Saturday, March 26, 2011


Every modular factory needs a list of things that should never happen if they want to keep their builders.  Here is a list of things that could hurt a factory's sales, employee morale and drive builders away.

Factory owners and management should NEVER:

  1. Stop asking questions.  The factory's employees and builders are a diverse group with a wealth of practical knowledge and experience.  If you don't ask them questions, they will stop offering any advice and begin to think that they are not viewed as valuable parts of the system.
  2. Micromanage.  You know you don't like it, so why should your employees.  The converse---being too hands off with your builders will start to alienate them.
  3. Play it Safe.  Success means growth, growth means taking risks - analytical, not frivolous, though.  Play it too safe and you'll always be trying to catch up to the competition.
  4. Hire YES men and women.  If you do, the rest of your employees will stop sharing valuable information with them which will hurt production and morale.  Your builders will find that talking with them about problems or situations is useless and probably start looking for another factory.
  5. Over-Promise and Under-Deliver.  Your factory's success is all about results.  Make sure that if someone makes a promise to a builder that everyone knows who made it, what is was and when the builder was told it would happen.
  6. Open your mouth before your Brain engages.  There are more screwups from an open mouth than from anything done in engineering or on the production line.  THINK before you start flapping your lips.
  7. Stick to your guns.  Being inflexible, especially in this housing recession, could cost you lost morale, lost sales and profits and probably lost builders.
  8. Ignore what the market is telling you.  This is probably the most important thing that everyone should be aware of today.  If your factory isn't in tune to what the market is demanding, you will be left behind.  The "good old days" are gone.  Welcome to the "Tough as hell days."
  9. Ignore your gut instincts.  This is what sets a great factory owner apart from the also-rans.  If something smells bad to you, the factory owner, then it's time to review the whole situation.  And if your builder starts having those gut instincts that your factory is in trouble, their is probably no way to get them back in the fold.
  10. Lose your sense of humor or humility.  Enough said.

These are the top 10 but there are lots of other things a modular factory owner or management should do.  I'm sure you can come up with a few others.

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