5 Shop Hacks to Improve Productivity and Profit
In a highly competitive industry like countertop fabrication, stone shop owners must maximize the productivity of every shop worker.
Here are 5 easy to implement tips that pro fabricators use to gain an extra edge:
1. Orderly Work Environment:
This is a foundational principle of productivity and it is as much a mindset as it is a practice. It begins with a thoughtful evaluation of the flow of information and work (slabs and cut countertops) from start to finish.
From receiving and staging slabs for cutting to staging finished counters there must be a place for everything and everything must be in its place. This means that dedicated space must be identified, maintained, and even guarded at every stage of production.
Watch our Slab Labeling Video
For example, a rack for slabs to be cut, must remain as so, even when the urge to put a remnant or cut island on it is strong. Likewise, backsplash must have its own place after its cut and after its polished so that fabricators aren’t spending time looking for a place to put it, and installers aren’t looking for it the day of install.
When every aspect of the production process has been purposefully “ordered” a highly efficient rhythm is established and workers spend their time fabricating instead of unnecessarily looking for or shuffling information, counters, and splash.
2. Clean Work Environment:
Nothing slows down the free flow of finished counters like scraps and random remnants leaned against every wall and tape ball trash piling up on the floor and under every work table.
Watch our Slivers, Scraps, and Remnants Video
The solution to this unsightly production drag is simple…pallets and garbage cans positioned next to every station that produces scraps, remnants, sink cutouts and garbage. When workers can dispose of all work debris without leaving their station, another major efficiency has been achieved…that translates into higher productivity.
3. Comfortable Work Environment:
Stone fabrication is hard and dangerous work on its best day and it’s a unique individual who shows up day after day to do it. When you add to it the fact that shop workers are wet most of the time, it’s a miracle they show up at all. In the wintertime especially.
A simple solution to this discomfort is a hot water heater for the air polishers. This kind act is relatively inexpensive compared to the impact it has on morale and when morale improves so does productivity.
4. Quality Stone Working Gear:
In the same way, a wetsuit makes winter surfing tolerable and gore-tex gear makes snow skiing fun, the best stone-working gear will enhance the worker’s comfort, resulting in higher productivity. In addition, quality gear while more expensive initially, will last much longer in the long run.
5. Fast Cutting – High-Quality Diamonds:
The more square feet out the door, the more dollars generated per day in finished projects…That’s just a fact. And since slabs are cut and polished with diamonds, the most efficient fast cutting diamonds are a must…even if they are a little more expensive on the front end.
Sometimes there is a temptation to save money by purchasing less expensive tooling…unfortunately, while it does save a little money on the front end, it costs way more on the back end because it reduces the speed at which counters flow through the shop and into the field!
In addition, when production workers feel the crush of deadlines but are restrained by slower blades, pads, and core bits it can crush their morale as well.
So buy your crew the best tooling that cuts the fastest and helps your fabricators achieve optimal output!