3 Ways Building Product Manufacturers Can Clean House

Posted On: 
Sep 6, 2017
3 Ways Building Product Manufacturers Can Clean House

“Just as the gardener, to promote vigorous new growth and radiant blossoms, prunes the deadwood off the rose bush, so do great leaders who get rid of all deadwood employees,” says Jeffery Fox in How to Be A Fierce Competitor. Fox argues that deadwood employees don’t produce results, don’t attract customers, and should be fired. Building product manufacturers that cut low performing employees send a message to the rest of the company- performance matters. Let’s explore strategies that building product manufacturers can use to improve performance.

Destroy Silos

Silos in companies are divisions and units that typically stifle innovation. Silo executives don’t share information with other silo executives. Sales and marketing employees in each silo sit in their offices as if they are bunkers, waiting for the bomb to drop. Silo executives sometimes sabotage company decisions if they think it will infringe on their independence, budget, etc. Building product manufacturers would be wise to eliminate silos in their company.

Fast Company identified three main problems with silos. First, silos have non-aligned priorities. Executives in silos tend to view their department as their “sandbox” and anything outside of their silo is not a high priority. Second, silos can prevent the flow of information. Structure is crucial for a building product manufacturer to succeed; however rigid barriers can prevent important information from being shared by employees. Executives tend to look up and down in their silo and never across to another silo. Finally, silos can prevent coordinated decision making which could be fatal for a company. So, take a sledgehammer to those silos!

Break Down Bureaucracy

Most of us agree, that government bureaucracy can be confusing, ineffective, and wasteful. Governments have several departments, agencies, committees, and councils that delay, replicate, obfuscate, and confuse the average citizen. Often simplicity and common sense are thrown out the window. In his book, author Jeffrey Fox outlines several symptoms of bureaucracy that apply to building product manufacturers. They include:

  • Documents requiring more than two signatures
  • Assistants to the executive assistant
  • Employees who cannot state in ten seconds how their job obtains or retains customers
  • Policies that frustrate good, honest, building product reps
  • Endless stages to navigate to make something happen
  • Decision-making committees of ten or more people

Bottom line: Get rid of mind-numbing bureaucracy, red tape, and impractical policies

Fire Under-Performers

In a previous blog, we discussed how to get specified by architects. Building product reps are crucial for educating architects about your products. At the end of the day, there is nothing more powerful and effective for increasing brand and product awareness than hitting the pavement and visiting architects. However, building product reps that underperform need to be pruned. Employees that don’t obtain or retain customers need to exit the company.

Good companies provide clear sales goals, good tools and resources, a safe and friendly working space, and first-class training. Building product reps should be treated fairly, nurtured, mentored, and challenged. However, when a building product rep misses sales goals, can’t deal with company changes, and becomes inefficient, they need to go. Your sales and marketing team needs to be educated on how to work with architects. Building product reps need to be able to discuss 3-part guide specifications, product transparency documents, deliver AIA courses, and speak intelligently about how LEED relates to your product.

How does your company combat silo thinking and bureaucracy? What strategies does your company use?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank