor.
With the need to give our support for our industry bodies, and following the formation of the new FIS Partition Forum, I believe the future looks bright for our industry and that we have the right people who can shape the future. Let us not be afraid to promote our specialisms.
SIG Distribution Sales & marketing director