PDA National Treasurer talks estimating and success in latest podcast

23 September 2020

STALWART Member of the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA), Bob Smith, has shared some of his knowledge and experience with Members in a new podcast chat with Association Chief Executive Neil Ogilvie.

With more than 60 years in the painting and decorating trade, Bob – a partner at Smith Bros Ltd in Leeds – first became an active Member of the PDA in the 1970s and now holds the post of National Treasurer.

In the podcast, which is available now, Bob talks about his career since leaving school in 1956, how he became involved in the PDA at branch and regional level before taking a role in the national Association as well as offering advice and insight into estimating and the challenges faced by the industry.

Bob said: “When you reminisce about the past times of regional councils over the years there have been some very very influential Members and you learn a lot from them.

“Going to college we had some great people in Leeds in those days, one of whom was the lecturer, Clary Kitchen. My estimating skills are based upon the stuff I learned from him.

“The most important thing about estimating a job is you have to know how much that job will cost.

“The selling price is entirely under your control whether it’s a profit or loss. If you don’t know the proper cost of the job then the selling price is a gamble.

“No good business can run for long by gambling on prices.”

As a long-standing PDA Member who has attended meetings for more around 50 years, Bob recognises the value of being able to share ideas and experience with fellow decorators.

He added: “I think technology has replaced a lot of the face-to-face meetings which is a shame.

“I started to attend Leeds branch meetings in 1970, we met in one of the prestigious hotels in Leeds.

“The branch had its own professional secretary and 30 to 40 Members attended each meeting. You had to stand up to address the chair – it was a bit more formal in those days.

“The PDA offers many benefits if you come across any problems and this year has shown the value of membership with the amount of advice and information that has been regularly produced throughout the pandemic.”

Neil Ogilvie is hosting the podcasts and invited Bob to the PDA headquarters in Nuneaton for the socially-distanced online broadcast.

Neil said: “The last few months have shown that using technology to communicate with each other has become more important than ever, but we’ve also learned that nothing beats a face-to-face conversation, even if you have to sit at a distance from each other.

“Bob has decades of experience in the painting and decorating industry and in the PDA and he has a wealth of knowledge that is valuable to so many in our sector.

“It was a pleasure to invite an elder-statesman of the industry to take part in our podcast.”

Episode five of the podcast is available now at: https://soundcloud.com/user-343346164/painting-and-decorating-association-podcast-episode-5.