Like Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one more responsive to change.” Undeniable truth also for businesses, including pallet businesses. When the pallet industry is experiencing constant changes in lumber pricing, a shortage of workforce, and recycled pallets, it is more important than ever for pallet companies to succeed to be change-ready.
Being change-ready does not only mean that your pallet company will be prepared for the next pandemic (hope not), but it also means that you will be able to maximize your productivity and profitability. But how do you do it? With the proper mindset, strategy and tools, you’ll ensure your pallet company is prepared to face any challenges thrown at you.
Mindset, mindset, mindset
Before anything else, you need to be open to change and improvement. If you feel reluctant to leave your comfort zone, it’s ok; change is never easy. However, you could start by identifying where your company is standing and what possible threats you could encounter in the future. Even if you don’t account for a worldwide pandemic or pallet scarcity, being openly aware that unpredictable challenges could affect your business will help you be more open to embracing change. Remember, growth happens when we leave our comfort zone!
Talk with employees, partners and customers. Be receptive and prepared to receive feedback on how their experience with your company could improve. Continue with asking yourself these questions: Are any aspects of the business not working? Describe in detail why is it not working?; How could we improve the experience of customers and employees?; Could we improve what is currently working? How?; What threats could we face in the near future? How can we be prepared to tackle them?
Acknowledging that the times we live in are unpredictable can help you feel more comfortable accepting updating old practices.
Data is your friend
Being aware of your company’s actual numbers and performance will make you more adaptable by letting you make decisions faster. Yet, many pallet companies still struggle to keep track of their true costs, which means decision-making is mainly based upon guesswork and previous experience.
Data offers a glance to the future and an amplifying lens to the past. Start tracking it! It does not have to be complex, but keeping track of historical numbers will let you analyze and plan for the future and identify the pain points of your business and take actions to solve them.
We know that tracking data and analyzing it might not be on the list of your top priorities; we get it, but trust us on this; it will simplify your decision-making process a lot. What does that mean? Well, by starters, you’ll be able to make decisions faster and more effectively because your decisions will be based on facts, not emotions or your gut. And this is where our third point takes us.
Implement tools that let you be change-ready
From automation machines that let you have fully automated assembly lines, QR and barcodes that let your track data, and apps that let you analyze your data and plan your resources. Technology is available to help you streamline your company’s processes.
Use the tools available and fear not of technology! There are many options for every budget to help your pallet company be more efficient and use its resources better. Technology is an investment that will let you grow and be ready to change, plus it will allow you to offer better service. Pallet companies that realize sooner that technology and innovation will help them stand out from their competition and optimize their processes, and invest accordingly, will be the ones to survive the new era.
But where to start? You don’t have to break the bank to equip your pallet company with technology. Start with tools that let you analyze how your company is working and track your data. This will allow you to identify the pain points of your pallet company and take action to fix them. An ERP system is the best way to start, as some of them won’t require you to alter the way you already work but will adapt to your business, like Pallet Connect.
To choose the best option for you, this article from Ed at Pallet Enterprise can be helpful!
Bring everyone on board
Include your team in this era of change, from the office and warehouse manager to the production guys. Everyone must understand what is coming and why it matters. Remember, your company is a living thing composed of everyone involved in its functioning, so to function well, everyone must understand the value of the new implementations and changes.
Change is an opportunity for your company to continue growing and succeeding! Remember that change is never-ending, no linear process. Don’t see change as something that happens once, and then you forget about it. It should be something that drives you!