Cabinet production has remained consistent over the last 40 years. Production technology improvements have worked to enhance productivity and profits while maintaining the process.
However, it’s clear to see that a significant shift is happening now. The jobs today will not be the jobs of tomorrow. How your father operated his business is not the way you can manage your business and expect the same results. The market is changing, and it’s changing fast, so you’re either green and growing or ripe and rotten.
Here’s how you can prepare for the woodworking industry of tomorrow.
In the words of Napoleon Hill, it all starts with desire.
“The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
– Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
We need to first and foremost be motivated to think outside the box and be open to the possibility that significant change is required for us to succeed in the future.
2. SWOT Analysis
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis can help you understand your competitive advantage and develop ways to take advantage of your strengths and new opportunities. Create a new SWOT) analysis document for your company. If you have never done this, here’s how to do one for yourself.
3. Rank & Prioritize the SWOT
To identify where your company has the most room for improvement. Have each manager/leader do this for their department and for the company. Then match them together to sift from the most impactful to the least.
4. Focus on the Top 3-5
These are your most significant challenges and opportunities where a change in how your company operates would have the most considerable impact regarding profitability. Eg. 3D Printing or On-Demand Cabinets
5. Begin With The End
Clearly articulate what you want from the improvements you choose to pursue. Be as clear and descriptive of the end result. Eg. Deliver our first 3D printed cabinet.
6. Implementation Plan
Create a detailed improvement implementation strategy to make changes that will positively impact the bottom line. Implementation is a key component of any strategy and must be project managed with detailed who, what, when documents created for each priority. Eg. Alex to create a proposal of all possible 3D printers capable of printing furniture by May 15, 2019.
Create performance metrics to measure your performance. What gets measured gets done. This may be as simple as what percentage of tasks were completed on time or as complex as cost per square foot of 3D printed cabinets.
This may seem like a simple list but it is powerful in its application. It requires deep diving into uncharted territories and may or may not always provide instant results. But if Henry Ford had invested in horse harnesses instead of the Horseless Carriage, the 4 trillion-dollar automotive industry may not be where it is today!