For some who have recently undergone the process of having their building or complex painted it may seem like there is a lack of quality in the painting industry as a whole. This is a sad perception which is perpetuated by sales people using scare tactics to promote themselves as the last of the “good guys”. 

I will be the first to admit that there is work to be done when it comes to on-site supervision and broadening of their knowledge base from a quality control perspective. The gap I believe is not a management issue. If you are able to run a successful applicator then you should be able to address most quality issues. Site Managers have the knowledge in most cases and check on work done on a daily basis. The quality gap lies between the site manager and the team on the ground. We do not expect the application staff to be able to address issues like damp or specification related issues, but those who lead a team of painters and who are on site all day have the control over what happens between manager visits. This is where the “men are separated from the boys” so to speak. 

I have found that the higher level supervisor can be an applicators best asset provided they know what their task is and their objectives are aligned with the companies’ quality objectives. Applicators who train their supervisors regularly and empower them to make decisions as well as communicate those decisions correctly are the ones who produce the best work. Oddly the supervisor is the last person who is introduced to the client in most cases. This is the person who will really be ensuring that workmanship standards are maintained. Daily monitoring is essential, but for the other 6 hours of the day the supervisor is the man in charge of quality and production. Site managers need to cede responsibility and accountability to supervisors. Unless you are there all day you cannot assure that all steps are followed, but if you or the supervisor is equipped with the knowledge he is able to make that assurance.

In closing I can say that the best workmanship I have experienced has always come from top on-site supervision. In contrast, the worst work seen is generally due to lack of supervision or low-level supervisors who are not trained or equipped.

The MPA invites you to enquire about our supervisor training course. Let’s take the first step in assuring quality remains a focus.