What you should be doing over your Christmas Break?

This time of year is beneficial for business owners and managers to spend time on their business, to prevent them from spending a lot of time in their business later. Reflecting on this year helps you understand where you need to be or plan to be for next year. So our team has suggested 5 things you could do to be ready to win more jobs and be more profitable in 2016.

 

  • Make sure you back up your systems/data
    Take the time to make sure you’ve got a clean back up of your database. Keep your backups on a device and in a location, separate to your main computer as an extra safety net in the event that something unfortunate may happen. See our informative video for assistance with backing up your data: (Link to Tutorial for backing up)

     
  • Allocate time to review your Bid Centre pricing to ensure you’re quoting accurately.
    Make sure you’re updating any price changes that may come into effect in 2016. Items to revise may be cost of overheads or cost of materials. Below are just a few:
    • Wages have increased
    • Materials may be less
    • New drawer systems might take longer to assemble
    • Lease on building(s) may have increased
    • Lease repayments on car(s), machine(s) may have increased or finished paying off
    • General running costs such as Electricity, phone or internet should have increased

      All these examples can have an effect on profit and loss.
       
  • Happy with production times this year?- Software maintenance 
    Software is similar to servicing your machines- Keep them tidy and they’ll keep making you money. Below are a few examples of how to keep things tidy to ensure your production staff are working efficiently:
    • Revise current materials in your database- delete un-used items
    • Revise current hardware in your database- delete un-used items
    • Add new trends into the database- glass, aluminium, solid timbers
    • Delete old UCS’s, appliances, sinks etc that you never use
    • Create your top 10 colours, schedules, Edgebands to save design and production times
    • Create labour schedules to improve factory flow
    • Spend time cleaning out unwanted cabinets to ensure you have a clean and easy to use library
    • Save common cabinets to favourites bar

      An example of this include organising your job files to start 2016 clean and tidy… In Windows Explorer, find the current location in which you save your CV Job files. Create a new folder called “2015” and move all your existing jobs into this new location. Create another new folder for “2016” and then within this one, create new folders for each month in preparation for saving new jobs in the New Year into these locations. Again, this is to ensure your system is neat and tidy to make your job easier.  
       
  • Explore where your bottleneck is in your company
    Think back through the year. Is their one area of the factory or system that continually struggles with pumping the work out? Maybe it’s the process, maybe it’s the worker. Put yourself in their shoes. Are they standing near everything they frequently need? Here are a few examples of fixing bottlenecks in factories (most are very simple ideas- they are just to get you thinking- build on them to see big results):
    • Machine shop- Forklift not regularly serviced, takes time to start, gas bottles not near constant traffic area
    • Machine shop- Edge tape not near edger, not taped up after use, edger not next to the nesters offload table, machine service days not communicated with staff ahead of time
    • Assembly stations- screws not filled at beginning of day, storeroom not near benches, Foreman is not preparing jobs before workers arrive
    • Delivery process- No set checklist for regularly forgotten parts, paper maps instead of GPS instead, blankets and ropes not near loading area
       
  • Improve your office environment - Reflect on your past 12 months.
    Have you ever stood in the office for half the day watching people’s processes? The office can be a very unproductive place. Below are a few examples to speed up processes:
    • Keep ink and paper next to photocopier
    • Keep water near work stations
    • Have a fridge, microwave, coffee machines, etc located conveniently for staff
    • Supply workers with coffee, milk, tea, and water- the first 15 minutes of the morning, as well as after breaks are slow times for workers
    • Keep fruit nearby- healthy workers take less sick days and have more energy to work
    • Clean air conditioners, open windows and air out the office for healthier workplace o Load new favourite numbers into speed dial, clean out old numbers
    • Keep office colours bright to keep workers positive but remember orange and red are angry colours

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