Our sales team attended the Park Industries’ Digital Stoneworking Expo a few weeks ago and changed things up a bit. At the event, Eric got to spend a few minutes talking about how software fits into the everyday digital stoneworking shop.
Instead of our usual approach of giving a quick software demo of our products to the attendees, we reworked the presentation to be more interesting and applicable for our listeners! We wanted to provide some insights on what we hear on a daily basis – why fabricators use software to help them run their businesses.
In case you missed the DSE, below is a transcript of our presentation.
I do sales for Moraware and I’ve talked to hundreds of countertop fabricators about their business problems. I want to spend 5 mins telling you a little bit about what I’ve learned.
Understanding your needs
When we sell our software, the whole goal of our conversation is to learn about your business.What’s really valuable to us is understanding the why. My goal when I’m talking to a fabricator is to understand 4 things:
What are you doing today?
What works about that?
What’s the consequence of not changing?
Of course, we’ll show our software but that’s not the important part. Rather, it is a great chance to understand your business problems.
What we’ve learned about our customers
Now, the answers to those questions vary for every countertop shop. But, like I said, I’ve talked to hundreds of fabricators and based on that those issues fall into a couple of categories.
Because you’re here today, that means you’re interested in understanding your business at a deeper level, making it more efficient, growing, and ultimately making more profit. The folks at Park have done a great job at explaining the key metrics that help you think about the productivity in the shop – like the direct cost to make a square foot of countertop.
But, as you grow something weird happens. You built a business based on the craft of making countertops. But then because you’ve gotten more systematic in your shop: you’ve automated lots of the repetitive work and increased your throughput. Your shop is no longer the thing that keeps you up at night. Most of you have either gone through this transformation or are about to – the fact that you’re considering digital equipment is the clue.
If it hasn’t already happened, you’re going to wake up and realize that you’ve got the shop under control, but the new bottleneck in your business is the office.
When it was just one or two people in the office, you didn’t have a problem. When you were just doing one or two kitchens a day, you didn’t have a problem. But, I know that once you hit that mark of doing more than two kitchens per day, communication in the office is the thing that’s hurting your business, taking your time, and preventing your growth.
So, what are some of the bottlenecks that we regularly hear about?
Well first, let’s talk about sales. I’m sure all of us have had home improvements done on our own houses. How many times have you reached out to a contractor and they haven’t gotten back to you? Or, they sent an estimator out to your house, and then never gave you a quote. Or when you do get it, it’s scratched on a piece of graph paper. That’s a pure missed opportunity. So many countertop fabricators think they’re competing on price, but in reality if you just show up, are friendly, professional and give the homeowner a price–you’ve got the job.
Once you have a new customer, then the real work begins. You’re probably tracking details about the job in multiple places – a whiteboard, google calendar, file folders, and a spreadsheet.
Why is that bad? When a customer calls and asks about their job, at the very least you need to put them on hold. But more likely, you need to get up, walk around the office, and maybe interrupt another person or two to figure out the status or make a change.
Do you have examples of wasted time last week? What did it really cost you in terms of time and money?
Wasted time is painful, but it’s not the worst. In the countertop business mistakes are incredibly expensive. If you send an install crew to a house on the wrong day and they’re not home, that’s hundreds of dollars out the window. And if you fabricate a top out of the wrong color or edge, it’s thousands of dollars.
That’s just the negative stuff. All of us want to think about the positive. Growth. The reason you’ve been able to grow this far is because you have a repeatable way of turning homeowner’s money into countertops. If you doubled the number of customers you have, could you keep up with all of the communication and details? If you’re looking at a whiteboard, file folder, and spreadsheet… that just can’t happen. Again, around 2-3 installs/day is a strong indication to us that a company very well be in need of software.
So, I hope that helps give some of the why behind thinking about software in your office.
If you don’t have software, I encourage you to talk to someone who IS using software to run their shop. They’re the real experts because they’ll be able to give you first-hand feedback about software and how it’s working for them.
If you’d like to chat with us, let set up some time. Before we show you how our software works, we’re going to ask you what you’re doing now, what works about that, what doesn’t, and what’s the consequence of not changing.
If you’re considering software to help you run your business, I encourage you to identify your bottlenecks. Also, let’s discuss whether our software can help!
Interested in having a discussion with us about how software can help your business?