QSD’s customers come back time and again, not only for quality products, but for the end-to-end service they receive.
For new customers thinking of giving QSD a try, we thought if we sat down with three veterans of QSD’s customer service team to talk about some of the things they focus on in stage curtain installation and maintenance, you’d get an idea of what it means to put the Q on a project.
Confident and Thorough
When you speak with any of QSD’s staff, it’s revealed very quickly their knowledge and commitment to providing solutions their customers need. Solutions that go beyond merely selling products. They know how it should be installed, how it should be used and how it should be maintained.
Between them, Roman, Terence and Jarda have over 25 years’ experience with QSD, and all of them are qualified installers as well as customer service reps. As your job begins, they figure out what your job will entail, along with any potential challenges and pitfalls to be dealt with. They ensure your stage curtains and hardware perform as expected – smoothly and safely.
“As an installer,” Jarda, a friendly native of the Czech Republic, begins, “you go through the file and find out what the job is about, the material we’re going to be using, what kind of curtains. We assess what we’re going to use for the install, depending on the measurements and materials in the architectural plans.
“We check conditions on site. Do we need PPE to do our job safely? We meet with site personnel to see if we need to work around the people using it already. If it’s a construction site, how we can work cooperatively so we can all get our jobs done?” You get the feeling that when you work with Jarda that you’re going to get someone who’s always going to be on task, bringing some of that European pride of craftsmanship to whatever he does.
On site, beyond the access to blueprints or other specs, installers value taking the measure, which is the on-site assessment of the work space by an installer.
Terence is an easy-going, laid-back kind of guy. “It all comes down to who’s doing the measure,” he says patiently. “First of all, what is the roof? How is it constructed? There are a hundred options to install track. We figure out the easiest, best way of doing so. So a lot of the time is when we’re going to do an install we’re going off of whomever did the measure, because they’re going to ultimately know more about the project than a piece of paper will.”
“One of the biggest things that the guys have to keep in mind is that we’re hanging all the stuff above everyone’s head. So it’s got to be up there, it’s got to be proper, and it’s gotta be to our liking.” — Roman Grant
Keeping It Safe
With the longest experience of the trio, Roman has an unquestionable authority and commitment to the work they do. We asked him if he’d ever seen a disaster.
“We’ve had close calls. I wouldn’t say disasters. We had to replace a few screws one time, because the track started to come up. That was me and Jarda actually. We try and avoid the big ol’ disasters.
“And one of the biggest things that the guys have to keep in mind is that we’re hanging all the stuff above everyone’s head. So it’s got to be up there, it’s got to be proper, and it’s gotta be to our liking.”
That made us curious to know what it was like coming in and assessing the state of the current equipment installed. And the answer spoke to their thoroughness.
“That’s part of the safety. We’re not going to go in and install a stage curtain at the back of the stage and not look at the front of the stage.
“A lot of times, we’ll get called to go in and do the back curtains. ‘Hey, my back curtain fell off.’ And then when we get there, we’re assessing the rest of the curtain tracks and everything. It’s like, ‘You’re worried about the back one? The front one is missing all of its screws and all of its parts.’”
Other safety issues often encountered include track not being supported properly, stops not being put on the ends of track and curtain motors left uncovered.
As a father with school-age kids, Roman is particularly sensitive to the last item in that list.
“Yes, motors not being covered. So you’ve got a lot of weight being pulled by that cable. You get your hand on that drum, and good-bye fingers. One hundred per cent a liability.
“We’ve taken it upon ourselves: when we quote a motor, we quote a motor cover as well, just because we’ve had the instance where a drama teacher went to another school, saw a motor cover and came back and said, ‘Hey, why don’t we have one of those?’
“We told them it’s not mandatory. They’re fairly expensive. But now that we know, we’re able to take you another way. You buy a motor, you’re getting a cover, because of safety and safety and safety and safety and safety.”
With safety top of mind, the benefits of regular inspection and maintenance of your theatre and stage curtains are readily apparent.
But what about the curtains themselves? It’s easy enough to see samples of beautiful fabrics in the product sections on the QSD website. What is it that sets QSD’s curtains and drapery apart from the competition?
Again, Roman: “I’d say our wealth of knowledge, of understanding what curtains need to be, supersedes anybody else in the business. I know offhand, just by dealing with other companies over the last 10 years, that Jarda and our other installers are far more certified and qualified in the sense of making curtains drop straight, making sure the splices are even, making sure that the curtains are an equal inch and a half off the ground. Whereas you see some of the other competitors’ stuff and it’s never done with that quality.
“We’ve had to go back in some cases to put the Q on it – which is the Quality – and make sure that the border is centred in the curtain or the track has a drop every six feet. And I’m not saying it’s other companies so much as other customers. A lot of customers have had the option to install themselves and then they realize what kind of a dog’s breakfast they’ve gotten themselves into, and they’re blown away. We’ve got stacks of referral letters from customers saying, ‘You guys are top notch. On point. You know your stuff.’”
In our next article, the guys talk about installing and maintaining gym equipment
For decades, QSD has supplied custom-made premium-quality theatrical curtains, backed with top-notch installation, and ongoing service and maintenance. No challenge is too big – or too small – for us to handle.
We’ll be happy to talk with you about the possibilities for your theatres, stages, hospitality venues, showrooms and more.