In Part 1 one of this article, we laid the groundwork and the 4 quadrants. In Part 2, we began to identify the quadrants and their focus. Please click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2 to review.

As we eluded to in Part 2, there is much, much more that goes into the design process than is acknowledged or respected. Are you aware of this? If not, ignorance is NOT bliss. If you are aware, then are you a part of the solution or a part of the problem?

Briefly, in each of these 4 quadrants, there are three specific targets that are highlighted as the key “lubrication” for a component manufacturer’s business model. Simply put, the designer has the most responsibility directly related to the component manufacturers:

  • Reputation = Designer has to think about
  • Profitability = Designer has to comprehend
  • Customer satisfaction level = Designer has to meet the needs of
  • Repeat business factor = Designer has to understand how to please

Customer satisfaction level = Designer has to meet the needs of

What exactly does a designer have to think about in consideration of meeting needs?

truss-engineer

Each and every product delivered to the jobsite has to uphold to the contractor’s expectations, precisely adhere to the engineer’s specifications and satisfy management’s sale price in order to make a profit, right? Each of the 3 items in this quadrant has a direct effect on the customer satisfaction level. If the designer is not thinking about these things in the design process, jobsite efficiency moves at a turtle’s pace. Plain and simple!

Time to ask yourself a few tough questions (now is the time to be open-minded):

  1. When was the last time you invested in your design team and had a collective discussion about ways to be cost-efficient, based on new shop equipment and/or newly stocked inventories?
  2. Are your designers aware that these amazing new saws will cut web/chord lumber for multiple trusses out of the same board?
  3. When you have “TDM’s”, how many of those were design errors or are directly related to engineer preference?
  4. When was the last time you asked your veteran designers on the team to take the time and help out those with less experience and discussed common types of TDM’s that can be avoided?
  5. When was the last time you scheduled a meeting with the General Contractor on the jobsite to help foster a direct, open, positive relationship built through strong communication?

Repeat business factor = Designer has to understand how to please

truss-administration

Each and every product delivered to the jobsite has to uphold to the shop production staff’s expectations, precisely adhere to the company administrative requirements and satisfy what the component salesman promised the customer, right? Each of the 3 items in this quadrant has a direct effect on the repeat business. If the designer is not thinking about these things in the design process, repeat business is a struggle. Plain and simple!

Time to ask yourself a few tough questions (now is the time to be open-minded):

  1. When was the last time you invested in your design team and shop production staff had a collective discussion about ways they become frustrated or continually lose time in the fabrication plant?
  2. When was the last time you asked a designer to put on the tool belt and work in the fabrication plant on recently acquired shop equipment to truly understand how the design affects shop efficiency?
  3. Are your designers exposed to continual training from your Design Administration team that helps them continue to grow?
  4. When you do have “training meetings”, how many of your designers are allowed to share their experiences, or is one person doing and the sharing?
  5. When was the last time you assigned your “junior” designers on the team to take the time and study a topic to teach others in the design staff?
  6. When was the last time you scheduled a meeting with the General Contractor on the jobsite to help foster a direct, open, positive relationship built on strong communication?

In Part 4 of this article, we will conclude and fill in the rest of the blanks. Stay tuned!

Naida Gould – Owner

Gould Design, Inc.