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Retire the “Old School”

Using dated practices because they are “good enough” doesn't typically lead to growth and improvement. Today, using anything other than a round tire on a bike seems unthinkable, but at one time a round and rubber tire was unrealistic itself.

The market continues to grow, does your customer base?

Business is good in the woodworking industry. Maybe even “too good” for those feeling the pressures of keeping up with demand, in a very challenging time for supply chains. Door sales are through the roof? Great! If only they weren’t ordering so much white oak. (Did your rep just call and say it's going up, again?) How are you going to keep taking on jobs when MDF is nowhere to be found? We’re all in this together: thankful for the work, yet struggling to keep up. In that context, It can be tempting to turn on autopilot and stop innovating.

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The "Other" Competition (the real one)

When asked the simple question “Who is your competition?”, an astonishingly high number of business owners will respond with the “obviously right, WRONG answer”. If you’re a cabinet shop, I’d expect to hear you respond with the names of several local cabinet shops offering similar products and services. While technically that answer is right, it’s a limited view. The reality is, your company is competing with any company where the customer walks away with an experience… so, every company.
 
As an industry, we compete against Apple, Uber, DoorDash, Amazon, etc.

Is your business in “spa mode”?

If you go to the gym, you go there because you know that by being temporarily uncomfortable, you can improve your body. In contrast, at the spa, you're there to be pampered for short term satisfaction. While both are worthwhile in the correct quantity and timing, I encourage you to look at your business like a gym, not a spa.
 
“Spa mode” is everywhere. Spa mode exists in government, in people, in food. Spa mode is the reason gas pumps are so stupid and slow. Spa mode is the post office line.

Can You See Your Business?

What’s the ‘thing’ that really sets you and your employees into action? When “X” happens, we go to work… For an employee at the machine, it’s usually something like “When the cutlist is put on my clipboard, I cut it out”, which is pretty simple. What about you, though? How do you know what to do and when to do it? What is ‘it’ that makes you act? Does the person on the other end of the phone determine your day? Is it that quickbooks report that you glance at once a month? 

What is "The cloud"?

In very simple terms, the cloud is the remote set of tools and data that live in the Internet. For example: the cloud version of movie rentals is Netflix, the cloud version of a checkbook is PayPal (Square, Stripe), and the cloud version of Walmart is Amazon.

Compounding advantages in labor savings

Companies that are pulling away from the pack are using the technology to re-allocate labor, because nobody likes to fire employees. There are some things that machines and algorithms just can’t do, and humans should stick to those things!