Install turnover is a hidden expense often tolerated by fab shop owners. It’s “hidden” because the true cost in terms of dollars and disruption to the overall business performance is not fully understood.
Thus, the fact that it’s tolerated.
The costs can be arranged into two categories:
The direct costs are the investment in training, lost capacity resulting in a surge in overtime to compensate, and time spent hiring a replacement. These direct costs can be measured in dollars, and can easily approach five figures.
The indirect costs are a little harder measure in dollars, yet they are still intolerably high.
When an installer quits (whether it’s for physical or financial reasons or overall frustration) the rhythm and continuity in the install department itself as well as the overall business is disrupted. Efficiency is greatly diminished until the dust settles and a replacement has filled the void.
Additionally, anytime a member of the team leaves, no matter the reason, it ALWAYS negatively affects morale.
When you add it all up, the loss of a qualified installer can easily be tens of thousands of dollars.
So, now that the costs are no longer hidden, what about the reasons installers move on? More importantly, what are the solutions to this problem?
Some installers make the difficult transition out of the field and into the shop, but most simply get out of the business all together because their bodies can no longer take the punishment that 3cm counters dish out.
The great irony (and I would argue it’s a tragedy) is that about the time an installer is approaching the journeyman level, his body is starting to give out and he must evaluate a career change.
Hear what installer Brian and his wife Brittney have to say about how the No Lift has transformed his career and benefited his life at home!
The solution to this is simple: shops that invest in the No Lift Install System will preserve the well being of their installers and virtually eliminate the likelihood that their installers will suffer career-ending injuries.
Since turnover is abnormally high in the install departments of most stone shops, there is a continuous shortage of qualified installers. It’s supply and demand. And, thus, the possibility that your installers are being offered higher pay to go to work for another shop always exists.
Usually, the owner realizes this on the day his key installer quits for a better offer. The owner has two choices in this situation,
- Say good riddance,
- Or make a counteroffer.
Whether it’s a dollar, two, three, or even five dollars an hour more, the solution here is easy: MATCH THE OFFER! While this requires humility, it’s peanuts compared to the cost of replacing the installer.
The reality is that installing granite and quartz counters is without a doubt the most difficult and stressful job in the stone business… and that’s on a good day.
Unfortunately, many shop owners add to this by failing to manage the three departments that precede the install:
If the installers are regularly required to track down information the sales department failed to acquire, make adjustments for oversights by the templater, or finish work fabrication work like faucet holes and return polishes that the shop overlooked, frustration can eventually reach the boiling point.
The solution for this is not relying on your installers to “catch” and resolve the mistakes of every other department in the company.
The old saying, “you can’t unring the bell” sure applies now that the true costs and reasons for install turnover have been explained.
Now the question for you, fellow stone shop owner, is what you’re going to do with this newfound knowledge?
The question isn’t what to do, it’s when you’re going to put this knowledge to good use and make the decisions that will positively impact your installers and your business!
The No Lift Install system will not only save your business money by reducing unnecessary labor costs, but it will also protect your highly skilled installers from career-ending injuries.
In the stone business, the shop guys seem to have all the toys and all the advantages. Even the most simple shop set up will have a forklift, slab clamp, and boom, not to mention lots of extra room, including bathrooms and break rooms. Many have vacuum lifters,...