Monday Morning Memo 2-29-16

JLG,

Good morning!  This is the first in a series of 6 Monday Morning Memos which will take a deeper look into our guiding principles.  Our guiding principles are the way that we define and communicate our culture.  They are imbedded in each and every role played in the company.  They explain what we are about and why we do what we do.  To review, we have 6 Guiding Principles.  These can be found on every Strategic Plan under the Statement of Principles.  They are:

  1. We are passionate about our customers.
  2. We all share in the results of the business.
  3. We have an open and honest work environment.
  4. We demand operational intensity.
  5. We are a goal oriented, results driven company.
  6. We retain the best people in our industry.

We are passionate about our customers – Sure, everyone knows that you need to have satisfied customers in order to survive.  But what does it mean to be passionate about our customers?  Our passion for our customers goes beyond the job we are doing for them.  It means being completely engaged in their success as well as ours.  It means making decisions that are fair and right for them as well as for us.  It means looking beyond any one transaction, and realizing the full value within the customer.

Each and every one of us touch every single customer, whether you realize that or not.  Your individual role on the team is so integral and intertwined that you reach the customer.  When we are passionate about our customers, we actually will be more passionate about our own success.  So whether you are dealing directly with the customer at their site, or you are working side by side your JLG teammates, always keep the customer at the forefront of your mind and your actions.

Have a great week!

Dave Foellinger

President & Chief Operating Officer

Monday Morning Memo 2-22-16

JLG, 

Good morning! “Do it right the first time.” “Quality comes first.” “Quality is job 1.” It is scary to think that our commitment to quality and customer experience could be captured in a motto, almost cliché. Isn’t every job and every customer at the forefront of our minds all the time? Unfortunately, I think that we can get better here.

When I first joined the company, we completed hundreds of jobs per year. Now, we service thousands of customers and thousands of jobs each year! This is an incredible testament to your commitment to service our customers and grow the company. The danger with this is that we risk diluting the connection to each singular customer and each singular job. Did some jobs go poorly 20 years ago? Yes. Did we deliver lack luster service 20 years ago? Occasionally. The difference was that our connection to each customer and each job was so visceral, so deep, that the entire company rallied to get things fixed . . . fast! As we’ve grown, we’ve become a “real company”. I write this tongue in cheek, simply meaning that we have systems, processes, departments, etc. But we can’t let that change our focus and dilute the importance of great service to each and every customer. We can’t think in terms of having thousands of customers and thousands of opportunities. We need to look at every customer and every job as if it is the only one we have. We need to go out of our way to plan and set the table for a great service experience. When something goes differently than planned, we need to rally and respond as a team to make sure that it doesn’t have a negative effect on the customer or on the company. We can never have a laissez faire attitude when it comes to our performance. We can’t think, “Oh well, this job didn’t go as planned, but we’ll move on to the next one.”

Which customers and jobs need your attention right now? And by right now, I mean right now! What action is necessary for the team to improve? Where do we need a new plan, because the current plan isn’t delivering the results that we demand as our standard to our customers and to JLG? How can we make a customer feel like our only customer? When we approach our business from this perspective, we open the door to real competitive advantage. We deliver the service of a small, intimate customer connected company while leveraging the advantages of our size, systems, etc.  

Have a great week!

Dave Foellinger

President & Chief Operating Officer

Monday Morning Memo 2-15-16

career-opportunities

JLG,

Good morning!  When you stop and think about your career, what do you see?  Are you in a new role?  Are you in a different department?  Are you still with JLG?  The reason that I ask this last question is that many people tend to think that the only opportunities of the future are limited to what the opportunities look like today.  I want to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

An area of focus in our 2016 Strategic Plan is once again centered around the retention of great people.  If we are going to retain our best people and keep everyone engaged and excited about their future, we need to offer a career path.  But careers rarely follow a pre-defined corporate ladder.  Careers look a lot more like a game of Chutes and Ladders, with ups, downs, and in betweens.  The key to career growth, however, is great communication with your manager about the types of roles you are interested in, and then work at self development on the areas in which you need to become stronger.  We want everyone in the company to have a plan for their career.  That plan, most certainly, will evolve over the years.  And most importantly, please realize that JLG will evolve over the years.

I’ve heard people tell me, “That guy will never leave, so his position will never be open.”  Or, “We don’t even have a role for what I want to do.”  I’m telling you that you cannot define you opportunities by what the company looks like today.  We have several roles that never existed in our company 10 years ago.  We often have people changing positions and departments.  We are constantly changing.  And the opportunities are increasing.  From a leadership perspective, I can tell you that we can never have too many people who want to grow and do more with the company.  Don’t limit your dreams and aspirations.  Does this mean that we can snap our fingers and immediately create new roles?  No.  But we have to start communicating and developing a path to get there.

So start having those conversations with your manager.  Where do you want your career to go?  How do we get there?  How do we find a way to have your career develop at JLG?

Have a great week!

Dave Foellinger

President & Chief Operating Officer

Achieve Your Goals With Our TRX Training Kit Giveaway

As your local flooring store, we aim to give you the home that you’ve always envisioned, and we thrive on giving your floors the makeover that they deserve.

While we know that having a beautiful home for your family to grow up in is important to you, we also value the importance of your family’s health, which is why we are giving you the chance to win a TRX Training Kit to hone in on your health goals.

One of the key TRX benefits is that you are able to incorporate an endless number of exercises with a single training tool, taking up minimal space and creating less clutter in your home.

From now until March 2nd, you have the opportunity to bring home your very own TRX training system. Simply head to our Facebook page and click the “Enter to Win” tab for your chance to win! And if you’re looking to build a home gym, we have flooring for that too!

Monday Morning Memo – 2.15.16

Foellinger      Dave Foellinger – President – Jack Laurie Group

Good morning!  When you stop and think about your career, what do you see?  Are you in a new role?  Are you in a different department?  Are you still with JLG?  The reason that I ask this last question is that many people tend to think that the only opportunities of the future are limited to what the opportunities look like today.  I want to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

An area of focus in our 2016 Strategic Plan is once again centered around the retention of great people.  If we are going to retain our best people and keep everyone engaged and excited about their future, we need to offer a career path.  But careers rarely follow a pre-defined corporate ladder.  Careers look a lot more like a game of Chutes and Ladders, with ups, downs, and in betweens.  The key to career growth, however, is great communication with your manager about the types of roles you are interested in, and then work at self development on the areas in which you need to become stronger.  We want everyone in the company to have a plan for their career.  That plan, most certainly, will evolve over the years.  And most importantly, please realize that JLG will evolve over the years.

I’ve heard people tell me, “That guy will never leave, so his position will never be open.”  Or, “We don’t even have a role for what I want to do.”  I’m telling you that you cannot define your opportunities by what the company looks like today.  We have several roles that never existed in our company 10 years ago.  We often have people changing positions and departments.  We are constantly changing.  And the opportunities are increasing.  From a leadership perspective, I can tell you that we can never have too many people who want to grow and do more with the company.  Don’t limit your dreams and aspirations.  Does this mean that we can snap our fingers and immediately create new roles?  No.  But we have to start communicating and developing a path to get there.

So start having those conversations with your manager.  Where do you want your career to go?  How do we get there?  How do we find a way to have your career develop at JLG?

Have a great week!

Monday Morning Memo from the President

Foellinger          Dave Foellinger – President, Jack Laurie Group
Good morning!  Today, I want to talk about “recurring revenue.”  We have a unique service offering compared to our competitors.  We offer commercial and residential services.  We install floors, walls and ceilings.  We finish and paint drywall.   We sell and install performance sports and resinous surfaces.  There are very few companies with whom we compete that can offer all of that.  None of them, however, have a recurring revenue model like we do.  What is recurring revenue?  Think of it as a subscription.  A customer subscribes to our service and makes periodic payments under the terms of a renewable contract.  This contract can go on in perpetuity.
Our Cleaning Services Division offers a full line of janitorial and specialty floor care services.  Much of the time, we engage in an annual or multi-year, renewable contract with the customer.  The difference between this and the rest of our services is that the contracting side of the business operates primarily on a transaction by transaction basis.  Each time the customer has a need, both we and the customer have to devote time and resources to estimate, price, and execute the job.  Many times, it is in the customer’s best interest to get competitive bids which can skew the decision making if the specifications quoted are not “apples to apples.”  This creates pressure on us to reduce price, which then creates pressure to reduce service.  The customer is then at risk of inconsistent service experiences with different providers from transaction to transaction.
When we have a renewable contract with a customer, many of these pressures are relieved.  By engaging in a contract with a customer, we can establish a set of specifications that will deliver the best value for the customers’ needs.  We also can deliver this value at a more competitive price without sacrificing service level, because both we and the customer are committed to a longer term relationship.  By starting into a janitorial contract with a customer, we get to know their facility.  We can begin to anticipate their needs and deliver service options in flooring, interiors, specialty surfaces, etc. that deliver greater value for the dollar.  The contract relationship can also open up doors to our residential services by offering preferred pricing to the customer’s employees.
The real magic of this model is that, when we deliver a great service experience, the contract can go on indefinitely.  Imagine if we had such a consistent relationship with our customers that we did not have to “get acquainted” again each time they have a need.  We are already working with them each day/week/month.  The relationship becomes stronger, and the service experience becomes greater and greater with each visit.
We have an incredible opportunity for every one of our customers in every one of our divisions by engaging them into a renewable contract relationship.  The most simple way to start is through our janitorial services.
Have a great week!

Monday Morning Memo 2-1-16

JLG,

Good morning!  I hope you all enjoyed our 2016 Strategic Plan Roll Out Meetings last week.  We’ve got a great plan for this year, and I’m excited about what we will accomplish.

One topic that I want to review is how we maximize our organizational structure to deliver the best service experience to our customers.  As you know, our structure is centered around our 4 Core Competencies, where everyone has a direct reporting relationship through their functional area:

  1. Brian leads the Proactive Sales & Marketing through our Business Development Managers
  2. John and Steve lead the Data Collection / Distribution through our Corporate Finance Group
  3. Jeff leads the Project Management through our Project Management Group
  4. Tom leads our Field Execution through our Operations Group

As we discussed last week, this structure drives performance, proficiency, and excellence through each of our 4 Core Competencies.  The Achilles’s Heel of this structure is that it can create dangerous “Silos” which lose sight of the entire organization.  This kind of tunnel vision is called suboptimization, and in a service company, it can be very dangerous.  The focus becomes driving performance through the functional areas as opposed to delivering a great, comprehensive customer experience.

To overcome this, we have tightly aligned service teams.  These teams stretch across the functional areas to deliver our service to our customers.  While many individuals are aligned with just one team, others, like in Corporate Finance, support all teams.  The key to our success is that each one of us must be accountable to the other members of our team.  It does us no good to have a perfect estimate and work instruction if the original scope of work was not communicated properly.  It does us no good to send and accurate and timely invoice if we installed the work poorly.  Success is not defined by completing our own tasks perfectly.  Success is achieved when we accomplish our mission and deliver great service experiences to our customers!

Spend this year knocking down any silos that exist within your team.  Align and commit to be accountable to each other, with the customer as the focal point.  When we do this, our organizational structure becomes a competitive advantage that is very hard to replicate.

Have a great week!

Dave Foellinger

President / Chief Operating Officer