AND MORE SERVICES
Installation companies are emphasizing
logistics, by adding new capabilities or add-
ing expertise through acquisitions. As Bill
Rinder, executive vice president of PHG
Retail Services, based in Independence,
Ohio, notes, “The challenge is coordinat-
ing logistics—getting everything together
with the right materials at the right time
with the right installers.”
A few other areas where installation com-
panies are providing more—or improved—
support services include:
• Fixture removal, reuse, and recycling.
CH Robinson Worldwide Inc., headquar-
tered in Eden Prairie, Minn., offers fixture
“de-installation” as well as fixture recycling
through reuse and material segregation.
TIPS FOR A BE T TER INSTALLATION
1 Provide a clear scope of work for the project.
Work with your installation company to
make sure that expectations (for both
sides) are clear—as early in the project as
possible. Providing specs and other details
will help the installer define the scope of
the project and what’s required to get it
in-store correctly and on time.
OF THE INSTALLATION COMPANIES THAT
RESPONDED to A.R.E.’s September survey,
82 percent now provide installations services
internationally. For a few installers, international
growth is coming from new clients based internationally. But most of the companies A.R.E.
spoke to for this article are expanding their own
geographic reach as they follow existing domestic
retail clients who are opening overseas.
Larry Thibodeau, partner in Manchester,
N. H.-based Flexecution Inc., which has previously
focused on the U. S. and Canada, now has opportunities in both China and Europe. Thibodeau says
he expects to see international installation services
continue to grow. The biggest challenge, he says,
is completing the work in a cost-competitive
manner. Overseas travel, for example, is
Richard Hall, president of Atlanta-based
Beam Team Inc., notes that international is a
slowly growing area for his company. “Language
translations, cultural differences, and labor laws
are all challenges that need to be considered
before jumping into a new country,” he says.
Evan Giniger, founder and president of New
York-based Dynamic Resources, says his company
started by opening an office in London in 2008
and now has offices in Dublin and Dubai. “The
international market is virtually untapped for
a single-source installation service,” he says.
Installation Solutions, based in Brooklyn Park,
Minn., has been handling installations in Canada,
Mexico, and Puerto Rico, according to Isaac
Bindert, CEO. As international retail markets
heat up, his company is beginning to work in
Europe as well—almost entirely for domestic
clients who are expanding internationally.
A world of new challenges
With this geographic expansion across borders
comes a world of new challenges, some predictable, others less so. “With international
projects, your biggest challenges tend to be
associated with remote planning/scheduling,
understanding of regulations, logistics, customs,
language barriers, and international travel,”
notes Rick Davis, CEO of Dallas-based DAVACO.
Another installation company noted that
language is a bigger challenge than many might
realize. This company, which was expanding into
Mexico, realized that they needed to develop
new communications software for Spanish.
Bob Thomas, executive vice president of
Suddath Global Logistics, based in Jacksonville,
Fla., notes that in the past year, labor strikes have
disrupted transportation in a number of ports
across the globe. In addition, permitting and
building guidelines are very different from
As Installation Solutions’ Bindert notes, “It
takes more than simply applying for a permit.”
It’s necessary to understand not only the local
laws and regulations—and the red tape—but
also how to work with local authorities to
And a range of other challenges, as cited by
Mike Haddon, COO of Plymouth, Minn.-American
Installation Companies: import tariffs (depending
on country of manufacture); local labor laws,
including wage scales and overtime practices;
company registration and laws in local provinces
that may differ from national laws; communication; and quality assurance.
“You need a person on the ground for
communication, and clearly defined quality
expectations for finished products,” Haddon says.
Giniger agrees, and cites additional challenges
including national and regional pride, and varying
work ethics and rules, which he says tend to be
“more casual than the American ‘get it done at
any cost’ mentality.”
based in New York, handled this
millwork installation for G-Star in Zurich.