I share with you in these challenging times the following advice given to our members which will be useful for the glazing industry generally:
As manufacturing times extend this is becoming an important issue.
Covid 19 hasn’t finished with us yet it appears; now we have new strains and the race against time to vaccinate. Will the vaccines work on the new variants one concern.
Now that winter is coming, deaths are expected to increase, but we must take care of ourselves, our businesses, and our customers.
You have the latest guidance. If there are any questions, please contact us immediately. Already there are questions regarding showrooms. Is there an office in the showroom? If so employees may need to work there but lock the door so that the general public cannot enter! When is a survey a sales call? Asking a surveyor to take measurements and perhaps photos, then the sales call can be by telephone or email.
Of vital interest is the situation of deposits paid by customers. As lead times extend we need to be clear about principles here. Who does the deposit, taken for a bespoke product belong to? The Federation’s Commitment to Good Practice states:
“Deposits may be taken due the bespoke nature of the goods produced. The maximum deposit acceptable by a Member in respect of any Contract, is 50% of the Contract value. All deposits must be considered as the property of the Customer, until 50% of the installation has taken place.
The Member will not use deposits received for the general running of the business, and will keep a monitored record of deposits in hand on a monthly basis, or use a separate bank account to keep these deposits isolated from the operational business account(s).
The Member undertakes to ensure the enterprise has sufficient capital and reserves to properly finance its current and anticipated turnover and to seek proper, professional advice, if necessary, in this respect.”
Here, are important ethical considerations. It is your responsibility to take care of the deposits entrusted to you and not use those deposits to run the company and pay yourselves from them!
The Government guarantees investments up to £85,000 per financial institution and this includes individuals and small businesses. Accounts separate from the account(s) used for the day-to-day running of the business can and should be set up to hold these deposits. A Deposit Holding Account adding deposits as they are received and being reduced as installations are started will keep this in order.
If you need any further advice about setting this up, please let us know.
Great difficulties may lie ahead. If glazing companies do not take care of customers’ deposits it will be to the detriment of the industry and will drive everyone into the hands of credit card providers and insurance companies. You can act ethically and stand alone with the best of principles.”