Here at Moraware, we’re *big* believers in the power of organizing your business. Over the last year, we’ve covered a variety of ways to do this depending on what your bottlenecks are.
From reorganizing your shop layout for maximum efficiency, implementing software to keep things from falling through the cracks, to restructuring the foundation of your business with famous methodologies, we’re trying to cover a lot of possible solutions because each shop is a unique business.
And what better way to do this than to talk to fabricators about some ways that have changed the game for them? That’s why when Kerry, the General Manager of Tower Industries reached out about how EOS really helped them, we just had to know more.
💡Not sure what EOS is? Check out our overview!
Meet Tower Countertops
Tower Countertops is one of the premiere custom stone fabricators and installers in Northeast Ohio. It’s a family-owned business that has been operating in the area for an impressive 27 years! They also deal in commercial solid surfaces as well. In all that time, they’ve learned a thing or two about sustainable and effective business.
When was it time to consider a big change?
Despite having decades of experience, Kerry said they were starting to feel “stuck” as a company. No matter how hard they worked or how much effort they put in, they hit a point where they just couldn’t grow anymore.
Todd, the owner of Tower Industries (and Tower Countertops), created a lovely metaphor for this phenomenon. He compared it to building a house. First, you dig the foundation for the house you intend to build. In many cases, maybe it’s just a small one-story rancher. But over time, you decide to add a second story, then expand it into a small building. But all that growth is built on that initial foundation, which is way too small to support such a structure.
This doesn’t take away from Tower’s impressive growth over the years and their ability to find solutions for various bottlenecks along the way. After all, they successfully use machinery, software, and grew their team…They just outgrew their starting foundation. This isn’t a terrible problem to have. It means you’ve been successful so far!
But, for Tower, it was clearly time to put the focus on that if they wanted to go further.
Starting the big change
Changing is hard. And, Kerry admits that implementing EOS took plenty of time, effort, and cost. But they knew that any investment in their growth would be worth the upfront fees.
The first step to their EOS transformation was hiring an EOS integrator — an EOS expert consultant. The integrator met with the Tower executive team for two full days to share with them the basis of EOS, the basic tools they’d need, and a few pointers to get started.
The first basic steps toward EOS is to learn how to have “perfect L10 meetings”, how to identify core values, and how to set up an accountability chart — three key pieces of the EOS formula for success.
Some of the implementation steps are immediate. For example, Kerry said they started having L10 meetings right away after their first consultation with the EOS integrator. She said these were a game-changer right from the start!
Other aspects of EOS implementation took a bit longer. Kerry said it took about a year to identify their core values and two years to get the accountability chart to the point it was working. The executive team at Tower even used EOS independently for about a year just to see how it works before introducing it to the rest of the team.
Over the course of implementation, the Tower team met with their EOS integrator quarterly to make sure everything was still on track. Kerry highly recommends this for any business looking to successfully get started with EOS.
Getting everyone onboard
Of course, EOS is more than just a way to manage your executive team. While the management definitely needs to be on board with all the EOS changes, so does everyone who works at the shop. This system benefits everyone but it can only really work if the whole team is behind it.
To really get their newly defined core values to sink in, Kerry said they plastered them everywhere. There were posters in the break room, plenty of emails, and many of the Tower employees even wore t-shirts with the values printed right on the front.
What were the biggest impacts of a big change like this?
Some of the benefits were immediate. They went from having hours-long meetings that were less than productive to shorter 1.5-hour meetings that ended with deliverable results. They accomplished things after meetings thanks to L10s!
Besides the meetings, Kerry said the biggest benefit EOS brought to Tower Countertops was the culture change.
By instilling the core values into the culture, it helped ensure that Tower’s team members were all on the same page and that everyone was in the right place. For example, the employees who held those core values tended to rise to the top, while the ones lacking the core values tended to weed themselves out.
How did this culture shift make a difference?
In the end, Tower was left with a team that all held the same values and got along well. As Kerry says, when you have happy employees, other things fall in line. That includes efficiency, productivity, and all those numbers-based things you love to see in the books every month.
Kerry’s runner-up favorite EOS benefit is the lack of excuses. The accountability chart eliminates the ability to pawn things off on coworkers. Every team member knows exactly what they’re responsible for (sounds a lot like Systemize if you’re asking me!).
Because everyone has set responsibilities, it gives team members more ownership of their roles. They also can see exactly how their hard work impacts the company and the jobs of others. It just made the entire company a more cohesive team.
Where should other fabricators start if they are interested in EOS or other big changes to their businesses?
According to Kerry, the best way to start on your journey is to read a book. After making their decision to go with EOS, Kerry says they read a few books like Traction to help them understand what it was.
Another key move would be to hire an expert. For EOS, this would be the integrator. But, if you are a fabricator and looking to start with smaller changes to the business (like say… job management software), there are plenty of consultants in this industry who can help you get started on the right foot. This could even help you avoid a few structural pain points later on.
Last but not least
Big thank you to Kerry for taking the time to share her story and Tower’s success with EOS! Their investment in their company’s foundation and culture is an inspiration for us all to know where we want to go and better plan for how to get there.
If there is something that’s helped your shop change the game, we’d love to hear about it! Shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.