Typically this time of year finds us rethinking our systems so that our company can run better, more efficiently and with better results. We review our installation techniques and propose improvements, We also clean up and maintain all of our metal working tools and equipment, making sure that everything is operating smoothly and making good product for the year to come.
In marketing the priority for me in 2017 involves building a foundational presence of our work, customer recommendations, pictures, published articles, you-tube videos and blog posts, and builder affiliate recommendations, on the internet. I feel like our advertising dollars that are being spent on television, radio, billboard and newspaper advertising are somewhat ephemeral and could be better spent getting a very strong organic presence on the internet so that search engines always place us at the top of any local search in any of the towns we do business without us having to pay for advertising. To that end we are going to build landing pages for each of the cities in which we do business and include as many of the customers and builders as will agree to participate that we have worked with in those areas. I want to improve our collection of pictures by taking before and after shots of what we do and, if the customer agrees, load those pictures onto or landing pages.
Another priority for me is to create a better way of allocating our labor resources on a day to day level that increases production and efficiency. We have three crews that up until now have acted fairly independently following the foreman’s leads for start times and cancelations due to inclement weather. This year we will work more as a team. All foreman come to the same meeting each day and review the jobs at hand and the best allocation of labor resources for the day. The rest of the crew arrives half an hour later and is directed to the crew that needs them. Although they will still have a primary crew they work with, each employee is ready and willing to jump onto another job if the weather isn’t perfect for his jobsite or job classification for that day.
This is already a busy year. We are booked with metal roofing work through May for all 3 crews and it’s only the 6th of January. The local economy has moved into a strong position for construction that means holding and training skilled labor is going to be a challenge. The good news is that it also means we have an opportunity to lock in profitable jobs and pay down the debt incurred through the last recession. But it must also be a time of reservation and wisdom. We have been through these cycles before and dangers abound. Optimism can bring hasty purchases and it is possible to book too much work, higher too many unskilled personnel, and lose capacity to complete our jobs to our standard of workmanship. That will not happen to us this year because neither I nor our foremen will allow that to happen to us. I promise.
Sincerely, Dan Perkins