What would the scouting reports say about your company? Would they truly represent your strengths and weaknesses, or would they turn be as false as the predictions below (source: trap17.com/forums/Funny-Quotes-Predictions-t2364.html):
"Makes a Good First Impression"
That's what struck me most about our Best of the WOOD 100 and this month's cover article company, Anton Cabinetry. (See story beginning on p. 28.) From its very first meeting, the commercial casework and millwork company begins building a "relationship" with the customer, and not a transaction.
"We get engaged with the owners and contractors right away, which allows us to see any potential problems and issues early on," says President John Anton.
This has helped provide the company with a reputation for service, quality and attention to detail, which in turn has led to numerous business referrals from contractors. In fact, in the company's 35 years of business, only once, in the 1980s, have sales decreased.
Anton Cabinetry is not the only company banking on its reputation. In our Survival Guide stories featuring the success strategies of several of our WOOD 100 companies, A Ward Design President Kevin Ward credits his company's professionalism and service for gaining and maintaining clients.
"I was a general contractor before founding this company, so I understand what the 'other side' wants and needs. We try to make a good impression from the first phone call. We answer questions and return calls. Our shop is always clean and neat, so that when customers visit, we make sure we provide the kind of atmosphere they expect," he says.
Listed below are more examples from this month’s issue of ways in which companies are developing good "scouting reports."
"Demonstrates Diversity and Flexibility"
In Associate Editor Wade Vonasek's article on Trendsetter Karona Inc., he details how the door manufacturer sets itself apart from the competition through its diversity, flexibility and manufacturing prowess.
"We have systems that allow us to do a lot more things than most of our competition can do, and that in turn is probably our greatest advantage," says Steve Sisson, general manager.
"The company's strategy all along was to be vertically integrated and to be able to flex our capabilities to meet demand, both in standard and custom products," adds Eric Ash, sales manager. "We continue in that vein. I think, because we service both residential and commercial markets. They benefit from each other."
Jorge Lagueruela, president of Trinity Furniture, also cites production flexibility as one of the key factors in his company's success. "We have stressed quality improvements and customer satisfaction with all our product lines and it has been a big success. No one ever complains about a company's quality being too good," he says.
What is your company doing to stand out from competitors -- and will the scouting reports accurately reflect it?
Catch our daily updates
In addition to our twice-a-week e-newsletter, we'll be sending out special show updates from WMS in Canada later this month. If you're not already on our list, just go to iswonline.com/update and activate your free subscription -- and stay abreast of the latest news and information affecting the woodworking industry.
Also, don't forget to drop us a line and let us know if you come across some news or must-see products that you would like to pass along to other Twitter followers of twitter.com/woodworkingbiz. We'll also be tweeting throughout the day as we hear breaking news and unusual events.
Let's keep the communication going.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.