Tips to Reduce Reworks for Countertop Fabricators

Jul 12, 2022 | Business

“Oops…” Those are words you never want to hear when you are getting a haircut or during a countertop job. Every time this phrase is uttered, it usually means it’s going to cost some money to fix it. And there’s nothing worse than having to use more time and resources to fix the problem and losing your profit.

According to industry experts, 10% of the average countertop business is tied up in reworks. Think about your total net income in your head. Now, take 10% of it. That’s how much you could save if only you could reduce those expensive “oopsies”! Luckily, we have a few tips to help you reduce expensive reworks in your countertop fabrication operation and save some big mula.

Implement Quality Standardized Processes

Have you ever heard the phrase “practice makes perfect?” Of course you have! But did you also know it’s a guaranteed way to reduce reworks for your countertop fabrication operation?

Practice only makes perfect if you practice the right steps. If you want to cut back on wasteful reworks, implement quality, standardized processes. Make sure everyone at your countertop fabrication business knows the right steps, how to complete them properly, and does them exactly the same every time.

Implementing official, written standard operating procedures (SOPs) for each stage of the fabrication process will limit errors on every job, helping you avoid those expensive mistakes. Plus, if your SOPs are good enough, new hires can read them over and jump right in to producing high-quality work without missing a beat.

Provide Enough Training

Speaking of new hires, training plays an essential role in reducing the mistakes that lead to reworks. If you throw a newbie into the deep end of the countertop fabrication process without their floaties (so to speak), they’re going to mess up. And mess ups range from an annoying waste of time to a very, very expensive rework of the entire job.

Now, we know that hiring and retention is a big issue in the industry right now. But no matter how strapped you might be for help, take your time to train new hires properly! When everyone knows what they’re doing (and comfortable with the processes), you’ll save a lot of money and headaches on reworks in the future.

💡 Want to learn more about this? Check out this blog for new employee training best practices.

Understand Your Team’s Strengths (and Weaknesses)

You wouldn’t ask Batman to fight a villain in the ocean (though he probably could because he’s the best). If you want to reduce errors and get the job done more efficiently, you should probably ask Aquaman to fix the problem.

Understanding your team’s strengths and weaknesses is an important part of reducing errors and reworks. Just like asking Batman to go in the ocean, you wouldn’t ask a new hire to complete a complicated task. Give more complicated tasks to more experienced workers, and let inexperienced team members work together to learn the ropes, help each other, and reduce errors.

Another major facet of understanding your team’s abilities is to know when to call an expert. Yes, it always feels better handling problems in-house, but you might not have a countertop software expert on staff, for example. You could ask one of your more IT-minded coworkers to poke around for a solution, but there’s always the chance they could make a mistake. Plus, it’d take longer than necessary to get back up and running. Just call in an expert (like the Moraware support team), solve the problem, and prevent wasted time and costly mistakes in the future.

Track the Right Data

Do you actually know how much you’ve lost due to reworks? Tracking data is one of the most important practices to keep your countertop fabrication business running efficiently because it shows you the impact these mistakes have on your profitability.

You might know you’ve had to redo a countertop job or two, but why did they need to be redone? If you track the right data, you might discover that most of your reworks are due to the same common mistake. Once you understand that, you can fix the error and start saving some money!

Here are just a few helpful metrics to track:

  • Scrap rate
  • SF installed
  • Cost of quality
  • Time to complete each step

With the right data, you can find all the deep, dark places that errors like to live, so you can root them out and get to the bottom of your rework issues.

Go Paperless

Going paperless is more than just a way to cut back on office expenses. It’s also one of the most effective ways to reduce reworks in your countertop fabrication business.

How much time have you spent looking through filing cabinets or running from coworker to coworker looking for the answer you need? If you’re like most fabricators, the answer is “a lot.” What if all that much-needed paperwork wasn’t actually on paper, but in a nice, seamless, searchable database?

With all your vital information on the computer instead of in filing cabinets, every member of your team has complete access to the information they need to do their jobs quickly, efficiently, and correctly. There’s no wasted time or errors because of missing paperwork, helping you reduce those dreaded expensive mistakes.

Geoffrey Gran of The Countertop Factory Midwest implemented a paperless system at his shop using Moraware software and was able to reduce reworks and remakes from around 10% to 1.5%. You can read more about his shop’s paperless transformation in this article.

Keep Things From Falling Through the Cracks

At the end of the day, the best way to reduce errors and reworks is to use the right tool for the job. Any fabricator can appreciate that! Think of it this way; which tool would cause the most errors: a human using a chisel or a CNC machine?

Well, software is a tool. And if you’re not using software for the job, you’re going to get more errors and reworks from miscommunication, lost information, and a lack of updates on statuses of jobs. That’s just human nature. By utilizing technology, you will prevent a lot of those mistakes that cause jobs to fall through the crack.

Curious about how investing in software can save you from wasted time and expensive redos? Learn more about our scheduling and job management software, Systemize, and why thousands of fabricators choose it every day.