Small Improvements Everyday Can Increase Your Bottom Line
You don’t want to wait until your business slows down or you lose an employee to start looking for ways to be more productive.
In the market we are in today, with inflation, gas prices soaring and labor shortages nibbling away at your bottom line, it is important to look for ways to streamline your business. While continuous improvement is talked about by a lot of companies, the successful ones make it part of their everyday routine.
By walking your business daily and listening to your employees, you will find small improvements that are easy to implement that add up over time. Habits include calling customers the day before to ensure that your arrival times are confirmed and that they will be ready for you and confirming orders will ship on schedule.
Years ago, one of our major vendors wanted to bring a group in to review our manufacturing processes to help make us more efficient. Translated: “They wanted a price reduction.” Our first reaction was that we knew our business and were sure we were doing everything right.
We were amazed at a time study they did and found that pushing a few of our fabrication stations closer and eliminating some tables would improve productivity drastically. This enabled us to substantially increase production without adding more people.
We all count our steps these days, but reducing steps in many parts of your business will pay off. With labor still a hot issue, efficiency is key. Have you added an extra printer or fax machine to the other end of the office, so employees don’t have as far to walk?
Have you watched your crew load a truck? Do they bring the material to the truck first and then load the racks? They could just bring the product out and put it directly on the rack. Or, are you always moving it around the plant? Spend time watching and talking to your crew to learn what could be done to make their jobs easier.
Sometimes we do things because that’s how we have always done it. Working with your vendors to hold material or deliver in increments to the jobsite directly will save man hours. The best companies are constantly rethinking their businesses. As you grow, don’t be afraid to outgrow old habits and look for better ways to stay competitive.
My Friend Ray
On a personal note: I wanted to say goodbye to a good friend who passed away this week. Ray battled cancer for the past six years. When I retired the first time, I started meeting with Ray a few times a week at Starbucks for coffee.
Ray only drank caffè lattes. He was a retired character actor who at one time was deemed “the king of the one-minute comedy” by TV Guide for his commercial work. Ray didn’t know much about the glass business, but when I would discuss my ideas that week for my blog, he would always tell me, “That’s perfect everyone will love it.”
I will miss my coffee with Ray, and I am sure Starbucks will also miss him.