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Trade Press Day 2021 (RPS): On the rise with service and digitalisation

The RPS business was, of course, also affected by the pandemic in 2021, explained Faden. He described how the cancellation of almost all consumer trade fairs was a parallel to the previous year. The situation with police advice on burglary protection is similar, albeit with different regional practices. The owners’ meetings that are important to the commercial sector were the exception. At the end of the day, you have to accept that the material shortages and delivery bottlenecks that affect the partner companies, along with the significant associated price increases, were essentially caused by the coronavirus. By contrast, the fact that end customers are getting over their fears of meeting in person is a step in the right direction.

Faden describes the security technology business, including the relevant repairs, as “desolate at the moment”. Against the background of a 55 per cent drop in crime rates in Germany since 2015 and the lack of public or media interest, the population has little motivation for this topic and is not willing to invest in it. Even government funding is unable to do much to change this. This issue nevertheless remains highly relevant, especially with regard to preventive aspects. RPS will continue to actively work on this in any case. With the “PM 12/16-VdS” retrofit hardware, it is to date the only service provider to be granted VdS certification.

The original idea provider

The efficiency of the diversification strategy is once again evident in this phase. Not only does it compensate for the temporary losses in the burglary protection and renovation sector, it also ensures unabated growth overall. In 2021, this is made possible by the drastic increase in demand in the service segment, which currently has the highest turnover of all the business areas. The “complete service for roof windows”, which has been successively established and expanded together with the Roto Roof System Technology (DST) division since 2020, also plays a noticeable role here. According to Faden, all “Service Friends” businesses are able to competently provide the appropriate package of services, from repair to maintenance work, regardless of the manufacturer.

Moreover, the unabated growth dynamics and the full market acceptance of the concept clearly proved to be “inspiring”. This is leading to the establishment of new similar service models, at least based on the most recent attempts by some hardware manufacturers. Like in the past, Roto enjoys generating ideas and looks forward to taking on new competitors. In front of around 75 journalists who were either attending the event in person or tuning in online, the RPS Managing Director emphasised that: “For us as the original, we see it as confirmation of the quality of our ideas and an incentive to move forward at the same time.”

The dense network of qualified and experienced partner businesses is a “clear benefit that sets us apart”. The aim of a blanket presence in German urban regions has almost been achieved. According to Roto, the network now includes eight companies at eleven sites in Germany and Switzerland. SecuTecc, a new member with six employees, has served the wider Halle-Leipzig-Dresden area since March 2021. Faden describes the centrally located specialist company as “strategically important backup” given the brisk construction activity in East Germany.

This means that the only vacancy left is in the Hamburg region. There are many options available to fill it. The RPS Managing Director is optimistic about accomplishing this mission in 2022.

What property managers expect

In general, the small-scale business that is increasing especially in the service sector poses particular economic, administrative and logistical challenges. This applies to all stages of the process. For this reason, there is no alternative to the digitalisation approach which has already been embarked on as “we want to safeguard our customer-oriented competitiveness in the long term”. Faden cited the rapidly increasing demand for professional window and door maintenance as one example of this.

In a video statement, Martin Kaßler, Managing Director of the Association of Property Managers in Germany (VDIV), outlined the wishes of the over 3400 companies that are part of his association. They are responsible for the trust management of around 7.6 million properties across Germany. The collaboration with Roto Professional Service, which has been successful for several years, is important because around 60 per cent of Germany’s building stock dates back to before the first German Thermal Insulation Ordinance. This means that the windows and doors in these buildings are subject to increased wear. Expert support from professional partners is necessary to replace and regularly maintain them.

However, property managers have very specific expectations for the services provided. More specifically, Kaßler lists: arranging appointments directly with tenants, confirmation from the tenant that they have approved the work, compliance with the GDPR, comprehensive maintenance documentation for safeguarding warranty claims, and competitive prices. To implement all of this in practice and to constantly optimise service to the benefit of property managers, the VDIV Managing Director will continue to count on close dialogue with RPS specialists. All things considered, he “couldn’t imagine a better partner” at the moment.

To conclude, Faden presented a digital maintenance process in the project business online. This covers the necessary stages from agreeing on an appointment through to handover of documentation. The programme is consistently used by all partner businesses. The speaker’s conclusion was that “digitalisation is also a growth driver.”