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Thread: moving with the times

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    moving with the times

    here is a question...i think a lot of the old school sparkies are asking themselves...is it time to move froward and stop trying to do things the old way...like the move from steel pipe to bosal pipe then to pvc pipe and now to twin + E.

    i quote for jobs still using the old type wiring system...pvc pipe and wire...always worrying about the how tidy the job is...using the more expensive switches and just generally trying to do a quality job...yet all the switch manufacturers are going with the times...cheaper junk made in china...so you basically pay for the name...they all seem to break or burn out just as quick...using heineman circuit breakers which have just priced themselves out the market as i think i am doing to my company.

    looking forward to my next 10 year plan...i am thinking of using all the technology i have invested in to start making some good money instead of alway trying to do things the old way...and rather look at becoming an extremely efficient company rather than a good quality company...the other problem i have is when you do the job right the first time you dont get anymore work because they never have to call you to fix...and dont tell me but they tell their friends...actually they dont because they dont need you so they forget about you...i learnt this after the christmas break...once i set out and started working again this year work just took off not because i did good work last year but because most customers who saw me this year remebered all the things they have been meaning to do...so bussiness has got off to a good start..this year.

    i have been asking customers about their wiring to get an idea...and most people are clueless...all they want is when you switch on the stove it must work...or when they plug in the tv it must come on...they dont care if there is a pipe in the wall or a piece of twin+e or the wire are neatly secured to the beams at 90 degrees...so long as it works.

    so my conclusion...time to start making some real money...and stop always worrying about hiding the wires and making it look like a real tidy job...because at the end of the day when the customer climbs in the roof he doesnt know the difference betwen the aerial wire the allarm wire and the intercom wire...so why go to all that troble making my job look neat when all the other wires look like cr*p...you cant even see my wires amongst the mess most of the time.

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    Just remember people are not stupid, they know quality when they see it, besides there is a thing like self respect and good workmanship, don't throw away something you have worked for years to built, it has a tendency to come and bite you in the butt...
    They will surely see the sloppiness and will not recommend you, people does talk to each other.

    I have a small business and never advertise, my business comes from word of mouth - better advertising you don't get.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I've spent too much time stuffing about commercial kitchen ceilings to care too much about neat 90 degree wires in there. The guy before you didn't care too much and the guy after you won't care too much either. You are responsible for your own piece of work within the regulations and sensible safety, nothing more.

    Its like fitting a new car radio in a car. You could clean up all the trash behind the dash and sort out all those old aftermarket gadget wires, or you could leave it all as is and fit the radio to currently acceptable standards. My view is to fit the radio and move on.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    dont get me wrong...the idea is to move forward...not use piping anymore...like steel moved to pvc now its time to move away from pvc and just put the twin +e straight into the wall ...i will still work according to the new SANS standard...but unfortunately the quality of workmanship will have to suffer...i had this discussion with my wife and as she pointed out would you pay R100 000 for a hand crafted cornice in your house...not...but you would spend R2000 on a moulded cornice painted to look pretty...pretty much like my plan for the future...the idea is not to do shody workmanship just lower my own standards and use new technology to achieve it.

    i will give you an example of a job i did a couple of years back...a customer paid me good money to wire up a small office block...i went out my way to hide every single wire and put trunking right thru the roof with all the pipes 90 degrees...everything chased in...light fitting 100 % straight you name it i went all out...when i completed the job i sat back and went wow i am proud of the job i did...2 weeks later i arrived back on site to connect the aircons...the electric fence company had installed the wiring for the fence...the alarm company had installed all the wiring and the aircon people had done their job...man i wanted to cry when i saw how they had messed up the roof space...pipes on the surface not even straight outside the building etc etc etc...when i asked the customer why they acepted it like that...the answer..."oh i thought that was normal"...i vowed that day never to waste so much time doing a job ever again...i still do a neat job but i just dont go to so much trouble...and in the future i will still do a neat job but just not waste time putting piping and stuff...i have a machine which can cut a small slot in the wall without any dust...big enough to fit speaker wires...twin + e etc

    i have also been to estates where people pay millions for houses and when i look at how the wiring is done by the same contractors who do low cost housing...the people dont even have a clue...onlt because they dont know any better and they dont climb in the roof...nor can they see behind the plaster...only when things start going wrong will it effect them...and by then the contractor is long gone...then its up to me to fix but then they dont want to spend thousands fixing it so they look for the cheapest quote...which at the end of the day what most people are looking for...if you can fix it and it works for the less than anyone else thats all that is important...

    i still have customers who want the job done to the best of my abilty...but i can tell you they are starting to drop off as time get more and more difficult so things change and quality of workmanship is no longer the important factor...all i need is the new plumber or builder on site (because the other one was thrown off site because they were seen as ripping the customer off) to get one of theire mates to quote for a job i have already comlpeted...then the customer starts asking why i am more expensive and the ball starts rolling...then they want to know why i cant do the job for the same price...etc etc...before you know it the customer starts shopping around for cheaper prices and we are back to square one...hence this thread...it is time to move with the times...become more efficient...leave labourers...semi skilled on site instead of skilled people...

    the site where i am working at present is a good example of this thread...you can actually see the work on site which was done a couple of years ago...but as the new work is beng done by contractors so you can see how the standard of workmanship is dropping...the workmanship is getting worse and worse as time goes by...steel pipes where used...now surfix is just strapped to the building structure...threaded rods and hangers have been replaced with chains just wrapped around the trunking to support it...but at the end of the day it is within the standard...not illegal...it works...why fuss about it.

    i have to accept that we live in a third world country and no matter how hard i try...it is only gona get worse.

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    If everybody start thing like this the rot will just happen quicker...

    I am not saying I am perfect, but one should try to do a high standard of work so that it can be seen as an example of how it should be done, giving the "lower standard" persons something to strive for.
    Last edited by Chrisjan B; 12-Jan-11 at 11:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrismine View Post
    If everybody start thing like this the rot will just happen quicker...

    I am not saying I am perfect, but one should try to do a high standard of work so that it can be seen as an example of how it should be done, giving the "lower standard" persons something to strive for.
    maybe in a 1st world country...but unfortunately in this country...it seems the only thing people strive for is a fancier car and money.

    our roads and verges are a good example of the peoples attitude in this country...full of potholes and grass so long...just now you will need to drive in the middle lane...if we cant even get a simple thing like cutting grass right how on earth would we get a more complicated thing like electrical installations right.

    i am starting to agree with adrianh...if the wire is the correct size and is reasonably safe as per the COC who cares what it look like where you cant see it...even if the plug on the wall is not straight people 90 % of people dont even notice it...the odd 10 % might but the rest couldnt be bothered....and if it works for 10 years why change it...in fact if it works for 2 years why change it,

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    i have to accept that we live in a third world country and no matter how hard i try...it is only gona get worse.
    You said it!

    I include a couple of pics I took in Zambia - Look closely at that building - PVC pipe...what for - just toss the cable out the window.
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    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murdock View Post
    even if the plug on the wall is not straight people 90 % of people dont even notice it...the odd 10 % might but the rest couldnt be bothered....
    I'd suggest only 10% of people complain about it, but a heck of a lot more notice it - they just don't say anything. What most people don't notice is when the plug on the wall is straight.

    I wouldn't toss quality workmanship out the window. Some stuff doesn't really cost much extra anyway - like making sure the plug is level. That's an "attention to detail" thing. Sloppiness on stuff like that tends to filter through to other areas - including stuff that might be really important.

    There are more than enough people out there that realise that quality and service levels do matter. All you need to do is make sure the premium they have to pay for that isn't too high.

    Sloppy, cheap service is dime a dozen. It's a lot less competitive when you are competing for clients who realise there's a value in quality, durability and the like.
    Last edited by Dave A; 13-Jan-11 at 09:31 AM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    We don't want our country to look like Zambia, and only we can upheld the standards, do not follow a bad example and bring yourseld down to theit level.

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