Cabinet Dealer Job Files – Data Collection from the Ancient Times
What’s the most antiquated, mistake riddled, headache causing part of being a cabinet dealer? Hint: It’s not the customer, and it’s not the manufacturer. It’s the job file. Raise your hand if you’ve ever spent a ridiculous amount of time looking for one piece of paper in a job file? Keep it up if you’ve ever thought you’d lost that folder and felt like hiding under your desk to get away from an angry client. Well, we’re here to help you see the light (and to get you out from under your desk).
How could you expect your files to ever be in the same place twice when different people need to get to them? You definitely can’t expect a folder with a hundred pages to stay neat and organized through the duration of a job if you’re just throwing things in there absentmindedly. It’s time for you to break the habit and see why job files are hurting your cabinet dealership.
If the pages were made of gold, they would be easier to track.
The job file is the holy grail of the cabinet industry and has been for as long as it’s been around. But sometimes a flawed system needs to be changed. You have a paper folder that can easily get coffee spilled on it, something drop out of it, catch fire (you may have a bigger problem if this happens). Either way, there goes all of your customer’s information.
Can you see why we think they’re a bad idea? Not only can it be ruined, but it always seems to be missing, doesn’t it? You swear you gave it to Sally and she gave it to Joe, but why the heck does Lou have it now? We know a guy who once had a check-out service for his dealership’s job files and he STILL couldn’t ever find them.
2+2=8. And that’s our final answer.
We hope you know that’s the wrong answer. But, would you catch it in the middle of a quote with 97 items and 4 different discounts? We didn’t think so. The inherent problem with job files is that they are hand-made and subject to human error. We’ve seen it happen where two guys from the same team didn’t understand the price list. While we don’t doubt that you know exactly how to do the pricing, we’re just not so sure that Tom down in accounting understands what you wrote. And, because there are a million ways to guess what the salesperson meant for pricing, it could also lead to lost dollars in the long run.
You needed 12 cabinets that are 15” wide, not 15 cabinets 12” wide. This is where you begin to rip your hair out and pace around the kitchen at your customer’s house… it’s not a pretty picture. Just another mistake made along the way because someone didn’t have the final copy of the quote you made. It happens to the best of us, but now you are delaying the process, the customer has to wait 3 more weeks until the cabinets are ready and there is nothing you can do. Seems really stressful for no reason, doesn’t it? All because things were ordered off the wrong quote (there were 5 in there, how were they supposed to know).
You lost their next project.
One of the biggest problems we see with job files looks a lot like this scenario: You forgot the note you wrote from the first day that said in six months your customer wants to do their bathroom as well. Maybe it was on a sticky note, a napkin or scribbled on the side of some paper somewhere, but any way you slice it, you didn’t remember. Six months go by and guess what? They found someone else to do it because you didn’t come around (not to mention, you ordered from the wrong quote on their last project). It’s easy to lose that information when you’re focused on keeping all your ducks in a row in the file, making sure cabinets are ordered correctly and that you’ve billed them the proper amount.
So, now that you’re back in your chair, not hiding from the job file and you feel empowered to change your ancient cabinet dealer ways, we invite you to take the plunge.