Fresh back from the Park Industries Digital Stoneworking Expo in Phoenix, AZ and feeling great! Maybe it was all that sun, but more likely, it was a full day of industry fun. Harry and I arrived the day before and were lucky enough to spend some time chatting with folks at the hotel and at our booth – where we talked with old friends and new about estimating, scheduling, and feature requests.
As always, I come away from these events with a deeper understanding of what fabricators face every day in their businesses. I’m definitely not alone in finding these expos so beneficial. As Brett from Evolution Design said during his talk, “After being to 6+ of these, I still never leave without taking something new back to the shop.”
So, let’s get 5% better together with some highlights from the expo!
Time is Money
A lot of shops try to win jobs by having lower prices than their competitors. But, all this does is hurt your market…and you. If you’re lowering your prices, you’re not making any money. And darlin’, time is money, so don’t waste it on jobs that won’t cover the bills. I’m paraphrasing the speakers there but I’m 99% sure they’d agree.
So, how can you increase your shop’s productivity, capability, and pricing? And at the same time reduce costly reworks, remakes, and bad customer service? By going digital. Brett’s advice is to start with asking yourself “What kind of shop do you want to be?”
One of the major benefits of going digital is saving a ton of time. That new free time can go towards making your shop more efficient by adding the right software to track your metrics. Or maybe, you can take a real vacation!
Everyone is Talking Metrics
It was interesting to see that 79% of the attendees didn’t currently track their metrics. Over and over again, the speakers all stressed the importance of measuring. Rob from Park Industries spoke about metrics being the key to financial success. In order to be more efficient and successful, you need to understand where your business is thriving and where it needs work.
Both Geoffrey, of The Countertop Factory Midwest, and Brett spoke of using Moraware to create reports to better their businesses. Thanks for the love, guys! Tracking costly reworks, creating custom sales reports, and producing employee “score cards” are just some of the way they mentioned using metrics to better their productivity.
Stand out with Software
Using software for your shop allows you to understand your fabrication process from start to finish, from quote to install. Scheduling software allows anyone in your shop to become a “knowledge hero” and know exactly the status of any job from anywhere. And if you understand every part of your business from a to z, you become the expert. You know who appreciates an expert in countertops? All the customers!
Another way to stand out from the competition is to use software that engages the customer directly from your website. I really enjoyed seeing how Quote Countertops can bring you in more potential customers (or leads if you want to throw around fancy marketing lingo like me) with their program that incorporates into your website. Your website visitor can build their dream kitchen all on your website… and hot diggity, you’ve got yourself a brand new lead!
And for the already committed customer, there is the new Hot Sauce program that educates your customers on all the options and upgrades available for a project. Spicy stuff!
The speaker panel at the end of the day had a really good message that I wanted to share. Silicosis is a real problem and if you are cutting dry, it’s time to change. If you are looking for more information on how to be compliant, NSI and ISFA are great resources.
Just wanted to thank Park Industries for putting on another fantastic event, Chivino Surfaces for the awesome tour, and all the amazing attendees we were lucky enough to meet.
If you haven’t attended one of these events, we always highly recommend taking the time to invest in your business. It might be hard to take time away from the shop, but as Joan says, the reward is perspective. You’ll always take something new back to your shop to better it. After all, what’s the cost of doing nothing?
Want to start defining your processes?
Schedule a demo with our friendly sales team to discuss how quoting and scheduling software can help your shop become the experts in the countertop biz!