We have started an initiative 'Celebrating Businesses with Workforce-on-Wheels' to capture challenges and best practices from business owners, operations managers, and fleet leaders to share with the broader community. Interested businesses can send us a note at email@example.com. We will then reach out to schedule a 30-minute interview and spotlight their organization with a complimentary article on Automile's blog and recognition on our social media channels.
We had a chance to talk to Lee McKissick who is the production leader at Austin Window Fashions.
Austin Window Fashions (AWF) is a family-owned company based in Austin. AWF offers homeowners products from high quality blinds and shades, to fantastic custom wooden shutters.
Lee, tell us what you do at Austin Window Fashions?
I manage a crew of about 15 members and also handle the operational side of managing 8 vehicles in Austin and San Antonio. I have been with the company for the last 16 years. My typical day starts at 7 am and we have specific routines and timeline that we have to manage to maintain the line of production and meet deadlines.
What are some of the top challenges in your role?
We have to tackle different things that come up. Employees have personal issues and we have to help them through that. We are constantly re-enforcing what our ultimate goal is and staying ahead of the game to ensure we are meeting delivery times. We make sure that the installers have reached the destination in a timely manner. They are the face of the company, so we work with them to ensure they are interacting with customers in the best way possible and keeping customer satisfaction a top priority.
What type of technology solutions do you use?
We use computer software that enables us to print out work orders. The crew knows exactly what they are doing to make sure they complete the job. We use a GPS tracking solution to locate the vehicles. If the installer is running a bit behind, we are able to manage the customer expectations appropriately. We can also tell how long it takes to complete one job and it helps with scheduling on a day to day basis.
Based on your work experience, what top learning would you share with businesses out there?
I would say, listen to your customers. If you can listen well enough and act appropriately to make them happy, that should do it. It is one big reason that we have a very high referral business.
Thank you Lee for sharing your journey with AWF.
Here are some other stories from small business owners sharing their challenges and best practices:
Hank Wadkins from Auto Damage Appraisers – “The tech is where the world is going and if you don't stay ahead of it, you won’t have a job or business.”
Phil Schiavone from Nagle Athletic Surfaces – “I get peace of mind knowing that my drivers and vehicles are safe.”
Todd Faden from Faden Builders – “Treat employees well and create a culture of transparency.”
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