We have an issue with the way contractors treat the customer related to value added work. For instance, we use real time electronic reporting to our internal management team of all our installation metrics. We track time and motion using time and date stamps that show when any process is performed. The pictures show how well the crew understands and completes important quality checks regarding any process. This information is shared with all members of the team, and with other crews and their teams. We all look at the data and use the information to constantly improve the process of the customers’ project and its completion.
We also report to our customers in the same fashion, on a daily basis. This real time reporting shows our customers we are serious about offering our expertise to their advantage. In this manner, our customers learn they do not have to be experts in the process improvement regimen, as we are usually the leader in bringing to their attention any shortcomings that may exist. We approach all processes as being wasteful in the beginning, which should be used as lessons learned. Imagineering is used to discuss alternative possibilities and the end result, and then implementing and tracking/comparing the change to the previous method is employed.
Value added work is the goal. All work that the customer pays for and does not “add value” is considered WASTE. We identify what constitutes waste together as we enter into any customer supplied project SOW. During the bid process, initial implementation of the roll out for the project, actual performance of the project SOW, and initiation of the payment procedures, we all work together so waste is eliminated. Accountability by verification is used to ensure the customer is guaranteed the most cost effective and highest quality project. Verification is the most important metric we see as the end game to our quality vs. all the others out there.
Our staff and teams are on board with the process of working with other contractors that do not subscribe to this method of work. We understand this, and use our communication ability frequently to inform all customers if there are issues beyond our control that affect the project. Being on time here means be EARLY to work. Job sites are cleaned of ALL construction debris that is in our work area, no matter who creates this debris. This includes outside entry areas we need to move through to bring our equipment and the customers’ fixtures inside, ensuring safety is at the maximum.
We always ask an on-site person in charge to comment on a 5 question Customer Satisfaction Survey regarding our work. This survey is used to listen to the customer and see if there are issues that we may need to address. This survey is attached to any punch list, final pictures showing our work, and Invoice. This is all usually the day the project is completed. Our turn key operations include pre-work visits to survey existing conditions, plans development, permitting, electrical services and final commissioning. We are a different business, with a business model that is different from our competition. Once you experience our way of conducting business, you will want to continue using us!
Finally, how we do this is to use a process that we learned throughout our business development. We use statistics, reports and Pareto charts that highlight and identify areas that will eliminate waste. Suppliers are always taken to task relative to pricing, availability of product, inventory control designed as “just in time”, and constant vigilance of the total experience. We also use these same procedures to track our field staff and their belief in our regimen. We teach pride in workmanship, express concern over their welfare at work and family, build relationships together and most importantly have FUN while we grow together. By discussing with all teams their thoughts has led to many process improvement possibilities that have been implemented.
We can state with confidence that our system of analytics, communication, and performance are unequaled in the refrigeration industry. Our management and owners all subscribe to the same goal. This goal is offering the end user an experience that offers the highest quality and the best price for their project that they can have. In this fashion, we accept work only if the customer is willing to work as a partner with us in what we provide to them. It is a good position to be in, and our company will continue to be vigilant. 8 511 965 km2 We are indeed not your typical contractor, and from experience and training we will always strive to improve any process by identifying and eliminating all forms of waste. This is to the benefit of all. It enhances our bottom line, and also results in a satisfied customer that will rely and trust us to perform in a superior fashion with more work.
J A Kokinda