Day rates within our industry have been a matter of contention and concern for some time now.  Any of you who have been around for a while will have seen the day rate plummet over the last couple of years, from an average of £520 per man day down to around the £350 mark today.  We have heard of polishers onsite for as little as £225 a day.

As a standalone tradesman, £225 may not be a bad living, but for those operating several glass polishers, keeping them out on the road 5 days a week is expensive and £225 does not leave a lot of room profit.  At The Guild, our job is to look out for the interests of all our members and for the glass polishing industry as a whole.  Doing our best to ensure that we all make a profitable living is a key part of maintaining the success of our industry, both now and in the future.

Having discussed current day rates with our current members and with The Guild steering committee, the consensus is that the industry standard should be set at £440 per man day within the M25 and £395 per man day outside of the M25.

This is around the current average day rate.

Out of hours - We should all apply a 20% premium for out of hours work, night time or weekend working.

We all need to get behind an industry standard day rate, especially for construction related contracts.  A popular misconception is that contracts are solely awarded on price.  If this were true, then none of us at the high end of the day rate scale would ever get any work, but we are working.

Although price does come into it, availability is very often more of a deciding factor, together with the peace of mind provided by a professional approach.

Remember we are a niche industry and most of our customers will only learn about glass polishing when they have a scratched glass problem.  Their first port of call is likely to be the internet.  They will ring the first number they come to and if you are unavailable they will move to the next number on the list.  There is very little loyalty in the construction industry, they just want the job done and signed off so they can be paid.

It is also worth considering that as a small industry there are not that many of us and we will frequently be played off against each other.  Having industry standards will go a long way to combating this.

One of the more popular comments we have heard on this topic is that The Guild is trying to standardise the day rate simply to make money for itself. 

It is true that it makes a small profit on any work The Guild refers to you.  The Guild utilizes the Network in just the same way as any Guild member can and at the same rates.  We make no more profit on these rates than any other Guild member.

There are a few points to consider here;

  1. The Guild needs to be funded. So rather than come to you, our members to fund the full costs of running The Guild, we offer glass polishing services and use Guild members to fulfil these services to subsidise our operating costs.
  1. The Guild is constantly striving to open new markets for glass polishing. Opening new markets benefits all of us, generating more work for you.
  1. Standardising the day rate may increase your current day rate. No one is saying that you have to accept work from The Guild or the Network, it is optional.  Even if you only serviced your own contracts you would be more profitable.  Is this not better for you and your business?

For those of you doing the maths in your head right now in relation to the Network rates and the standard day rates, the Network is a tool for you to use to benefit your business.  You guys, our members will be the main users of this facility.