Charles Arriola, Sales:
Lead times were really just a moving target. It was hard for our clients to know when we were going to arrive for both the template and the installation. I feel Ed’s number one asset was his ability to listen. He listened to what we had to say, our concerns. We felt that we were being heard, as we expressed our concerns, and Ed put together a plan of action. We knew we could trust him. The results were immediate. The lead times quickly went from we don’t know, to specific days. In our industry, it’s all about lead time.
Previously, three to four weeks was the industry standard. We narrowed that down to seven to 10 days, but Ed took it even better than that. Went to a five day lead time, which is truly unheard of in our industry.
Wade Egnor, Production Manager:
When we met Ed, had about a six week lead time, which was standard in our industry, but that’s a long time to wait for your product. It certainly affects cash flow, it affected the amount of stone, in this case, that we could produce. We were behind, we could not keep up with the production. Ed told us to quit cutting stone. How in the world stop doing something can help you do what you need to do better? I finally took Ed’s advice and he was right. He knows what he’s doing. The effects were immediate. Ed promised us a 20% increase in throughput.
In reality, we probably immediately, in the first few weeks, saw about a 40% increase in throughput. Immediately, because we have a backlog of work, we took that six week’s worth of income that it would normally take us six weeks to earn, and we compress that into just a couple of weeks. We had an initial really big cash influx. We turned all of that backlog into dollars, and we put it in our checking account. Once you have that knowledge, you use it forever. What Ed gives you is, you pay very little for it, and you get to use it from now on. It never wears out.
John Baltzegar, Owner:
By following the steps that he did, some of them we questioned at the time. He said, “If you want to cut more, stop cutting.” That didn’t sound right. What he meant, and what he showed us was if we stopped cutting, try to get it more efficiently done, schedule what we’re going to cut and the people right after it, instead of letting it build up in the shop. We had built several roadblocks in our system. He shortened those out. By shortening that time and stopping for a few days to complete what we had already cut, then we were able to cut more. Literally, the fabricators were grabbing the pieces as they were cut.
They were that fast. He taught us how to take the slowest part of our line, and how we changed our pricing to take advantage of it. We don’t know how to function without following those principles anymore. We’ve done over $140 million of fabrications since then. That’s a fair amount in my– it’s beyond whatever I had thought of before.