It's clear that value matters to us.
 
Sometimes we are willing to pay a premium for a particular product or service because we feel that it will meet or exceed all of our expectations. We unconsciously agree it must be worth the higher cost. We agree that the price is worth paying for something of true value.
 
Just as we expect a certain value for price, as shop owners, we should be ready to deliver that same cost to value ratio to our customers. We should also be ready to deliver that same value to anyone looking to buy our business down the road. That means we need to start building value in our shops yesterday.
 
The most effective way to do this is with the help of some of your most valuable assets, your employees. If you can create the space and freedom for the following things, you can begin building value in your shop today:
 
  • Allow employees to define & identify waste
  • Allow employees to propose a change in shop processes
  • Ask the employees to teach and document the new process
You can affect how much your products and your shop is actually worth and create an A-team efficiently by following through on the above steps.
 
Allow Employees to Identify Waste
 
The first step in adding value to your products and to your shop as a whole is to gather feedback internally in order to eliminate waste. This is one of the easiest, but most overlooked, ways to improve the value of your products and shop as soon as possible.
 
“Waste is a process that is not required to complete the process.”
First, ask your employees how they define “waste” in a process and see how it compares to this:
 
"Waste is a process that is not required to complete the process."
 
Next, ask employees to identify where in their daily tasks they see waste.
 
Based on the size of your operation you may get few responses, but I’m certain you’ll get some very insightful feedback from your employees. They know the ins and outs of these processes and sometimes, as owners, we need to step back and let them tell us about the things that we can’t or don’t always see in the processes. As we all know, “time is money”, so if you’re wasting time on several processes, you’re wasting money, yours and your customers’. Let your employees help you save time and money!
 
Allow Employees to Propose a Change in the Process
 
Next, give employees the freedom to suggest a change in the process in order to make it more efficient.
 
It's amazing the impact your employees are able have on your overall operation and bottomline. People are problem solvers and can make your company more efficient and more profitable, if you give them the chance.
 
Not to mention, empowering your employees like this leads to higher employee satisfaction because they actually feel valued. Higher employee satisfaction in return boosts the value of your operation. When employees know they are truly an important member of the team, they will be much more motivated to chase the company vision with you.
 
Ask Employees to Teach and Document New Processes
 
Don’t let the employees’ responsibilities stop there. Let them lead the implementation of the new process. Let them take ownership of the process they proposed. They will be proud of the work they’ve done and more motivated to see it implemented correctly.
 
Ask employees to teach the new process to the rest of the team. Teaching is one of the best ways to reinforce knowledge. Give them the go ahead to do it.
 
Lastly, this is a great chance for you to record their teaching. This recording is your new SOP. Bam! Easy does it. Now you have a refined process, an employee who is confidently leading the implementation of the process, and a documented Standard Operating Procedure to go along with it. Talk about value! More value for your customer and more value for anyone interested in buying your cabinet shop down the road.
 
Let go of the reins!
 
These three steps can be done pretty quickly. You don’t need a ton of time to try this out in one section of the shop. Don’t be afraid to let go of the reins. Engaging with your employees isn't just a way to add tremendous value to your products and your shop, it also be extremely rewarding for your as the owner and for your employees. 
 
Author Jeff Finney is the founder of Ultimate Cabinet Components.Today, he not only shares this attitude with his own kids, but within his company and outward on to his customers. Finney is a 2018 40 Under 40 honoree.
 

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