Control Issues

Published On: January 1, 2022Categories: Editorial

If 2020 was a rollercoaster, 2021 was more like a Zero Gravity amusement park ride where spinning forces beyond anyone’s control pinned us to the wall making movement impossible. Businesses experienced a centrifugal maelstrom of surging customer demand, labor shortages, price increases and supply chain bottlenecks. 

As the control equation shifted for business owners, it’s become painfully obvious that many external resources, including inventory and workers, are often out of our direct control. Experts predict this situation will continue into 2022 before easing somewhat later this year. So, what can a business owner do? Identify what you can control and make intentional choices about those aspects of your business.

This issue drills down into several of these areas. “Showroom Showdown” discusses how to create on-site and online showrooms and project galleries that complement each other while providing different customer experiences. “Regaining Control” discusses how to get a handle on job scheduling to keep customers happy and your own sanity and bottom line intact. The 2022 Time Standards Manual, developed with the expertise of the Marine Fabricators Association, will help inform your labor estimates for an efficient and profitable upcoming year. Rebecca Delano, Alfred’s Upholstery & Co., shares her award-winning expertise about working with foam, and Steve Szenay, MFC, Serge Ferrari North America, discusses his approach to fabricating shade sails and educating customers to set appropriate expectations and ensure successful projects.

Although nobody knows what will happen in 2022, much of it will be unexpected and beyond our control. Identify what is within your control and make it the best it can be. As Jessica and Michael Hinz say in their book Learn to Balance Your Life, “The task is not to control the wind, but to direct the movements of the ship so that it stays on course.”