Are you sick and tired of high installation costs? Are you looking to reduce your labor costs? Are your installers costing you big bucks due to job failures? If you answered "yes" to any of these, look in a mirror. It might reveal that you're the problem - or at least part of it - not the installers.

There are, always have been and always will be concerns about the costs of installations. Generally, the ones who get the blame are the installers. The script is well known and long established. For openers, here are a few of the barbs thrown at installation and installers. "They don't know what they are doing." "For what we pay them, installers should give us good, professional installations done a reasonable amount of time." "Hell, anyone could do the job, why can't my guys do it right?"

Managers who are the problem, or at least part of it, share many faults in common. They are faults that add up to big-time dollar losses on jobs gone bad, to labor costing more than it should, customer dissatisfaction at the highest level, and shrinkage of the bottom line. I will give you a starting list to which many of you can add.

Let's start with installers sent out on a job who don't have a clue about how to properly install the floor. The boss sold the job and figured his people could do it. But in fact, they couldn't. This goes on and on, adding up to big-time costs to management because of jobs gone sour.

Then there is the classic of underestimating how long a job should take. The installers are put under the gun to reduce the installation time with a predictable result: job failure, costly callbacks and/or disgruntled customers. What are installers to do if management says, "I don't care what it takes. I want this job completed by..."

Another classic is management that bends over backwards not to provide training opportunities for new and veteran installers. You'd think there was no training available when, in fact, there is a ton of training opportunities. Much of it is close at hand through distributors, associations, training schools, and manufacturers. Training isn't an expense. It is an investment that brings positive returns.

Don't overlook the management people who buy installation supplies not based on quality products designed for the particular floor and jobsite but instead strictly on price - quality and specifications be damned. A few pennies saved often increases time lost installing the job and job failure, which sure does shrink the bottom line.

I would love to hear from you, pro and con, on this subject. I will bet you can add to my starting list.