"Al stresses that 'If it's not written, it's not real.' We now live by this. Without the simple business procedures Al introduced us to, I couldn't get my company to the next level or expect my company to run itself."
Matt Morse President Precision Plumbing Carol Stream, IL
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Operations Power!

Power Tools Done Right

We’re just big boys disguised as men no matter how old we get.

Not hard to find evidence to support that statement when you look at the power tools we accumulate both personally and professionally as we move along in our contracting career.

Yes, I know we need it to do the work. But, we also love the toys [um….I mean power tools] that weld stuff, breaks stuff or joins stuff. And if it’s loud and sparks fly so much the better.

That said we do have a dilemma to address and that is do we own them or rent them. The prevailing thought among many contractors is to own them.

In general, I would agree owning can be smart but ONLY if you’re adhering to the following 6 things:

  1. Your company has got money. That means you have cash to pay your bills on time and you’re not just surviving on borrowed money.Note: Just one quick test might be your current ratio which is your assets divided by your liabilities being  at a 2 to 1 ratio or higher.
  2. You’re using the particular tool at least 10 to 15 working days a month.
  3. You have the power tools stored in a segregated secured tool storage area with limited access. Typically, it’s a section within the locked and secured warehouse area.Note: A power tool stolen or lost is no longer a power tool you own!
  4. You can visually look into the tool storage area and see what’s there and what’s missing. That takes creating a place and a space for each every power tool the company owns.
  5. You have the Techs sign the power tools both in and out with the Warehouse Manager or Install Manager [or, whoever fills that role at your company].
  6. You’re doing a quick bench test and looking over what’s being handed back in so you can verify it’s still in good working order. And if it’s been damaged through normal wear and tear it gets fixed at your shop or goes to an authorized dealer to make an expert repair on a power tool worth fixing. Also, if there’s signs of unwarranted abuse, you can address it with the Tech at fault right away.

At this point, you may be asking, “Why is Al so crazy about this?”

Fair question.

The reason I’m so crazy about this is the policy and procedure above is the same one I created and followed when I was a contractor because I got sick and tired of:

  1. Big expensive power tools gone missing.
  2. Big expensive power tools sitting around collecting dust and tying up cash.
  3. Big expensive tools being abused beyond the normal wear and tear.

Want one more reason for “Al’s craziness on power tools?”

I HATED when I would be working as a Tech and I’d get to a job that was an hour’s drive from the shop [when else would it happen?] and I’d open up the chopping hammer box only to find that I had either dull chopping bits or no bits at all!

Make sense?

When my clients see the light about what I’m sharing here, I have them agree to put this policy and procedure into place at their shop. We start by having the power tools signed both in and out with a book at the warehouse door.

The warehouse itself has limited access so this is the perfect spot to open up the tool with the Tech who will be getting it and for testing it when it comes back before returning it to the dedicated secured-storage location.

One more thing. I share with clients that there’s one more thing to do and that is share with the Techs why you’re doing what you’re doing.  Techs need to know the why and what their WIIFM [What’s In It For Me] is for this program to have any long-term traction.

I say that because it’s only natural that Techs could feel you don’t trust them if they’ve had free rein to power tools and there’s been no accountability. That’s why you want to get ahead of it vs. dealing with bruised feelings.

So, I teach my clients to share how frustrating it is as a Tech to get to a job without a power tool they can rely on. It’s going to be no fun to get to a job done right with a power tool that’s either not up to snuff or fully ready for the work ahead. In fact, it’s going to be a long miserable day unnecessarily. Your Techs will get it if you make it about them having a better day and a better day is a power tool in hand that you can trust.

Do this and everyone wins…your customers, your company and your Techs.

Kathy Betlem of John Betlem Heating & Cooling

Kathy talks about the challenges before Al arrived of the whole management team, mostly comprised of the Betlem family members, being on the same page. Today with Al's help, the management team is both improving their individual departments and improving the company as a whole.

» Read the full testimonial

Leadership Power!

It’s More Than What You Say and What You Do

We’ve all heard the expression, “It’s not just what you say that counts but what you do.” True but it’s only part of the whole story. As leaders at your company, you’re in the parental role. That doesn’t mean our staff members are just a bunch of kids even if it seems like they act […]

» View the full post

Susan Miller of Allied Plumbing & Heating

Susan Miller shares what was going on at Allied before Al Levi worked with them and how things are going at Allied today thanks to the work they've done with Al.

» Read the full testimonial

Staffing Power!

How is Staffing a Company like Filling a Bathtub?

When I teach Staffing Power! in seminars or in one-to-one work with clients, I share that it’s all about a never-ending approach to the following five things: Always be recruiting Always be hiring Always be orienting Always be training Always be retaining This is all about the last one….Always be retaining. So, how is staffing […]

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Tim Flynn, Winters Company

Tim Flynn Having customized manuals allows me never to go over the same thing twice, I simply refer to the manual our employee has signed for and ask if there has been a misunderstanding of the procedure, once agreed there is no misunderstanding and we move on with our lives. Hopefully the discrepancy never occurs again, but [...]

» Read the full testimonial

Operations Power!

7 Deadly Sins Your Techs Commit

I have work done at my own home these days because I retired my tool box years ago. The thrill of fixing stuff at my own home left a long time ago. Working for my wife seemed to always be a lose-lose deal. She had to nag me and was not often pleased with my […]

» View the full post

If you find that you keep saying to yourself...
  • I can't seem to find and keep good people.
  • There just aren't enough hours in the day.
  • We are delivering an inconsistent level of service.
  • I feel like I'm answering the same questions over and over.
  • I spend more time as an employee than as a manager.
  • Call-backs keep me from moving on to new calls/sales.
  • We have no real system in place for training.
  • This business just isn't fun for me anymore.
then you are ready to move to the next level click here

Contact Al

Phone: (480) 205-5164
Fax: 212-202-6275
(using a coversheet)

Traditional Mail:
Appleseed Business, Inc.
c/o Al Levi
10632 N Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85254