IWF Education: Job Costing: A Systematic Approach

13. April 2020 17:54
 

 Presented by:

 

 

Sponsored by: 

 

By: Ken Kumph, Premier Builders

“Job Costing” isn’t just a task that you do when the project is complete. It requires setting up procedures and processes from the time you create the estimate through the time you run your P&L reports. Tracking the costs in a systematic manner is essential to an accurate accounting of what your jobs cost.

The true benefit of tracking your job costs is the actions you take after your run the reports and get your results. At that point, you need to make the necessary changes to your numbers, processes, and procedures to intentionally not make the same mistakes on the next job and ultimately make more money going forward.

To learn how to systematically approach job costing, register to attend the "Job Costing: A Systematic Approach to Comparing Estimated to Actual Costs" session during IWF 2020.

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IWF Education: What's Your Problem?

7. April 2020 10:36
 

By: Amanda Conger, Executive Director, Cabinet Makers Association

All companies have pain points. What’s yours?

Time Management

From scheduling and project management to finding time to do the business side of running your own business. How do you fit it all in and still have a life outside of work?

 Finding Your Niche

Don’t stretch yourself thin by trying to all things for all customers.  Know your competitive advantage and clearly communicate it to your customers and prospects.

Customers

Sometimes managing the customer’s expectations is the most difficult part of the project. Then when it’s over, how do you ensure that you get paid?

Employees

Finding, keeping, motivating, and staying on task. Do you find yourself doing more because you know you can do it better and without the hassle?

The Unexpected

Disasters, either man-made or natural, will happen. How can you be prepared for the inevitable and unpredictable?

Growth Management

When should you add more employees? When should you buy more equipment? Or perhaps it makes sense to outsource instead

Pricing

How do you price for profitability yet stay competitive?

Vendors

Find the best fit and accept nothing short of your expectations. Form strategic partnerships with responsive vendors and build lasting relationships that add to your bottom line.

Avoiding Burn Out

How do you get back to the pleasure of the craft that got you started in this business in the first place? Get an inside look at how some of the top woodworking shops are continually growing and making significant profits.

Regardless of your particular struggle, you should attend “What’s Your Problem?” during IWF 2020. This round table discussion is a unique networking opportunity to help you learn from others who have been there, done that, and succeeded.

Learn more at CMA’s popular, “What’s Your Problem” roundtable discussion is an opportunity for show attendees to relax, learn and share their problems and solutions with other like-minded woodworking professionals.

 

 
 

IWF Education: What is slippage and how does it impact my bottom line?

31. March 2020 10:00


By: Marc Sanderson, Owner: INNERGY

We are all in business to make money. What we do determines if we fall short, meet or beat industry average profitability. It’s our actions, decisions and behaviors that define our organization’s performance. I regularly ask the following question when I speak before large, industry gatherings: “What would happen to your business’ profitability if you could consistently (a) release clean, complete shop drawings, (b) provide 4-6 week lead time, and (c) have all material ready in inventory awaiting production?” 65% of the industry responds that achieving this trifecta would cause profitability to more than double! What would you do to double your profitability?

Most of the industry focuses on the sawdust producing portion of the process. Production is viewed as the holy grail to incremental profitability and operational effectiveness.  And this belief makes sense given that ~90% of the capital employed is on machinery and production activities. 50-75% of our staffing is also on the shop floor and thus warrants managerial attention.  However, what prevents clean drawing, reasonable lead-times and raw material availability?  It’s not the shop floor. The factors that can double one’s profitability are defined prior to release, prior to sawdust production. Problems manifest themselves on the shop floor, but their genesis is in the office.  How do we think through and structure the office workflow towards the trifecta?

I am excited to be with you at IWF 2020 and grateful for the opportunity to present.  There are many things that impact and prevent us from achieving the conditions that would double our profitability.  The big questions I will address are, “What is slippage?” and “How does it impact my bottom line?”

Together, we will explore:

  • What slippage is
  • Both positive and negative examples of slippage
  • Causes of slippage in the architectural woodwork industry
  • Tools to impact slippage
  • How to reduce/prevent slippage
  • How to create your own Slippage Action Plan

I’m excited to be with you all and explore how we can mitigate slippage in our businesses during the "How Does Slippage 
Impact Your Margins?", session at IWF 2020.

 

IWF Education: “When to Outsource”

30. March 2020 09:48
 

 Presented by:

 

 

Sponsored by: 

 

By: Joe Knobbe, Past President: Cabinet Makers Association

How do you determine the value of and when you should outsource? Whether it’s doors and drawer fronts, the cabinet boxes, finishing, installation, or any other aspect of your production process, you should know why it may or may not make good business sense to do everything yourself.

Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it.

Outsourcing makes a lot of sense for smaller companies, especially those who don’t have the sophisticated equipment to do every type of project. Machinery is a really big investment for smaller shops, so outsourcing the various components is a viable solution, especially for unique projects.

Learn what is right for your business during the "When to Consider Outsourcing" session at IWF 2020.

IWF Education: The Most Successful Companies Are Run by Owners Who Understand the “Business” Side of Their Business!

24. March 2020 16:47

By: Tom Grandy, Founder: Grandy & Associates

Let’s face it, you used to work for another company and then decided you could do it better and faster and make the big bucks the owner was making if you went out on your own.  Bingo, you leave and start your own company.   Things go well the first year or two then you start doing more and more work…..while making less and less profit.  What’s going on?

First of all, 90% of all small businesses started like you did.  You’re strong on the technical end (getting work done) and weak on the business side.  There are two things that put most small companies out of business.  Number one is improper labor pricing, not know what YOU have to charge per hour in order to cover your costs of doing business while generating the profit you desire.  The second killer is cash flow.  A company can be priced perfectly…..and still go out of business because of cash flow issues. 

The good news is that Grandy & Associates will be offering a seminars on labor pricing, and cash flow, at the IWF Conference.  Hope to see you in the sessions!

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IWF Education: Understanding your Cyber Risks

23. March 2020 08:06
 

 Presented by:

 

 

Sponsored by: 

 

By: Dominic Vogel, Founder & Chief Strategist: CyberSC

While you are working a building a winning business, cyber criminals from around the world are scheming to steal your data. Be proactive about the projection you need and determine your level of risk.

Most companies are unaware of the high risk they face from cyber attacks. Even the smallest security breach can compromise the trust and integrity between you and your customers, your partners, and your vendors. It might also result in the loss of assets, future revenue, and potentially cause crippling litigation for your business.

Learn what you didn’t know you needed to know about cyber security during the "Cyber Security: What You Didn't Know You Needed to Know " session at IWF 2020.

IWF Education: Making the Leap from Residential to Commercial

20. March 2020 15:24
 

Presented by: 

 

 

Sponsored by: 

 

By: Rick Thaler, Former Owner: OGB Architectural Millwork

I’ve been through the transition from residential to commercial work and lived to tell the tale.

I’m happy to report that I would never go back. I like commercial work better, and I find it more rewarding. I get to do the kind of work that turns me on, and at a scale that I find satisfying, and I’ve built a set of systems from the ground up that have served me quite well through the growth of my company.

If you’re considering taking up commercial work, you need to know the answer to this simple question: Why?

Do you want more opportunity? Diversification? More profit? More interesting work? The chance to work with different kinds of customers? All of the above?

These are all good reasons. The key is to do some soul-searching and make absolutely sure you have a good reason.

After all, if you’re happy with what you’re doing, and you’re making the money you want to make, don’t change. Change for the sake of change is not just worthless – it can be downright murderous, and many of the business failures I’ve seen involved people getting out of an area of competence and into one of high risk.

Learn more during IWF 2020 by attending the “Diversifying your Business: Think Outside the (Cabinet) Box” session.

The 5 Levels of Active Recruitment of Woodworkers - Part 1

11. July 2019 12:44

Luke Barnett: Chairmaker: Sam Beauford Woodshop Career Woodworking Institute

Luke-Barnett"Just like growing a garden…. cultivating the future talent pool of skilled workers takes effort. It takes time, talent, and money. You will reap what you sow. Your results are directly proportional to the effort that is put in.

This article will be broken into 2 parts. This is part one. Make sure you check back for part 2.    Level 1 is where most of the industry currently is positioned. At this level of employment, vacancies are filled by traditional methods. An employer will recognize that they need to fill a position when an employee decides to quit or retire.

On my personal “task management board”, I would put this in the AMBUSH category. Ambush means that my task is time-sensitive and I need to devote resources that I did not plan on devoting to accomplishing the time-sensitive task. Ambush tasks are usually completed in a state of panic, which causes me to make less than optimal decisions. Ambush mode is not where you want to be while hiring. This causes you to take what you can get rather than picking and choosing the right talent for the job. Level 1 recruiting has a domino of side effects such as, high turnover of employees, causing increased resources spent on training, which causes lower wages due to not having the most effective staff, which causes an overall negative culture among the employees.  If any business is at this level, I would strongly encourage them to make the move to level 2.

Level 2 is where some of you may be. Level 2 is where active recruitment starts. At this minimal level, you have awareness of your local skilled trades program. You have made a phone call to the instructor and opened a dialogue with him or her. You occasionally make an inquiry to whether they have any candidates to work for your business.  You may get a student here and there, but it hasn’t been a really good resource for your business so far. Does this sound familiar???? Level 2 takes minimal effort, all you do is make a phone call and they send a potential candidate. I am going to give you the hard truth about level 2 from an educators perspective. I couldn’t care less about level 2. Your occasional phone call is 1 of 100 per month that we receive from recruiters looking for a quick hire. Level 2 is a low priority for us. We will send you students but out best and brightest are reserved for higher levels of participants.

Level 3 is the level when you have bought into the recruitment plan and you want to contribute. You do not have the time to dedicate but you still want to contribute so you write a check or make some in-kind donations of materials or something.

On a side note…….. Do not call a CTE woodworking school and say that you have some scrap wood that you are willing to donate. We know this game………. You are trying to get rid of your scrap and hoping to off it on someone that can use it. A similar scenario that you may be familiar with, is when a person calls your company to tell you that they have a tree in their yard and you can have it if you are willing to cut it down and haul it off. The point is….. We do not want your scrap wood.

Back to level 3. Let me tell you….. we LOVE getting checks. On this level, you will have worked out the beginnings of a formal partnership with an educational institution. Your contributions earn you some level of priority when it comes to the quality of students. This level is where you will start to see returns. Every woodworking business in North America should be at this level. This level strengthens educational programs by providing them with much-needed resources, which help us provide better quality education.

Levels 4-5 will be discussed in the next Blog. Stay Tuned…..

Hardwood Edging - Part 4

25. June 2019 10:48

By: Scott Grove, Furniture Design: ScottGrove.com

Adding curves to any project substantially increases complexity; applying curved inlay compounds the process. Scott Grove has been teaching these techniques for over ten years, perfecting every step and nuance along the way. He then spent three additional years writing a book Hardwood Edging and Inlay for Curved Tables publish by Schiffer Publishing and has refined this process to a fine and simple art.

During this time, he also developed The Ultimate Router Base System available at ImagineWoodworking.com that gives you more control and increases safety and stability on any handheld routing operation.

Scott will demonstrate how to use this system that helps you produce accurate, perfectly-matched curved joinery, large inlays, and dead-centered inlays over a seam easily and every time. It’s perfect for any professional or hobbyist woodworker who wants to add new dimensions to their creations simply and safely.

With this one router base system, complex shapes, circles, curves, and inlays can be quickly and accurately made, saving you time and money. It is the only offset router base that accepts a standard 1-3/16” PC template guide and includes the only extra-large template guide bushing set that allows you to offset a ½” router bit to either side of the cutting seam.

The design adds surface area to your router base for greater stability, safer operation and more controlled cutting. Its high machining tolerance avoids slop or wiggle that is sometimes found between a router base and standard template guides, too.

Learn more about this topic by viewing the "Curved Joinery, Edges and Inlays" session from IWF 2018 that is available in the IWF Education Portal.

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Keep Your Cool

12. August 2018 17:58

By: Ralph Bagnall, Woodworking Consultant, Author and TV Host: Consulting Woodworker.com


There are many factors that need to be accounted for when cutting or milling plastics, but your over-arching concern should always be keeping things cool. With wood products, heat is an issue, but is secondary to vibration. With plastics it is the other way around; vibrations need to be controlled, but heat build-up is really the major concern. Too much heat begins to melt the plastic rather than cutting it, and this not only produces a poor edge, but the softened material can actually cool back in the kerf and weld itself together.
 
The heat we are concerned with is from friction. Every tooth cutting into the plastic generates heat, so generally, fewer teeth is better. Good gullet distance between teeth gives some chance for cooling between impacts. The diameter of a 10” saw blade generally lets the teeth cool between cuts, but if there are too many teeth, heat will build up along the cut line of the material.
 
With softer plastics like polycarbonates or nylons, a bandsaw blade removes heat from the cut line well but, again, large gullets and a healthy set to the teeth are recommended. Reciprocating blades like those on a jigsaw should not be used; the blade generates even more heat on the return as on the cutting stroke and allows no time for cooling. When cutting plastics, watch for galling around the kerf line, little bits of melted material clinging to the edges means the friction is excessive.

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