Have you ever asked yourself the question: What would I do differently if I was starting over now? If you’re like me, the laundry list could be very long.
But if I was starting over right now in custom millwork or residential millwork, I would have to say the biggest change I could make would be to outsource everything that had to with manufacturing. Starting a new business and learning manufacturing are two of the most polar opposite things in the world. When you begin a new company, it’s already hard enough learning how to perform on a daily basis in order to make things work while avoiding the pitfalls that could cause you to experience huge initial losses. On top of that, it can be difficult trying to manufacture a product that you know little about. Steve Jobs used to say that it takes around 10,000 hours to become a master at something, so if you’re just starting, you have a long way to go…
But what if you could hinge your success on a company or group of companies that had already mastered that craft?
Regardless of if you are a startup, or a growing business approaching the next threshold, here are a few ways that you can outsource to ensure growth.
A common frustration for any business is the realization that you’ve hit another threshold and it has become very difficult to grow. This is especially true at first when you’re trying to grow beyond the friends and family network and every job is a learning experience. It takes a short amount of time to learn that organic growth is difficult to control. It’s hard to go out and take business that is already in someone else’s hands. On top of that, by being a manufacturer, you are learning how to set up systems and what your most efficient way of working is. Often times, this can lead to sales being put on the back burner.
How can outsourcing improve and amplify your cabinet shop growth?
First I think we need to step back and analyze outsourcing overall. When thinking about outsourcing, what are the benefits and the pitfalls?
Some of the pitfalls can be:
Scheduling and lack of a quick turnaround of products when you need them.
Inconsistent quality each time you order.
Unreliability of ordering and delivery.
Some of the benefits can be:
Unlimited capacity by partnering with a company that can handle the volume.
Quicker turnaround with reliable results from companies that you can trust.
Consistency in ease of ordering and product delivery.
Scalability as you grow through the thresholds.
Let’s jump in with three how-to steps to start outsourcing your cabinet growth.
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What do you want to outsource?
This is the research phase. Make a sample order with one or two cabinets, possibly a sample kit, then take it a step further. Ask about different assembly methods, question them about shipping and turn-around time. Investigate different materials that you may want to use in your process and evaluate how much you’ll have to bend your process to fit what the outsourcing provider will give you.
What’s the overall experience in dealing with their sales team? Be sure you know what the outsourcing company is giving you in return for letting them mill your box components. What’s the overall experience and capacity of the outsourcing company?
Make it Personal
Start by asking to schedule visit to tour the shop you want to see and how they are running their operation. Sometimes you can also get a virtual tour. The great thing about going and touring anyone else’s shop is that it’s fun! You get to learn from someone who has already been down the road that you’re about to go through and you get to pick their brain about some tips they may have about how the flow of their shop works. Beyond that, it gives you access to how open the company is that you’re working with. Ultimately, you’re the one who is going to be growing through your outsourcing companies extra capacity.
So you want to be very personal with who you are dealing with and meet their teams. Are the sales people reachable and educated on the product? Is their content and resources available for you to grow as you want to?
Find a Partner in Growth
It’s so important to find a company that hinges their success on yours. You want your growth to be so essential to them, that you feel like you’re their only customer, even though you might not be. Resources tailored to what you’re going through as a company which are alleviating your growing pains and the things you need to learn as your shop is developing. Finding a partner can be a huge part of how to outsource your growth effectively.
If you’d like to learn more about how to outsource your cabinet shop growth, check out Ultimate Cabinet Components. We are dedicated to high quality service, quick turnaround, ready to assemble Lockdowel cabinet box components. Our whole strategy is hinged on the shops we do business with, not having to invest any other capital, but being able to double their capacity and our success is only as good as our partners. Ultimately, we are only here to facilitate the growth of both of our businesses.