Many of you already know that a growing shop comes with a few growing pains. As more business comes in, your current process (and head) becomes strained. What once worked smoothly, starts to break down. Important details get missed, customers are upset, and the stress is at an all-time high.
This is where streamlining comes in. Taking those processes and creating a system that you can track and maintain is the most important task you can do for your business. Once you organize these, you’ll learn important insights into the way your shop is running. And, you’ll be able to tweak and refine the way you do things to save yourself time and money.
As some very wise fabricators like to say, “you should always be improving.” Refining your processes is a never ending task, but it’s guaranteed to make you and your team better and happier in the long run.
In this post, we’ll talk about some areas where you can start streamlining your countertop shop. Then, you can take your business to the next level and maybe take a well-deserved day off.
Estimating and Sales
It’s pretty common for this area to be the first to get organized in a growing countertop shop. It could be that too many jobs are coming in for one person to bid. Or, that the current estimating process simply takes too long. These situations are stressful and result in losing out on jobs.
The matter of time is an easy fix with technology. With estimating software, you can dramatically cut back on the time it takes to produce a quote while easily training new folks to quote accurately.
As far as your sales process goes, this is usually a confusing bottleneck for fabricators when it comes to growth. When it’s only been one or two people, it might not matter too much how you are selling. But as your team grows, you’ll want to be able to refine your selling process. This will allow you to become more professional and get more jobs. Create a selling process that is trackable so you know which team members are thriving and which techniques could use improvement.
Communication with Customers
Have you ever had a customer call in to ask about their countertops who had to be put on hold because only one person knew the answer? If you answered no, well, then you are doing something very right. If you answered yes, you are definitely not alone! You know how time-consuming and frustrating it can be to have everyone track you down for the answers.
An important way to streamline your shop is to centralize all of your job information. Keeping all the important details in one place will empower the right people to provide answers. Furthermore, this will prevent wasting time on tracking down information and miscommunication about important details.
By placing all the important information in one centralized place, your office and shop will be in sync. Watch how quickly miscommunication and mistakes fade away and get ready to celebrate your growth!
Scheduling and Job Management
Whiteboards, file folders, or software – whatever you are using, ask yourself “How am i continuously making it better?”. As a software company, we usually see fabricators when they have outgrown their manual methods. They are looking for a solution that is scalable. So, we have to be a little bit biased here because it’s what we know best.
With features like autoscheduling, map routing from the calendar, and customizable job views, your shop can easily save time by simply making the switch to software. After that initial burst of organization, you’ll find that being able to track certain data will influence your business decisions for the better.
For example, say you are running a report and you find that half of your template appointments were rescheduled, you’d recognize this as an inefficient problem and find the reason why. Let’s pretend it’s due to the schedule and templators having to drive across town multiple times causing them to be late or miss the appointment. It’d be an easy fix to adjust the schedule according to routes using the mapping feature.
Feeling inspired yet?
These areas are just the big areas of your process that you can streamline. You might be a digital shop, you might be manual from start to finish, or you might be somewhere in between. Regardless, it’s wise advice to always be finding some part of your process to improve upon. The more organized your shop is, the easier it will be to manage growth, pesky bottlenecks, and customer relationships.
And, if you have questions about how software works to streamline and organize your shop, we’d love to chat with you about how we can help! Our demos always start with a conversation about your business and whether software is a good fit for your current process. Sign up for a demo to learn more.