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SolidTops Case Study

Situation

SolidTops had a profitable business but was struggling with customer satisfaction due to long lead times and unpredictable installation dates.  These challenges were the primary barriers to taking their $6M business to new heights.  The husband and wife owners needed a shorter lead time from Template to Install along with a very high level of due date performance in order to grow their company.

Additionally, the husband was a serial entrepreneur with great ideas and a rare ability to execute well on the better ones.  He was frustrated by being constantly tied down to the countertop shop to keep it running.  The constant chaos in the company was preventing him from pursuing additional lucrative opportunities.

Solution

To help SolidTops improve customer satisfaction and acquire new customers, changes were made in the sales process so new jobs weren’t released for scheduling until all decisions had been made.  Scheduling was then changed to schedule template and install dates on one call – with a fixed lead time between the dates.  These changes reduced the chaos on the shop floor and allowed SolidTops to free up 20% of their production capacity.  Template to Install lead times shortened to 5 days.  Due date performance went to nearly 100%.  Customer satisfaction skyrocketed.

Impact

Previously, SolidTops sold 95% of its products through kitchen and bath dealers and big box stores.  With its new capabilities, SolidTops was able to grow its business through expanding direct to consumer sales.  This greatly increased its control over the customer experience while generating a lot of high margin business. 

Not long after these changes were implemented, a new competitor opened a brand new state of the art countertop fabrication business 2 miles away.  SolidTops was able to leverage its enhanced performance and strong reputation effectively and the competitor didn’t closed after 2 years.  These improvements helped SolidTops grow to an even more profitable $7M company and survive the subsequent recession in great shape.

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