What if I told you that you could improve production 30% without additional subs or employees? Ridiculous, right?

Many home improvement contractors experience those gains when they focus on removing bottlenecks in the production process.

Enthusiasm vs. Stress Picture a graph and label this graph “Screw It.” The vertical axis, labeled “Will to Work,” is plotted from a low of zero to a high of 100%.

In the right environment, most people have a high Will to Work. Everyone's passionate about something, and that something can be work if the environment is right. On our first day at work, Will to Work is at or near 100%.

OK, now along the horizontal axis we plot “Accumulated Frustration.” On our first day at work, Accumulated Frustration is zero.

Now what happens? The homeowner is upset because the windows were damaged in transit. Or the production crew is frustrated because the windows were ordered incorrectly. The crew doesn't have the right equipment or manpower to install a large bow window. The salesperson made promises that production can't deliver or doesn't know about. Etc.

Meeting of the Lines When Will to Work is pulled down enough by Accumulated Frustration, production capacity starts to fall. When the two lines touch, production stops. This state of mind is known as Screw It. The employees or subs decide to take the day off. Or the owner starts thinking about getting out of the business.

Usually when the employee or sub comes back, the feeling of frustration has subsided enough for him to go back to work. If the environment that triggered the frustration hasn't changed, the process starts all over. The key to eliminating the frustrations that kill production and to boosting field productivity by 30% is Servant Management.

That's right. Want record-setting production rates? Shift your management paradigm from being the boss to being the servant of field production staff.

Make it your job to remove the roadblocks that trigger frustration. There are plenty of them, even in the best companies.

At press time, it was learned that longtime columnist Richard Kaller passed away unexpectedly in April. Our condolences to his family.