Rule with iron fistParts to finish is usually a topic that gives cabinet dealers and other industry professionals chills – the stuff of true nightmares. You wake in a cold sweat knowing you’re losing money- but not sure how to make it stop.

It’s actually quite easy to improve your business margins, with a simple technique you can implement tomorrow called F.I.S.T. – Finish the Install in a Single Trip. It’s a mentality shift for salespeople and installers that does wonders for the bottom line. It’s also a used heavily at the most successful cabinet operations out there.

Here’s the typical situation:

Most dealers default into an installation philosophy described as F.I.W.A.I.B.I.S.T.L.J.U.S.I.C.C.B.L.A.C. Finish–Install-Whenever-And-If-Business-Is-Slow-Then-Leave-Job-Unfinished-So-I-Can-Come-Back-Later-And-Charge. Of course this isn’t documented anywhere, but the default incentive for an installer is to only complete the items on their paperwork then leave. Even if they see a few things that need to be done, why would they stay an extra twenty minutes to finish it up when they can get paid to come back out again later?

The challenge is to change this philosophy. You can accomplish it with two easy process changes. My Grandfather use to always say, “If employees aren’t doing what you want them to do, look at how you’re paying them.” The first step is to create an incentive for field personnel to have the job complete the first time – and reward them financially when they do it.

The second step will most likely happen anyway, but with the launch of this incentive, implement a salesperson/installer planning session before each job. All you do is have them both review the job, ask questions then ask the one final question of each other, “Do we have everything we need to finish the install in a single trip?” The incentive and the added communication between your salesperson and installer will do wonders for your bottom line.

So remember, sometimes you do have to use your FIST to get the job done right the first time. Now go put some muscle behind it!