When looking for a new plumbing product, what’s most important? For many, the decision comes down to whether the product works and is affordable – and rightly so. But to maximize your investment and ensure the job’s success long after you leave the jobsite, it’s important to dig deeper into the products you use and the manufacturer that creates them.
And once you find plumbing manufacturers you trust, you’ll have more confidence in your installs and worry less about customer callbacks. It may sound tedious to research manufacturers, but the payoff — knowing they’re reliable — is worth the extra time.
So, how do you find trustworthy manufacturers? Start by asking the right questions:
Does the manufacturer have a proven track record of reliability?
Having a new product fail after installation isn’t a gamble any contractor wants to take. It should be a given that it was built to last.
When you install a product, you need to know it won’t fail. A reliable manufacturer ensures quality throughout production and creates products to comply with industry codes and standards.
This happens by:
- Choosing quality materials over cheaper materials.Instead of using lower-quality raw materials to save money, the manufacturer should use robust materials that last long after installation. And its product specs should be easy to find online to maintain transparency about the product.
- Performing rigorous independent testing.Each product should undergo months of repetitive and extreme testing to make sure it can be pushed to its limits without failing. Try to find what a manufacturer has to say about their testing process — and if it exceeds minimum testing requirements.
- Helping lead compliance initiatives.Manufacturers shouldn’t just produce products that comply with industry standards. Company leaders should participate in initiatives promoting safer products that are better for the environment, such as the IAPMO WE Stand Committee.
- Owning the manufacturing process. Manufacturers who own the production of their products from raw material to final product have more control over the product quality and when things need to be adjusted.
Does the manufacturer create products that work seamlessly with existing solutions?
As a contractor, it’s a must that new products can work well with the ones you already use. It’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to make sure their solutions complement not only those in the same product line but also ones from different brands and materials.
Does the manufacturer’s leadership spend time on the jobsite?
Manufacturers should constantly seek ways to improve plumbers’ jobs, and the only way to truly do that is to walk alongside them on the jobsite. The manufacturers you partner with should be asking about your biggest pain points and presenting real solutions.
And even if you’re not yet one of their customers, the manufacturer should make it clear how they support and communicate with contractors like yourself. Look for evidence of strong customer relationships by reading online reviews, testimonials, case studies and support pages.
Partnering with the Right Manufacturers
The next time you search for a new plumbing product, take time to consider the reputation and business practices of the manufacturers. You’ll end up with more reliable products that will, in turn, help boost your own reputation with your customers.
Chris Carrier is the Marketing Director, Americas at RWC – a market leader and manufacturer of water control systems and plumbing solutions for residential and commercial applications.