Leveraging Technology for Process Improvements

In the last blog we talked about the impact productivity has on profitability and how processes are the backbone of any business. Being in the Kitchen and Bath Industry can give you a clear understanding of how manual processes cannot only consume a lot of valuable time but also be vulnerable to mistakes taking place. And let’s face it. They do and way too often.

The worst part of this scenario is that trying to manually measure the issues a process is experiencing only takes that much more time. Combine that with the likelihood of incomplete, inaccurate, and timely reporting only makes it an exercise in futility. In summary, it sucks!

For example, let’s take the process of quoting and ordering products. At least the Industry finally moved on from using fax machines last week… 😊Think about all the time that is spent quoting a customer and then requoting them. We aren’t even going to touch on how that time-consuming process impacts the customer experience. (At least not yet) Fair to say that today’s consumer has expectations that clearly include speed and convenience. But that is another story for another day.

Back to the fact that the more manual your process, the more likely it’s going to slow things down and be the source of mistakes. Here is a fun fact, (or at least a pretty good estimate): The typical Kitchen and Bath Dealer averages 3 or more points of margin erosion or slippage. Think about that for a second. 3 margin points on 1 million in sales equals $30,000 in hard cost erosion. I know it sounds insane but that’s only because it is!

So back to the quoting and ordering tasks. What is the cure? You guessed it…. Technology and the systems it brings to bare on those outdated business processes. The good news is that once you have implemented a system that can make those processes more seamless and reduce mistakes, well guys and gals, your productivity can get supercharged! Maybe you can stop working 50-60 hours a week just to put a 5% return to the bottom line. Can I get an Amen on that?!

Quoting and ordering should take place on a platform that directly connects your system to your suppliers. Wow! Imagine that…a digital link between two companies. What has the world come to?? Next, we will be seeing something like bar coding the product so that it can be tracked by the Dealer. I can’t go on much longer with this crazy talk so let’s bring this puppy to a close.

In summary, you need to embrace systems that can replace your current processes. These systems also need to be able to provide real-time reporting on major KPI’s like

  • Gross margin Per Person
  • Margin Erosion
  • Closing Ratios

Well, you get the idea. It has been nice to see more Dealer’s these days converting to a system and taking that first big step towards having a business that functions a helluva lot more efficiently than it did before. They may even find that the amount of time it takes to process activities surrounding a project has decreased by a significant amount and then asking themselves, “What am I to do with all this extra time on my hands…” I have no doubt you will figure it out!

A shameless plug for our KABS system that was built for Kitchen and Bath Dealers? Yah, maybe some, but the truth of the matter is that you need technology for your business if you plan on hanging around for a while. Until next time… Have fun and let us know if we can help!

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