The rate at which my children grow out of their jeans is alarming. On mornings when it is discovered that the closet is void of even one pair of pants long enough to wear to school without public humiliation, I ask myself, how could we have prepared for two full inches of, “overnight-vertical-expansion?”
And why didn’t I purchase the next two sizes of pants when they were on sale last week?
Not having a pair of jeans to wear to school negatively impacts our collective ability to get out the door on time. It interrupts the flow and creates stress in an already busy morning routine.
Preparing for growth is an essential part of being efficient and successful in almost every aspect of life; and especially in business. It is often avoided for fear of the unknown because in order to really prepare for the next stage of growth, we have to imagine it…and ask ourselves scary questions like, what might the future hold?
At the plant, we’ve been imagining, planning and building for growth. It is a daunting process which comes with unknown costs, transition times and risk. In the winter of 2012, we were considering what efficiencies could be gained by adding a door-handling-robot to our prefinish line. It has been in place for nearly a year now. The results? First and foremost, it has opened up opportunities for our employees to do work that is more enjoyable than picking up and flipping every door after each pass through the finishing line. Second; it has added an additional one-third capacity on the line, every day. Click on this link to see the Pre-Finish Robot Arm, in action!
This January we added additional prep equipment within our prefinish building and automatic door pickers in both the interior and exterior departments of our main facility. The auto-pickers are a marvel to watch and it’s not uncommon to occasionally find any one of us standing in awe of the speed with which they move. Like our door-handling-robot, they have alleviated our employees of mundane, repetitive, and labor-intensive tasks so that we can utilize their talents in areas where human ingenuity is key. We like that.
And I have inquired whether similar equipment is available for removing sleepy teenagers from their beds. We’re looking forward to, and are prepared for, a year of growth and opportunity in 2014! Are you?
-Holly Bayer, ASID