In this month’s column with GGP Magazine, Faisal Hussain, Chief Executive of the Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS), talks about the role collaboration plays in creating a healthy and sustainable industry.
At DGCOS we’ve recently recorded a series of podcasts with our Brand Ambassador George Clarke and DGCOS founding member Thom Emerson of Ideal Window Solutions. The discussions on the podcasts not only touched on some really important issues that need raising, like mental health in our sector, but the day itself really brought to fore the value of collaboration and teamwork, sharing information, experience and expertise to achieve a shared goal. As individuals, the people mentioned above could have created something, but it would have been far less powerful than what we achieved by collaborating.
The transformative power of working together
Businesses use the word collaboration a lot, but I wonder just how much we really understand the transformative power it can have when properly integrated into our workplace culture? At its simplest, the definition of professional collaboration is: a working practice whereby individuals work together for a common purpose to achieve business benefit. Attributes of collaboration include open mindedness, accepting new ideas, communication, organisation, long term thinking, adaptability and debate.
When we take a deeper look at collaboration in our industry, it is when businesses of different specialisms, sizes and places in the supply chain come together that we get the benefit of different dynamics coming into play. For example, we have retailers and installers who have boots on the ground and are often closer to the end user of our products, the consumer, who understand the realities of delivery and what the consumer wants, and manufacturers who understand the complexities of producing the products we sell and may have better access to data and trends. Bring these together and you have a powerful proposition. Competition can be put to the side when you’re collaborating as an industry in the search for solutions that are well-informed, innovative and ultimately best for all. After all, we are all ultimately serving the same markets with the same needs, aspirations and challenges.
Creating a united voice
Sadly, the above is often easier said than done. As a sector, it’s not all the time that we work together. We’ve seen this play out many times over the last 20 years or so: remember when Window Energy Ratings were introduced? And when many found it unjust when the Green Homes Grant categorised double glazing as a secondary measure?
Collaborating to shape the future
The application of collaboration comes in many forms, from large, industry-wide public groups to lower profile, small private sets of influencers operating behind closed doors. Both have their place. This is where our members tell us DGCOS really comes into its own. We always have our members’ best interests at heart. We engage with and listen to our members so they can contribute and collaborate in industry topics and feel heard. We then turn this feedback into actions which serve purely to raise standards, protect consumers, and help our members’ businesses stand out and thrive. Our Installer Journey Benefits highlight all the areas in which we collaborate with and bring value to our members at every stage of their journey.
I believe DGCOS sets a benchmark in collaboration in our industry, where everyone has a voice, can share their successes and disappointments, and ultimately help to shape the future of our industry.