Monday Morning Memo 3-28-16

JLG, 

Good morning! This morning’s memo is the fifth in a series of six about our Guiding Principles. Remember, 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. 

Our fifth Guiding Principle is:

We are a goal oriented, results driven company – A couple of weeks back, I covered what it means to all share in the results of the business. Sharing in the results deals with what has already happened . . . the results. This fifth Guiding Principle, however, deals more with our vision and direction. Having a plan and direction is absolutely critical to a company’s success. Each year, we map out our Strategic Plan, outlining our vision for the upcoming year. Incorporated in the plan are our budgets, goals, and projected accomplishments for that year. This is what sets the stage for everything we do throughout the year. It is important that these plans have measurable details. You may have heard before, “If it can be measured, it can be managed.” Whether the measure is a dollar figure, a date, or a percentage, simply having the measure out there is the important thing. Without first knowing where we are going, we cannot plot the course to get there. Also, the measures are critical to be proactive in all that we do as opposed to reactive. Many companies don’t take the time to establish budgets or goals. I’m sure that they work hard every day, just like we do. But where are they headed? They can’t even know this. They are stuck reacting to the world around them.

This Guiding Principle doesn’t stop with the Strategic Plan. These same measures, budgets, and goals are broken down and incorporated into each and every job in the company. This is where the real accomplishments happen. We have individual sales budgets, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), goals for personal development, etc. All of these are not just important . . . they are critical! Without each person in the company hitting all of their budgets, KPIs, and goals, we are in jeopardy of not accomplishing what we need to as a company. It is not OK to pick and choose which of the measures are hit. Supporting only one of our 6 divisions (or only 5 of our 6 for that matter), is not acceptable. Performing only some of your KPIs, but not others is not acceptable. We all know what our individual measures are, and we need to work every day to succeed – in all of them. What goals are you not working on? Which KPIs are you struggling with? Which divisions need your attention?

Now, I realize that none of this is easy. That is why a lot of our Strategic Plan deals with the support and development of our people – you. Your individual measures are the critical building blocks for our company’s success. If you are struggling with a roadblock, we will provide the support in training, coaching, and one on one development. But we still need you to succeed for everyone to succeed. What you do, and how you perform is critical. Thanks for all of your hard work!

Have a great week!

Dave Foellinger

President & Chief Operating Officer

 

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Spring Trends We’re Addicted To

With spring arriving much earlier this year than we are all accustomed to, it means that it’s time for us to share with you several of our favorite uplifting trends of the season that will make you and your home happy!

Textured Ceramics

When you think spring trends, you probably think bright colors, but guess what, we have a trend that we are obsessing over that has nothing to do with color! Instead, the focus is on texture. A common design misconception is that you have to add color in order to add character to your space, but with textured ceramics, you can add character, depth and edge to your space with a simple, yet unique piece of decor.

A Spin on “Pop”

Did you really think that one of our favorite spring trends wouldn’t revolve around color? There is no escaping a fun new spin on color, and this trend focuses on adding a pop to your neutrals. Take your greys, blues, yellows, or pinks for instance. Add a lighter color to a larger area of your room, and layer it with a small pop in a brighter shade as an accent.

Let’s Get Nautical

There is classy nautical, and then there is clichéd, over the top nautical; don’t fall prey to the wrong one! Don’t be afraid to think out of the box when it comes to adding a touch of nautical to your space. Instead of driftwood, add furniture made out of reclaimed wood, and add blue stripes with a pop of red in your room. This should be a relaxed look, giving your room the sense that a simple hint of a salty breeze has come through your windows.

What’s your favorite spring trend that we didn’t touch upon?

Monday Morning Memo 3-22-16

JLG,

Good morning!  This morning’s memo is the fourth in a series of six about our Guiding Principles.  Remember, our guiding principles are the way that we define and communicate our culture.  They are embedded 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.

Our fourth Guiding Principle is:

We demand operational intensity – As a service business, it all comes down to how we do what we do for our customers.  We can have processes and programs.  We can have brochures and marketing events.  We can have contests and camaraderie.  All of these are important – extremely important.  But if they are not utilized in a way to deliver great service experiences to our customers, they are meaningless.

When you think of the word “operational” I am sure that many minds go straight to the men and women delivering the front line service.  It is important, however, to realize that each and every one of us have operational responsibilities.  If you don’t do your job as well as it can be done, ultimately the customer feels it.  Our business is not niche where we have some huge advantage from technology, specialization, access to materials, etc.  On a macro level, our business verges on commodity.  This means that, in order to operate at our best and differentiate ourselves from our competitors, there is not one giant lever to pull.  There are thousands of little levers to pull and manipulate.  We need to pull all of the levers in order to maximize what we do.  This takes OPERATIONAL INTENSITY.  We’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple of years mapping out and improving processes.  We need to follow this processes with fanatical discipline.  We need to bring an intensity to our jobs each and every day!  When we do this, our machine runs at its greatest efficiency, and the result is a great service experience to our customer that our competitors cannot touch.  If any part of our machine is not operating at max efficiency, the customer suffers and we are just another ordinary service company.

lever

Every task that you do is critical.  Are you following the process exactly?  Are you bringing an intensity to what you do each and every day?  Are you pushing and supporting others to make sure that they are doing the same?  What levers do you need to pull?

Bring the intensity to every facet of your job and PULL THE LEVERS!!

Have a great week!!

Dave Foellinger

President & Chief Operating Officer

Monday Morning Memo – 3.21.2016

Foellinger

Good morning!  This morning’s memo is the fourth in a series of six about our Guiding Principles.  Remember, 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.

Our fourth Guiding Principle is:

We demand operational intensity – As a service business, it all comes down to how we do what we do for our customers.  We can have processes and programs.  We can have brochures and marketing events.  We can have contests and camaraderie.  All of these are important – extremely important.  But if they are not utilized in a way to deliver great service experiences to our customers, they are meaningless.

When you think of the word “operational” I am sure that many minds go straight to the men and women delivering the front line service.  It is important, however, to realize that each and every one of us have operational responsibilities.  If you don’t do your job as well as it can be done, ultimately the customer feels it.  Our business is not niche where we have some huge advantage from technology, specialization, access to materials, etc.  On a macro level, our business verges on commodity.  This means that, in order to operate at our best and differentiate ourselves from our competitors, there is not one giant lever to pull.  There are thousands of little levers to pull and manipulate.  We need to pull all of the levers in order to maximize what we do.  This takes OPERATIONAL INTENSITY.  We’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple of years mapping out and improving processes.  We need to follow this processes with fanatical discipline.  We need to bring an intensity to our jobs each and every day!  When we do this, our machine runs at its greatest efficiency, and the result is a great service experience to our customer that our competitors cannot touch.  If any part of our machine is not operating at max efficiency, the customer suffers and we are just another ordinary service company.

Every task that you do is critical.  Are you following the process exactly?  Are you bringing an intensity to what you do each and every day?  Are you pushing and supporting others to make sure that they are doing the same?  What levers do you need to pull?

Bring the intensity to every facet of your job and PULL THE LEVERS!!

Have a great week!!

Dave Foellinger

President & Chief Operating Officer

Monday Morning Memo 3-14-16

JLG,

Good morning!  This morning’s memo is the third in a series of six about our Guiding Principles.  Remember, 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.

Our third Guiding Principle is:

We have an open and honest work environment – Well, aren’t most places honest?  Surprisingly, no.  Not in a malicious dishonest sort of way, but in a more covert and arguably more damaging way.  You’ve all heard about office politics or telling someone what they want to hear.  These sorts of environments actually impede progress.  To accomplish what we want to, it is imperative that each and every one of us treat each other with respect and communicate in a completely open and honest fashion.  I don’t like to receive bad news any more than you do, but I would much rather hear the whole, bad story now than to think everything is OK, only to watch the bad news play out in a slow trickle.  I also know that I can sometimes frustrate, or even anger, a fellow coworker without ever meaning to do so.  While it hurts to hear this directly, it is much better to sit down with that person and let them get it off their chest than to see their emotions play out in passive aggressive behavior.

honest_abe

Basically, there is no room for secrets in our organization.  Whether it is the truth of a situation or an interaction with a coworker, it is important that we always communicate directly, openly, and honestly.  It is also important that we receive this communication without defensiveness or rationalization.  This is incredibly tough to do, and that is why most companies struggle to have an open and honest work environment.  When we are successful in building this into our culture, our ability to change, improve, and grow increases exponentially.  Our relationships grow stronger.  Not just within the organization, but outside as well.  I’ve had vendors and customers tell me several times over the years that dealing with JLG employees is different than most other interactions.  When I ask why, it comes down to the fact that we are also open and honest with them . . . always.

Human nature and the outside world will fight us on this principle each and every day.  Take time to think about the following.  What conversation are you putting off, because you fear it will be unpleasant?  What situation are you trying to rationalize, so as to make it appear better?  Take the leap to approach these head on.  It may be uncomfortable in the short term, but I guarantee that it will pay off in the long run.

Have a great week!

Dave Foellinger

President & Chief Operating Officer

Shop Local To Build A Vibrant Community

As a locally owned store, we at Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs thrive on building a vibrant community. To us, a vibrant community is one that is built on teamwork, togetherness, trust, and caring.

As a cooperative, we are able to provide the best of both worlds. We are locally owned, and work hard and strive to build a strong bond with our community, and to enhance the lives of our customers and our neighbors.

At the same time, we have the buying power of a cooperative, which means that we are able to offer you the lowest possible prices; giving you more money to spend on your family and the matters of your heart.

By being part of a cooperative, we are able to have a competitive edge while still being able to stay true to our hometown roots.

It’s important to not only support those in our community, but it’s just as important to support the local stores and programs that make our communities complete. Whether that’s donating supplies and services to helping clean up the local parks, donating our time at the local soup kitchen, or renovating the home of someone in need, we can all lend a hand in helping our community grow and succeed.

So when it’s time to buy flooring and you’re left with the decision to shop with us or a big box store, just know that by shopping with us, you will receive great product selection, the best customer service, and design expertise that can’t be beat, all while support the community that we live in.

Monday Morning Memo – 3.7.2016

 

Good morning!  This morning’s memo is the second in a series of six about our Guiding Principles.  Remember, 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.

Champagne

Our second Guiding Principle is:

We all share in the results of the business – When you are surrounded with smart, hard working people, it is sometimes difficult to comprehend that our results could be anything but spectacular.  That’s what we have with our team at JLG.  I’ve never worked with a better and more impressive group.  I’ve also had the opportunity to look inside a lot of other companies, both in and outside our industry.  The team we’ve assembled is truly an exception.  You should all know that and feel great about that!  Thank you!

As many of you are well aware, the last decade has been a roller coaster for the industries in which we compete.   The results have often been hard to come by.  This has nothing to do with the caliber of our people or the effort.  In fact, I’m sure that most of you have worked harder during the tough times than during the great times.  If, however, our great team had not worked harder, I’m scared to think of what the results might have been.  So isn’t all of that hard work worth something?  Absolutely it is!  And this gets me to the meaning of our second Guiding Principle.

To succeed, hard work and dedication is a must.  Unfortunately, it is also a must in order to keep from failing.  When a company is struggling as a whole, regardless of individual contributions, it does not have the resources to give extra compensation, reinvestment in tools and resources, profit sharing, outside training opportunities, etc.  It simply isn’t there to give.  Well, that doesn’t sound like much fun!  The fact is that the results of JLG as a whole do matter.  They not only matter, they are critical.  This is why it is so important to understand the concept of ONE Company.  Regardless of our individual roles, we all need to contribute to the success of each and every one of our divisions.  If Home Floor Designs struggles, we all struggle.  If Interiors Contracting struggles, we all struggle.  And the same holds true for each and every other division.  We need to see ourselves as ONE Company.  We need to ask ourselves, “What can I do to make each and every division successful?”

So what happens when we accomplish that?  Well, I’ve had the opportunity to see this company through the best and worst of times.  When we are succeeding, I’ve never seen a more generous company.  The vast majority of the great results are invested back into the company.  The investment is in our people, our equipment, our tools, our facilities.  Everything that can make us stronger and capable of producing even greater results.

We are constantly working to develop and improve. We are stronger now than we have been in years.  What you are doing . . . what we are doing is working.  And when this success generates the results, we will all share in that.  Please take the time today to examine what you can do to help each and every division.  Take the time to ask which friends and family you can refer to one of our incredible showrooms.  Take the time to think of who you know that uses epoxy or sports flooring.  It is that effort that is and will continue to produce the results.

Thanks again, and have a great week!