Work Less, Live More

I hope everyone is getting a chance to enjoy their summer so far. I know personally I love the fact that it is light outside from early morning until late evening. It actually feels like there’s some daytime left after work. Now if we could just figure out how to work smarter and not harder so we have a chance to enjoy it 😊

Just a quick refresher on the last blog since this continues that train of thought. What happens when you can use technology to reduce the time it takes for activities related to sales? The example we used was based on $10,000 in sales and the time it took to land that much business. It also brought into account the jobs that were quoted but not sold.

Now I can already hear folks saying, “That’s not a true representation of our business.” Well of course there are going to be variations of how each Dealer does business, but I was just trying to find a common reflection of what happens. This is a good time to share a story that may shed some light on how we think and how we should be approaching new information.

Okay, bear with me for a minute…There was an artist, (let’s call him Isaac) who painted this incredible likeness of an elephant during his travels abroad. It was so lifelike that it almost jumped off the canvas. One day he was showing his work to a prospective buyer who noticed a fly on the elephant’s leg in the painting and told Isaac that the color of the fly looked off; almost purple instead of black like most flies. As much as the artist tried to bring his attention back to the amazing painting of the elephant, the buyer couldn’t stop focusing on the fly. He finally stomped off with disgust about the coloring. The moral of the story? There is an elephant in the room you silly goose! Look at the bigger picture!

Okay, I made that up but it’s just a fun way to illustrate my point. This is good stuff that can change your business dramatically for the better!!

Now the big question. How do you use technology to shorten the amount of time it takes to do things and thus improve productivity? Gross margin per person (GMPP) I know it may seem like investing in a system can be expensive. Let’s look at it like this: If you spend $1,500 per person per year and the average Kitchen and Bath team member contributes $150,000 gross profit then if the system can deliver just a 10% increase in productivity, that would equate to $15,000 in additional gross profit which is 10x the investment.

BTW, why is it that you can find endless articles on design trends but few on increasing productivity? While some people in our industry might not find the subject important, how about if we reframe it like this:

  1. Work less and enjoy life more.
  2. Make more money with fewer hours and stress.
  3. Reduce turnover and attract talent.
  4. Have happier customers.
  5. Sell your business for more money and retire someplace special.

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me! Okay, back to the action. How do we do it? Leveraging Technology to streamline processes. Here’s some examples:

  • Measuring – Digital measuring apps – these puppies can scan the room in less than 5 minutes. It’s only going to get better. I recommend RENDR I like that you can get your files immediately and start designing – Savings – 3 hours per week.
  • Design – When you can create a floorplan in your design software from a file…sweet! Savings – 1 hour (at least)
  • Quoting – Try a system that can integrate with design software and maybe even have items in an inventory function to quote – Savings – 2 hours.
  • Ordering – Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Connecting your system to the manufacturer. It’s been around since the 60’s which means it’s about perfect timing for our Industry to make it more commonplace 😊 – Savings – 2 hours.
  • Job Management – How about mobile access from jobsites? Digital information flowing back and forth, scans, pictures, layouts, installation, etc. – Savings – 1 hour
  • Rework – If anybody doesn’t think they spend 20% of their time involved in rework based on mistakes, well you probably just got back from a Psilocybin Conference. It happens, trust me. 20% might be low. It’s really hard to improve things that you aren’t measuring. Got KPI’s? You’d be the first…

Okay, technology can do awesome things for your business so venture out and GET CURIOUS