WHY DO WE “ONLY” WORK 40 HOURS A WEEK

TGIM!

Last night I sat down with my two boys and watched a hunting show on youtube.  Nothing too groundbreaking there, we have done that before.  This time I cued up my friend and co-worker Trey Arentz.   Trey started here in operations and has transitioned into an inside specialist at Kiel.   He’s an authentic guy and lives with passion, I knew that the second I met him.  Trey casually mentioned this video to me, and I thought I should watch it.

Trey loves hunting and the outdoors; it truly is magical to see him talking about the outdoors.  When you watch the video you will see that.  It’s one of the reasons God made Trey.

Trey had been working 45-48 hours a week until the new start of our 40 hour work weeks.

That is between 250 and 400 hours a year difference.

Potentially 4000 hours in the next decade. I am guessing for Trey a lot of that will be outdoors.

That is why we are doing this, so Trey can do that more!

It’s not about making more money (or less which is a possibility but I don’t believe it), it’s about the Trey’s of the world. It’s about you.  Thank you Trey.

Thank you for being one of the amazing 550 people that work here!

Here is his short film.  Probably consumed best not at work.  (Obviously.)  I highly recommend it for anyone that loves life, family, or the outdoors in general.

 

 

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How do we get there?  DISCIPLINE = FREEDOM.  The more disciplined in our tasks and our jobs at work, THE MORE EFFECTIVE, the quicker WE will get there.  It’s why Justin Spuda, our player personnel director, loves Jokko Willink, who wrote a whole book about it.   Project G, forces us to be disciplined but will create FREEDOM!   And on, and on.

Do not use “I can’t get anything done because we are forced to work 40.”

It’s a bullshit excuse and I personally won’t tolerate such nonsense. 

That doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges, but there were plenty of challenges working 60 hours a week too…

For systems, this is a work in progress at Little Chute and of course all new to Amherst.  We will get there as we “level the load.”  In manufacturing a bit of overtime every once in a while may be needed to put 5lbs of stuff in a 1lb container, but we will work on it!

 

For me?

I’m not sure there is anyone at Drexel that enjoys working more than myself.   It’s all I have ever done.  And truth be told, it’s darn near the only thing I am particularly good at.   I have never broken 45 in golf.    I have never shot a trophy buck, never caught my limit of fish, my garden is a work in progress, I am not a craftsman, like many of you.  I only like vehicles because it takes me from a to z.  I could go on.  I guess we all have our weaknesses and strengths.  Mine just happens to be work.  It brings me great joy to see an idea come to life and employ people and ultimately beat the competition as it generates income too.  It’s fantastic helping a customer uniquely and know that my touch, even in a small way, made that project or their building business better because we were a part of it.  So working less for me is almost ironic, the thing I do the most I am trying to do less.  BUT I WILL TRY TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

This does not mean there won’t be long days, and work to do.  Last week I worked back to back 14 hour days if you count drive time.  I loved it.  But at one point later in the week, I took an extended lunch to drop off some stuff to the restore shop to put some items to good use that were in my garage.  BABY STEPS!

 

GO!

Joel

Random Thoughts #15

TGIM!

Win Today!  Don’t worry about what is out of your control, the future.  JUST WIN TODAY!

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“Impact Winning”  is perhaps the greatest skill we can have!  How can you impact winning today?

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A long and sometimes complicated article I hope you take time to read.  We at Drexel want a GROWTH CULTURE versus a  HIGH-PERFORMANCE Culture.  This explains in great detail what that means.

CLICK HERE.

*****

Why YOU should do our book club (E-mail Jenna.Lee@drexelteam.com for more details.):

It improves you and inspires others!  Here is a well written and inspiring review on one of the ten Books: RAVING FAN.  Clint Patton is one of Drexel’s most effective quarterbacks.

He Impacts WINNING as much as anyone on the team!  By the numbers year to date, he is Number 2 overall quarterback for NET PROFIT.  And he’s improving himself too. 

Here’s his report.

Below is my review of “Raving Fans”  by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles

Generally speaking, this book is about an Area Manager that meets his Fairy Godmother “Charlie”….  Through a series of events, Charlie teaches the Area Manager the importance of creating Raving Fans using his 3 step sales process.  During each step of the process, Charlie takes the Area Manager to a different business that illustrates the point he is trying to make.  At the end of the book Charlie explains how each step ties together to create Raving Fans.  As we dig deeper into Charlie’s sales process, you will begin to see how it fits with what we do at Drexel.

Step 1 Decide What You Want… Charlie explained this in the book as, creating the perfect vision of your business or sales process centered around the customer experience. This vision will become the foundation of your business and help define the parameters for which you will operate. It also allows you to determine which customers fit your criteria.

Step 2 – Decide What the Customer Wants…  What is the customer’s vision of, “the perfect experience”?  If you don’t know what the customer wants, you will never know if you can align their vision with yours.  How do we figure out what the customer wants?  We ask questions, dig deeper, and LISTEN…, to find out what is important to them.  Keep in mind that the customer is not always going to be completely transparent, we must learn what the key indicators/responses are and what they mean.  Interestingly enough, not all businesses and customers’ visions are compatible… which is OK.  If their vision is drastically different from ours, we will never be able to consistently deliver on their expectations.

Step 3 – Deliver Plus One… This is the process of setting expectations and being consistent.  DON’T over-promise!!!  You have to meet the customer’s expectations before you can exceed them.  Once you have determined that your vision and the customer’s vision align, DELIVER on your promises consistently and get 1% better every day.

For us at Drexel, this process is at work every day and constantly evolving.  Our perfect vision changes just a little bit with every step forward and so do the customers.  It is our job to stay ahead of an ever-changing industry/society and deliver what we promise. We must never stop improving!… Understanding that and embracing it is the key!!

My Top 4 Quotes From the Book!!

“Success comes to those, and only those, who are obsessed with looking after customers.”

“Goods aren’t sold, product and services are bought.”

“If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself.”

“Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain.  Eagles soar above the crowd.”

Thanks,

Clint Patton

Drexel Building Supply|Berlin

Quarterback

****

GO!

JOEL

BONUS CONTENT:

You want videos or podcasts?

My two favorites this week:

This one has vulgar language, it’s a podcast (you listen to this):

IT’S YOU: ANDY FRISELLA

This one is God-driven:

RANDOM THOUGHTS…

TGIM!

GO!

Blenker Merge.  All things are going well, with great communication, energy, and synergy.

It’s a controlled circus of everything.

Culture mixing.

Team decisions.

Future plans.

Inventory merge.

Financial planning.

Customer relations.

Team members joining the supply team in Berlin.

Vendor relations.

Fleet management.

And of course the team.  The team!

It’s awesome.  I just love their world and am happy to be a part of it.

Here’s me in my first “L10” meeting.  I listened and learned.  L10 stands for level 10.   We reviewed metrics.  They picked a superhero from their team.  I thought that was cool.

It’s gone to be a great ride.

 

In the picture, you can see Rich and Ross.  Yep, this System team is coming together!  For all those at systems, this is gonna be awesome as we use our knowledge for the good of the team.  You will all be impacted in a good way.  FEAR NOT FAITH.  Fear and Faith are both emotions alluding to the future.   It’s up to you which one we choose each day!  I choose FAITH.

***

“A person’s character is measured in how one handles one’s failures, not successes.”  – Bill Courtney, Against the Grain

***

“How did you act when all was not good?  Did you rise up to the challenge?  Did you display grit, resilience, and integrity in your response?

Character isn’t about being perfect or always doing the right thing.  Character is how you respond to your failures.  It’s when you screw up and life

HITS YOU IN THE MOUTH

that you have AN OPPORTUNITY

to reveal your inner strength.”– Bill Courtney, Against the Grain

***

FOUR BEHAVIORS that help leaders move forward during a crisis, according to 21,000 leadership assessments*:

(and how it relates to Drexel)

  1.  Make decisions with speed over precision.  If you read the blog from last week, you will see we have many fast approaching initiatives.  We will keep pushing harder to GO FASTER.  Some of these are “stuck in the mud.”  We will pull, prod, push with love to drive that out.
  2.  Adapt BOLDLY to get ahead of changing circumstances.  While the initiatives we are doing are just that, bold, we must have all 550 of you on board with that.  Many of you I sense are still doing the same thing in a different world.  That must change.  To be who we want to be coming out of that each of us must get better.  That’s on you and your team to educate you why the change is for the best and how to implement it in your life.
  3. Reliably Deliver.  To you and to your customers.  We must get these changes to the finish line.  That’s this week’s goal finding traction and moving to implementation.  Drexel2Go is a good example of that.  It is close, signs going up this week, but now it must DELIVER what it promises.  Becoming part of our company’s best practices.
  4. Take Care of Your Team.  Safety.  Health.  Speed.  Stress.  32 hours a week sucked bad.  Taking away a benefit like the 1% incentive stung even worse.  We are working on new pay plans coming out of this for those that have lived in an overtime 45 world.  I do NEED YOUR HELP.  You CAN NOT just do things the way you are doing.  Too many still are.  Are you work sharing, leveling the work load?  Are you connected and communicating?  Are you effective?  Or are you frustrated and busy?  Are you finding better ways to do things.  When will the new pay plans come out?  As soon as we get back to a normal world, AND, when WE all work together on leveling work loads and thinking, how could we do this in a 40 hour work week, without adding people?  You see if we just go to 40 hours and then add 20% more people… we are going to go BACKWARDS NOT FORWARD.  All while keeping in mind, a better experience for our contractors and clients, and better connection and teamwork.   This week I need your help.  Get your ideas to Captains.  Captains be open minded and work with me on coaching on them.  And then let’s BOLDLY DELIVER THOSE IDEAS WITH SPEED.

* Harvard Business Review

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GO!

Joel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

35 YEARS

TGIM!

35 years ago on April 1, 1985, my father and mother started Campbellsport Building Supply Center Inc.

I remember my dad including us kids in the conversation when he was working on the original logo.

Happy Anniversary Drexel.

I’ve made a lot of memories at work.  A lot of good ones.

You know the problems we had at work, kept us up many nights.   Oh, and we had problems.

My mom and dad, too I am sure.  35 years later, those problems sure seem minor.   The good memories are much stronger.

This too shall pass.  No worries.

 

 

ROLL WITH THE CHANGES

TGIM!

The changing of our world.  And our work world too.

AND THERE IS NO GOING BACK.

This is the time to get better.  We are not alone in these thoughts.

From a Bloomberg.com article Friday:

“And just as in the aftermath of the last crash, the seeds of that next boom may already be being planted. Zoom Video Communications Inc., the video conferencing service, revealed this week that it had gone from 10 million daily active users to 200 million thanks to the crisis. Grocery delivery has become an essential service. Amazon.com Inc. is facing plenty of criticism for its treatment of workers, but the company is the backbone of the American way of life.”

And a tweet from Mark Cuban owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and the guy on SharkTank that he posted on Twitter Friday:

If you want to dive further into the rabbit hole:  Here is the best article I’ve read on the subject: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2020/03/31/the-impact-of-the-coronavirus-on-hr-and-the-new-normal-of-work/#fffe0f92b602

 

WHAT HAVE YOU, WE, DREXEL, DONE ALREADY OR IS WORKING ON (And maybe you didn’t even notice).

  1. You are no longer requiring signatures at job sites.  This is a piece of great news for us and our contractors.  The time saved to track someone down for no reason is a boost to our efficiencies!  We take pictures that are stored and easy to view to verify.
  2. You have started DREXEL2GO.  (Call in loads.)   WE WILL TAKE THIS FURTHER (still being developed).  1. Call or text in your order, within a 2-hour window, and we will stage and load.  2. We will stage the load outside the gate, marked with signage, and you can pick up at your convenience, even on weekends or after work hours (it will be monitored by a security camera.  3. We will bill your credit card or charge to your account.
  3. You are doing virtual tours, virtual selections, pre-selections.  We are using video technology combined with design software to accomplish this.  This saves our selection of clients up to half a day in travel time and the selections.  Each team member is going thru that clunky start.  But this is the future.   Nothing will 100% replace face to face, but we can minimize that time by at least 50%.
  4. You are working remotely (or many of your team members.)  You are finding better flow (and allowing others as well.)  Working more effectively.   Driving less (substantially.)  Up to 50% more effective.  WE WILL TAKE THIS FURTHER.   With video conference rooms and better remote working environments (or you will).
  5. You are working 40 hour work weeks.  And this one is confusing for those with less MONEY for many accustomed to 5-10 overtime hours weekly.  For those working 40 or less, not any change.  For those confused, why this is a GOOD THING here’s the news: We are ACTIVELY putting those pay plans together to offset your losses.  It is a huge amount of data, scenarios & equations. Each person is being analyzed.  We are making sure it is right for them and their department!  I personally promise you, we will get there with new pay plans if you were hired to work overtime as your “standard pay.”  Your voice is heard among all of us.  When we climb out of this, we will launch.  We have very few salary people and over 95% receive a monthly commission.  As our sales go down due to the gap created with the COVID there pay will naturally be contracted.    Good news:  You will have a balance in your life.   We are working on a 37.5 workweek.  40 hours at work with a 30-minute break (staggered for location and department coverage).
  6. You are going to a task management system.  Monday.com will solve many of our issues we never knew how to fix.  One online form, not individualized for each QB that led to massive miscommunication, high anxiety, and longer lead times.  By tracking tasks, we will have freedom from the workload as we can work share faster, get more done, lower stress, and see and produce results.  Also, qbs won’t have to stand in the head coaches’ office asking where the hell the bid is at.  Causing a complete shit storm of communication and time to figure that out.  We have smart people working on this 90% of their time right now!
  7. PAULS.  We are working with Shane Soule and his firm to bring this to life.  Blenker is joining us officially on May 1.  We are going to double our offsite construction capacity in 18 months.  And do it in a more effective, automated way.  This is being worked on NOW.  This is needed in the State of Wisconsin.  We are pursuing this, full speed ahead.
  8. Quicker, better, estimates.  Switching to Mitek will enhance what we already do.  A few team members are already using it!
  9. 3-D Walk thrus and virtual designs.  A team is working on this currently.  We will be leading Wisconsin in this shortly.  It will be a charged service.
  10. Design Membership vs.  Off the Menu Design.  We will be going to a home design yearly membership which will include many of the conveniences our contractors and their clients have grown to love.  But it will be streamlined (still 100% customized) to make it faster, and simpler, much faster, much simpler.  Many clients are craving that.  Our “Off the Menu Design” will include job site visits, one of a kind remodels, a much longer slower process, that will be charged hourly, jobs bid on an hourly rate.  That is at the infancy stage but will be happening.
  11. Added a core value:  CONNECTION.  We do need each other.  As humans, we need that connection!
  12. Cutting Down Drive Times:  No more onsite case studies, eliminate traveling great distances for a one-hour meeting.
  13. No more on-site representation for vendors.  No reason.  Google Hangout with us.  Use your time better.  Be better.  We don’t have time to chew the fat.  Neither should they.
  14. Vendor direct.  We are working with some of our largest vendors to automatically input our order into THEIR system.  Eliminates another person entering it (and making mistakes) and waiting and adjusting those dreaded incorrect acknowledgments!  July 2020 at the earliest for this one.
  15. Auto invoicing.  Just like we have established a nearly auto payables system thanks to our finance team, we will be going to auto invoicing, saving time and stress.
  16. WorkSharing Deliveries.  To take the burden of peak delivery hours, willing and able team members are joining in our TOP PRIORITY OTIF.  THIS is what we did for our first 20 years, and will be what we do for our NEXT 20 YEARS.  It’s GOOD for all of us to make deliveries once in a while!

WE ARE LEADING THE INDUSTRY IN THESE CHANGES.  YOU ARE AWESOME.

A good time to reflect that YOU are an OWNER.   So the more we GROW, THE BETTER WE ARE, THE MORE WE HELP CONTRACTORS &YOU, THE MORE YOUR SHARES VALUE WILL GROW!

 

STAY HAPPY.  STAY SAFE.

Joel

 

THESE ARE THE TIMES

Forced creativity is a powerful tool.

The absolute sheer pressure of a pandemic, where the playgrounds are wrapped in police tape here in my little town, the churches are closed, the dying die alone, it is almost unimaginable, but here we are.  Totally reality.

Funny really, how it took THIS for many of us believers, to say, woah, I guess GOD IS IN CHARGE!

Here are a few things I learned both personally and professionally.  And it’s more than I’ve learned in quite some time.

As T.S. Eliot said:

*****

FLOW

FLOW.  You operations people and production people understand it, because we have worked on it.  It doesn’t mean it can’t be better (it can) but it means you get it.  Maximize your time, stay focused and the magic will happen.  You know some hours, minutes, seconds, where you just “get shit done” and it feels “right” that’s flow.

An interruption as simple as looking at an e-mail, your mind shifts to a new task, then you have to re-engage on your main task.  NO FLOW.  Critical minutes lost every time you do that.  Some research says 7 minutes it takes your brain to shift to a new task!  Wow!

Drexel’s inside team and sales team, we basically DISCOURAGED FLOW.   We called Campbellsport, the zoo.  Controlled chaos.  The finance team’s life IS being distracted.  A phone call, a sales touch, everybody stops to say hi (which IS NEEDED, THAT’S CONNECTION), an e-mail, another task that has to happen RIGHT NOW.

We can’t do that anymore.  We have to let people get in the flow.  Here’s a really long, but badass article on it.

That doesn’t mean our customer service goes down, it means IT GOES UP.   More people in flow, better work being done with more engaged and happier team members!  Clients will love it.

*****

A team member (I won’t name) emailed me something Friday.  I was saddened by it honestly.   Over a decade, a career of no flow in their job, and well, to be honest, they like it that way.  They either fear the change or can’t see the other side.   This person tells by 6am the phone and emails are coming in, and then with appointments, more emails, and much much more, they just can’t simply do what they were hired to do (their core task).  See, that person has to realize we have to simply REDUCE, REPURPOSE OR ELIMINATE A BUNCH  of that NON-ESSENTIAL…. without reducing or hopefully enhancing the connections with her team and his contractors!

Here is how I am going to coach her on Monday:

  1. CHECK EMAIL TWICE A DAY.   It’s an email, which means it is NOT A 911.   A 911 will come in as face to face or phone call.  It’s an addiction.  Good luck!

Consider using my away message that I have personally set up:

**

Thank you for the e-mail.

In an effort to be most effective, I am currently checking and responding to e-mail three times daily at 7:35am, 10:55am, and 4:35pm.

If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is urgent) that cannot wait until then please contact me via phone or text at 920-979-4045.

Thank you for understanding this move to more efficiency and effectiveness.

It helps me accomplish more to serve you better.

Thank you for understanding,

Joel

(I learned that from Tim Ferris and his book “The 4 Hour Work Week.”)

**

2.  Do not fire off rapid emails.  Also, close the loop on emails.   What do I mean by that?

The more emails YOU SEND the more OTHERS will lose THEIR FLOW.  Also all those emails you send off… they are all going to just boomerang back to you.  Send emails only when they are effective and essential (there are those words again).

I personally, will try to limit my emails to my team to ONE A DAY.  ONE EFFECTIVE ONE.

If I send a team blue email, and it just takes 3 minutes for someone to open, read and digest BEFORE THEY CAN GET BACK IN THE FLOW … that is over 1350 minutes!   

22 LOST HOURS.  FOR ONE EMAIL.

Consider not responding if it doesn’t require a response or even putting on your email NRR  (NO RESPONSE REQUIRED).

Also, close the LOOP.    You if/then statements.  Here’s an example.   Please let me know if 3pm works for you, if not I am available Monday at 8 or Friday at 10, if that doesn’t’ work then please propose a time that does works for you.   Or, I plan on having this done by Tuesday at 4pm, if that doesn’t work for you, then let me know what does.  Instead of, what works for you?  Leaving a long email thread coming.

Lastly, please SCHEDULE (google has a nice function on that) WHEN you want your emails to send.  Why send one when you are trying to get in the flow, knowing response will boomerang back in 5 minutes.   Schedule the send when you WANT responses to come back.

Understanding and owning your time is NOT a dis-service to the customer.  The client wants you to do your job well and fast.  So do your teammates.  Don’t let them hijack your time.

THINK!  Think different.  This person perhaps needs to find someone at work to do the tasky things. Perhaps a part-timer even.   Maybe work when we are not open.

Or really rethink it.  I use stitch fix.  Quarterly, this service sends me clothes.  I tell them what I am looking for via something similar to a google survey.   It loads up all my needs for them, leaving me time to not shop and they don’t have to be open at all to get that done.  If we send people the right information, via questions, the first time, we should reduce LONG appts to brief introductions (connection) or no face to face at all.  I am sure some of you are following this, and some of you are not, and that is ok. I love it and I do a feel a connection, they check in on my occasionally!  🙂

This person for years has chased the busyness of the job and actually has made it worse, not better for him and her team.

**

If you are still reading this, I do want to thank those working on the front lines.   It’s scary out there.  And you are doing it every day at work.

Please if you have the slightest COUGH OR FEVER OR SYMPTOM, JUST STAY HOME.  PLEASE.  PLEASE.

COURAGE IS TO WORK.  COURAGE IS TO STAY HOME.

 

****

LASTLY THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK.

OVER 4 MILLION IN SALES LAST WEEK.

32 HOUR WORK WEEK.  I KNOW YOU ARE BUSTING YOUR BUTT AND STILL HAVING FUN.

This won’t be over today, tomorrow, or by the end of the week!  Buckle down and let’s get creative but effective.  (That word again.)

THANK YOU!

 

STAY CONNECTED!

JOEL

WHY I AM GLAD COVID-19 HAPPENED FOR ME (AND OUR COMPANY)

I AM GLAD THE CORONA IS HAPPENING TO ME, AND OUR COMPANY.

Certainly, I don’t wish it on anyone, but for me… it isn’t all bad.

Even if I die from it, I am glad it happened.  And this is not an “optimistic” or the “glass is almost full” view.  This is my reality.

I am reminded of this Bible verse (although this realization is only Spiritually based.

 Corinthians 15:54-55 English Standard Version (ESV)

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

What I simply mean by this is… everything has changed, HOPEFULLY, forever.

 

For me personally, on a million levels, my life was ideal.

Here’s the thing, time was never my friend.  I love my life.  I love all aspects.  The juggling of it was always the problem.  I love being everywhere.  Knowing everyone.   Playing superman both at home and away.

I missed stuff.  I love to golf, fish, hunt, travel.  I love Drexel.  I just love being at work.  But work, at least I told myself, doesn’t define me… but I easily work 50 hours a week.  Maybe 70.  Who knows the real number.  AND I RELISHED IT.  HUMBLE BRAGGED.  I didn’t go on a vacation with my love Pam this year.  I planned on not doing many family vacations this year.  I missed family time a lot.

“You know guys, dad has to work.  He has a big job,” we told the kids more often than I can count.

That’s the way it has always been in our industry.   TIME, BEING BUSY, WAS REWARDED.   Want to get a raise, move up in the company, just act and look and feel swamped.  Help will arrive, support will be given.  What if you were just productive?  8 times faster than the person next to you?  Well then do 8 times more we said.   WORK SO HARD.  AND THEN WORK SOME MORE.

David Goggins, man I love you, but maybe quit running for a bit and watch a sunset, bruh.

Just stay BUSY, STRESSED, AND BEG FOR OVERTIME, ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE FOR MY TEAM, MY CUSTOMERS, MY DREXEL!

Want to sell more?  WORK LONGER AND HARDER.  Drive around.  A LOT.  REPORT TO WORK DAILY, BRIGHT AND EARLY, BUT LIVE ON JOB SITES.  DO BOTH!  MAKE BIG COMMISSIONS AND DIE TRYING!

We talked about technology to enhance Drexel but not to save time.  Time?  Who cares, there is always more.

WE NEVER EVER VALUED A PERSON’S TIME AT DREXEL.  COVID-19 CHANGED THAT.

I was home yesterday for work.  Honestly, it was hard.  I WORK.  MY TEAM NEEDS ME NOW MORE THAN EVER.  JOEL, WORK!  My brain told me.

Yet there I was “trying” to be with my family.  Gosh, that should be normal!  It isn’t “yet” but it will be!

 

*****

WE WERE DOING IT WRONG.  WE WILL NOT ANYMORE.

*****

This week at Drexel for the first time ever…  we took out all the BULLSHIT.  Just focused on design, bids, orders, production, delivery and helped each other on the essential, getting those loads out, on time, in full.

We did that with us working 20% less.  Each of us.  Wow, that must have sucked.  It must have really hurt us!

NO SIR!  NOT AT ALL!

Drexel ran at 96% OTIF and we also had ALL-TIME RECORD March Sales.  We each worked 30 or 32 hours as a team this week.  We played games, cleaned shelves, napped, read books.

If we did it this week.  We can do it EVERY WEEK.  It’s now been proven.

We sold 1 million dollars in Campbellsport alone this week.  3 million dollars as a company, this week!

I bet most of you are less stressed EVEN WITH THE ANXIETY OF THE PANDEMIC upon you.  Wow, is that screwed up or what?!?

It’s like all of us were in a giant test tube, a discovery world, and were able to see the results.  Pretty damn amazing.

****

Here is a day in the life of a QB (account manager) just two weeks ago.

5:30am rise.  Hustle off to work.

6:00am drive 30 minutes.

6:30am (or 7), get to work.  “Punch in.”   Check e-mails.  Walk around.  See the team.  B.S. a bit (hey, I’m a salesperson) answer a few calls.  Fairly chaotic and certainly not totally productive.

9 or 10am.   Hit the road. (Most likely an hour later than they hoped.)  Most likely in the direction right back from where they live and came from.

Do job site visits.  Be HIGHLY IMPACTFUL AND PRODUCTIVE.  This is GOLD.

2:30pm Get back to the troops, drive back to the location.

3:00pm  Arrive.  Bombarded with people, e-mails, questions, etc.  Not really productive.

5:00pm Start that drive back home.

5:30  Mentally a mess.

7pm.  Grind out more emails and phone calls if necessary.  Get ahead of a busy day tomorrow.

I would guesstimate the productivity here is about 50% or much less.

How about this week?  

Work from home.  Go to job sites.  Come back home.  Send perfect information to the inside team.   Incredibly high productivity.  Essentials only done well.  And from what I have seen the team did not miss their chaos hovering over us.  (Yes we do love you though!)  Stay connected!

How about the future?

Stay connected.  Use Google hangouts.  Video feeds.

Steve Herriges did a pep rally video to his whole team.  No longer do we have to take 100 plus team members for 20 minutes at 630am on a Friday to hope to make it and take notes.  Actually, that even sounds odd.

Steve Herriges did an awesome pep rally video.  Now, anyone can watch it, anywhere.  At their pace.

We can take job site videos or pictures if needed.

We are going to connect with our teams using a program called Monday.com.

We are in negotiations with them RIGHT NOW, and will re-assemble using this platform (or one similar).   We are assembly a world class team to work on it.  Watch a video of it HERE.    Go ahead watch it.

Here is a bunch of leaders using– Google Hangouts –this morning from Drexel Systems.  Two weeks ago we would of all traveled to be together to do this.  Saving drive time I estimate a 10-12 hour savings!  And I feel it was more impactful.  We still had fun. We were still connected.

Work at home or your home location, but stay CONNECTED.

THIS IS GOOD CHANGE.  I AM GLAD WE WERE FORCED TO QUICKLY LEARN IT.

*****

This week we really don’t know who helped out the most… in an essential and productive way.  Who helped out to do the most bids?  Who did the most orders?  Who knows?  No one… and that is wrong.   We should all know those things to empower the strong and train the ones that are slower.

We track OTIF and the operations teams down to the minute. Works exceedingly well!  (I made two loads this week, the process was awesome.)  This is amazing.  We need to bring things like this to all the departments!

 

How long you are punched in will no longer be rewarded.  That is NOT A BADGE OF HONOR ANYMORE.  It always has been that way in our industry.  It might always be that way.  NOT FOR DREXEL.  Just because you work long hours, does not mean you are productive.  We care ABOUT WHAT YOU GET DONE, ACCURATELY AND QUICKLY.   THAT WILL BE REWARDED!

Estimators, designers, sales team, we help them by walking around, giving them incentives  – WHICH DOESN’T WORK– or worse yet by gut feel and relationship alignment.    Good people don’t need carrots, they need empowerment, happiness, training.  They need to be listened to and sometimes coached.  They need to see what they are doing right— and wrong.


*****

Team, we will be coming out of this a DIFFERENT COMPANY.  Working less (yes then more hourly pay) but DOING MORE.   That’s everyone.  Me included.  My kids are 16, 14, 10.  I already missed a large window.  Time to buckle down and spend some time with them.

FOR THOSE THAT HAVE A “BAD GUT”, OR TEND TO WORRY, OR BECOME OVERLY CONCERNED, OR ARE SKEPTICAL… I DID NOT SAY LESS PAY.  I STATED FEWER HOURS.  YES, THIS ISN’T DONE YET.  WE ARE WORKING ON IT.  RIGHT.  NOW.

This isn’t just about me though.  Not even close.

Going to 40 hour work weeks will give you 250 more hours a year… to change the world, to impact your life, travel, nap, hunt, garden, fish, etc,  hours at home & out in the world making an impact.

That is multiplied by 450 people.

112,500 hours.  Annually.  To supply happiness.

Over a million hours in a decade.

So even if I fall over dead tomorrow from Corona, or worse yet a loved one, we will have saved 1 million hours to impact the world– and not figuring out how to get a bid back on time.

For that, I am forever grateful.

I also believe this will make our company much, much more profitable.   As we track productivity, we will get much better at doing everything we do, making our customers and team happier!

“IF YOU CAN’T MEASURE IT, YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT.”  – PETER DRUCKER

*****

What we fear about our new world… and how we will attack that?

As we get further away by working at home and measuring the snot out of everything, I have always worried that we will get… disconnected.

We will not be a family or team.  How foolish I was.  Of course, we will still together.  Just like families do.  Maybe more often.

But my sister is still my sister even though I don’t share a cubicle with her.  We are connected.

We will be adding our 11th core value:

#CONNECTION

That way we can always remember this time in our lives when we added, but more importantly, hold our culture dear by the connections we must make.  It’s not the physical presence we need in 2020.  It’s the connection.  I can be connected, by a video, a call or a chat.  We will use a connection to stay ENGAGED in our team and Drexel.  Engagement is the number one way to protect Drexel.  I can be aloof at my desk next to you,  I can be CONNECTED anywhere!

 

*****

Our contractors will be happier.  We will have a team ready for them.  Ready to help.  Not stressed and busy.  That’s what they have always wanted a team DEDICATED TO THEM.    We can do this. We already work share, cross-train, and much more.  We will just do that better.  So any builder or their client can be helped by an army of connected people.   Sounds pretty cool and fun.

Of course every teammate, every person will have to re-wire their brain and think differently.  Based on a conversation with the special forces team on this topic this is Bradey Frank’s reply.

Hey Joel!
You wanted just a quick recap of what we chatted about when you stopped up by us. 
  • Value People’s Time! — Start utilizing technology to cut down on unnecessary travel time. Google Hangouts has video and phone call capabilities. QB’s to use best judgment on when face to face is a must.
  • Special Teams will aim to test first video huddle next time we meet. This will cut down on unnecessary travel as mentioned above, but still make it personable and allow us to hold others accountable.   
  • Loom — Possible estimating usage with this. Could be utilized for training and estimate reviews/issues. To be researched. 
  • Estimating Efficiency (per estimator) — Tracking of this TBD. Many factors to take into account. 

Thanks!

Bradey Frank

*****

WE WILL NO LONGER EMBRACE WORKING LONG HOURS, WE WILL EMBRACE PRODUCTIVITY.

For me, I will honestly say it would be 2pm, I would find a way to stay busy, make a few more non-essential phone calls.  Check some more emails.  Run through Facebook.  Just to say I “grinded” until 5pm.  No more.  Honey, I’m coming home.  My work is done.  And, gulp, I will no longer feel ashamed.

I will have faith my productivity will be valued.  Because it will be measured.  Isn’t that all anyone wants?  To feel valued?  T

Thank you COVID-19.  My world and our teams have changed forever.

#CONNECTION

MUCH MUCH MORE TO COME.  LOVE YOU ALL.

GO!

JOEL

 

 

 

 

 

DREXEL AND COVID-19

Team,

90 days ago I never heard of it.

60 days ago I didn’t care.

10 days ago I was mocking it.  (Media, politics over hype.)

Today… I am taking this as reality.  Don’t panic.  But let’s figure this out and what you need to know as it pertains to your career.

Here is a great article I would read explaining more.  (Best one I have read.  Very non-bias.)

A fantastic podcast to listen to on this is by Joe Rogan.  No this is NOT giving you permission to watch a podcast at work for 90 plus minutes (lol).  But if you go back to it later, are driving or whatever….

Here’s the deal.  Two of my favorite lines on Twitter.

*****

As said by someone on Twitter recently…

“I feel like I’d rather say ‘hey, remember when we overreacted to the whole COVID-19 scare wow we were so stupid’ years from now rather than “hey remember when we just carried on like normal instead of taking proper precautions and put the most vulnerable people in danger.”

A second tweet that stood out to me:

“I see a lot of people being like: ‘I would survive the Coronavirus. I’m taking my chances.’ The way I see it, yeah… I’d survive it… But I might carry it to someone who wouldn’t. And that, folks, is the problem.”

*****

So what does it mean for Drexel?  What’s the plan Stan?

FIRST.

We are gonna be fine.  I talked to Julie Korth our CFO (money person) we have a plan for worst case scenario.   Our bank relations are good to hold us over.  We have cash deserves we can tap into.   We can weather this storm.  Our roots are deep.  The trees without roots… I would be worried about them!

Short term. 

As ALWAYS, if you are SICK.  STAY THE HELL HOME.  DON’T BE A HERO.   IF YOU ARE THAT IMPORTANT DREXEL IS DOING IT WRONG.  CROSS TRAINING, WORKSHARE, TEAMWORK, BEST PRACTICES, ALL ALLOW FOR YOU TO GET OVER THE COLD AND NOT SPREAD IT.

As ALWAYS, wash your hands.  Do smart things.

Live your life.  Don’t live in fear.

WORST CASE.  NEXT STEPS.

If we are all quarantined can I work from home?  Kind of an interesting thing right?

If we are quarantined… there will not work at the job sites.  We won’t have work.  So what would do at home?  There won’t be bids to do, jobs to ship, homes to design, no bills to pay, no vendors will be open.  So… never say no.  But if the state of Wisconsin shuts down, at this time, I assume we would too!  We will follow our builders.  No plans to do any of this.  Just an awareness and letting you know we are on top of it.

Would that affect our jobs?  My pay?   

Well if we aren’t open yeah, that wouldn’t be great.  Who knows how it would effect the world’s economy.  Domestic made products it might actually help.  If you are stuck in your home for 2 weeks, you might decide to build a deck this summer.  If people don’t travel this summer…they really might say, hey, instead let’s do our kitchen!   Home interest rates are historically low.  It’s a great time to build!  No one can predict the economy… so who knows…. how it would effect our industry.

Closed would be closed…

SOMEONE WILL SURVIVE (IN A BUSINESS SENSE, THIS ISN’T THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.  SOME OF US MIGHT GET A COLD…)  IT MIGHT TAKE OUT THE WEAK BUSINESSES.  FINE WITH ME!

SOMEONE WILL THRIVE.   THAT PLANS TO BE DREXEL.

THIS MIGHT IN FACT BRING OUR COUNTRY TOGETHER!  WORKING AS ONE!  HELPING EACH OTHER!

NO MATTER WHAT, WE WILL KEEP YOU INFORMED.  WE WILL KEEP YOU AWARE.

WE WILL OVER COMMUNICATE.

GO!

Joel