By Harry Hollander of Moraware
Moraware has a goal of helping countertop fabricators run their businesses better. Hopefully, some shops will use our software, but we really believe that having a systematic approach of any kind will help you avoid expensive mistakes, make your customers happier, and ultimately, be more profitable.
We’ve worked with thousands of countertop fabricators, and seen the impact of not having a system in the office. Here’s some of what we’ve seen.
Information accessible when you need it
These days, homeowners expect to you to know who they are and what’s happening with their countertop job – as soon as they email or call you. If you need to put them on hold or (hiss!) call them back, you’re making their experience worse and they’re not going to be as happy with the process of template and install.
And, having that access to information is important for your team, too. Do you really want to interrupt your shop manager every time a customer asks about the status of their job? If the up-to-date information is available in a centralized system, you’re going to be more effective, efficient, and happier.
Changes are expensive, make it easy to do right
100 percent of countertop jobs change at some point between the initial estimate and the customer is happy with the installation in their kitchen. If you’re sloppy about how you make changes to a job, or if you need to update information in more than one place, it’s going to be expensive.
One way that the cost creeps in is that you, your office manager, and production manager are spending lots of time double and triple-checking the details of the job. But if you’re doing that checking at every stage of the fabrication, it’s a drain on your profit that might be invisible until you realize how much time that’s taking.
Don’t lose the folder
If you’re using file-folders to keep track of the job, at some point you’re going to lose the folder. It might be that your template forgot it in his truck, or that your scheduler put it on the wrong corner of her desk, but it’s going to happen.
Then, there’s the mad rush of trying to find it when the customer calls and is curious about what’s happening on their job.
Every mistake is a big deal
In a countertop fabrication business, mistakes have huge consequences. If your installation crew shows up at a house on the wrong time or day, and the homeowner isn’t there, that’s expensive. Not only do you need to reschedule that one installation, but it can wreak havoc on your whole schedule.
It could be even worse, though. If you fabricate a countertop out of the wrong material or with the wrong edge, you’ll be out the cost of that material, plus the impact to your shop. If you’re running near the edge of your shop’s capacity, it could mean paying your team overtime to re-do a job. That means that a re-do could almost triple the cost of the job.
Communication means happier customers
If you want your business to grow, one of the easiest way is to have great word-of-mouth. In order to generate that word of mouth, you need happy customers who’ll tell their friends about you.
One of the keys to that happiness is communicating clearly, setting expectations, and then doing what you said you were going to do.
If you don’t know your schedule ahead of time, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to tell customers what to expect. Having a system that makes your business predictable is one of the first steps in making the homeowner’s experience great. Ultimately, that makes the job easier for you and them. If you keep making your customers happy, it will make your business more sustainable and profitable.
We can help
As you can probably tell from this article, we care deeply about making countertop businesses better. And one of they keys to success is having a great system.