New Year’s Resolution: More Profit for Truss Manufacturers
As the New Year approaches many take the time to reflect on personal accomplishments and defeats and set goals to make the New Year a better one. Gym memberships spike during this time, as do diet food service memberships. These are all done with the best of intentions but usually only last a few weeks or a few months. While personal reflection is important, business reflection is as well. Finding a business entering into dire straits is not the time to scramble to see how it got there and what it will take to change course. Rather, while floating calmly along is the most opportune time to take a look and see if there are any tweaks or overhauls required to keep a business on course for prosperity.
The truss industry is a tricky profession. There is no one “blueprint” to follow. There are so many variables involved and not addressing all of them can keep a truss company from reaching its full potential. There is no “one-stop-shop” for resources to aid a truss company. The plate manufacturers help with certain aspects. The lumber distributors help as well, but there is no master plan. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Part of this reason is due to the competitive nature of the industry. It is not like a restaurant where people have many choices and the customer will likely eat at most of the ones near them over time. Many contractors become loyal customers of a single truss company. Many of these customers also expect preferred pricing which makes for tight margins. Any design or manufacturing mistakes become costly and it may take several jobs to recoup any losses.
The pricing process is usually the most closely guarded secret of any truss company. In retail there is a “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price” for each item. In the truss industry you are the manufacturer. If your price is too high, another company will get the job. There are many factors that make up the cost including office salaries and overhead, the sales force, the design and bid force and the manufacturing and delivery processes. While every truss company has these same components, no two are identical. This competitive aspect creates an environment with little to no sharing of business models or a forum for the sharing of tips to succeed.
Gould Design, Inc. is made up of designers with real world experience in the truss industry from tiny mom and pop organizations to huge, nationwide truss industries. Our experience covers over 250 years of first-hand knowledge. We have seen just about every idea implemented and watched it flourish or fail. We are the missing resource in the truss industry. We are the forum for asking the tough industry questions. We will give you the right answers because we are not competing with another truss manufacturer. Our goal is to assess your specific needs make you, our client more efficient and profitable.
- Why can’t I make deadlines?
- Why do I lose out on big projects with multiple bidders?
- Why does my design staff keep making mistakes?
- With limited design resources available, what can I do to increase design efficiency?
We have already had some of our clientele contact us about these and other issues. Several times in 2013, we have gone to their locations and, after understanding their concerns, presented them with comprehensive analysis and philosophies that have helped them meet goals that were previously eluding them.
The recommendations upon departure were structured with 3 key factors in mind:
We were able to perform this design team consultation in as little as three days with results recorded immediately. We are not saying that we are smarter than any truss company, just that we have a wealth of practical knowledge that we are happy to share. With nearly 100 clients, we have seen so many things that work well…and others that do not.
We can cover topics ranging from:
- Management organization & structure
- Bid/Quote and production design procedures
- Software and hardware implementation
- Production and logistics
- Professional Development training
- Efficiency tools, tips & tricks
We are your one-stop resource for information on the best practices tailored to your specific business.
Are you still living up to your New Year’s resolution? Let us help you make your 2014 resolution a reality that will stay with you for years to come. Contact us today for more information.
Jim Turner – Design Manager
Gould Design, Inc.