Running a window dealership, much like other small businesses, is a tightrope walk of managing myriad responsibilities. While emergencies and unexpected situations are part and parcel of such operations, they shouldn't define or dominate your workday. A structured approach, especially when it comes to organizing your week, can be transformative.
Most window dealers, from my own experience and consultancy observations, often find themselves entangled in the latest crisis. This reactionary mode of operation can be exhausting and far from efficient. The primary reason for this constant state of emergency? A simple lack of regular status meetings.
Meetings, contrary to some opinions, aren't mere formalities. They're essential instruments of communication, prioritization, and planning. By neglecting these, dealers inadvertently set themselves up for a constant stream of crises.
Participants: Admin and Accounting Person, Operations Manager (if required), Sales Manager (if present)
Example Scenario: The accounting person presents a list of outstanding invoices. They discuss with the team the reasons behind the delayed payments. Perhaps a certain client always pays late – maybe they need a reminder system. Another hasn't paid because of a service complaint; the operations manager notes down the need for a follow-up.
Norms: Ensure up-to-date records, confidentiality (especially if sensitive financial details are discussed), and always end with clear action steps.
Participants: Sales People, Sales Manager (if present), Operations Manager
Example Scenario: A salesperson talks about a potential lead they met at a recent expo but mentions the lead's reservations about delivery times. The operations manager chimes in, providing insights into how they've recently optimized the process. Together, they craft a pitch to address this reservation.
Norms: Celebrate wins, be constructive about misses, share market insights, and aim for collaborative problem solving.
Participants: Customer Support Person, Operations Manager, Sales People (if their clients are involved), Measuring Tech (if product issues are involved)
Example Scenario: The support person highlights a recurring complaint about a particular product's installation. The measuring tech realizes there's been a change in product specifications that the installation teams might not be aware of. Training is scheduled.
Norms: Focus on resolution, not blame. Ensure everyone has a voice, especially those on the ground.
Participants: Operations Manager, Measuring Tech, Sales People, Customer Support Person
Example Scenario: The operations manager outlines the process of a job from sale to completion. The measuring tech points out a step that often causes delays. Sales people suggest a way to set clearer client expectations. A refinement is made.
Norms: Open-mindedness, respect for every step of the process, a focus on continuous improvement.
Participants: Everyone! It's essential that all roles have a voice.
Example Scenario: A salesperson points out they often get questions they can't answer about installation. The measuring tech offers to create a quick reference guide. The admin person suggests a monthly newsletter with updates from all departments.
Norms: Respect, constructive feedback, and active listening.
Remember, while it may feel counterintuitive to take time out for meetings when there's so much happening, it's precisely during these busy times that structured communication becomes most vital. Embrace it, and watch your operations smooth out, your team's stress levels decrease, and your profitability rise.
At xTriam, we understand the intricacies of running a window dealership. With solutions crafted from firsthand experience, we're here to help you navigate challenges and unlock efficiency.