Posted in None in Feb 2016
After 40 years in a joinery partnership creating bespoke windows & doors in the Sheffield area, Bob Crookes decided to go it alone in 2010 and start a new business with his son, Lee.
With a wealth of experience in the industry and also new ideas from his son Lee, who has been helping in his Dad’s workshop since the age of 5, Crookes & Son Traditional Joinery is going from strength to strength. They specialise in sash windows, and also manufacture custom made windows, doors, stairs, conservatories, even orangeries. This year they are expanding their workshop and are already planning the purchase of additional machinery to increase turnover and provide quicker lead times.
Though keen to support his Dad in the office Lee found it hard to get to grips with the quoting side of the business, which used ‘knowledge’ stored in his Dad’s head and ‘approximate price per metre’ costs. Relying extensively on his Dad still for pricing, Lee knew that he needed a solution for when his Dad wanted to retire. Joinerysoft were invited in to demonstrate their Joinery Management Software (JMS) and Lee could straight away see the benefits with improved accuracy and professionalism. Lee says, “Quoting was time consuming previously and I was neglecting the workshop.” He adds, “The demo gave me confidence that once the software was set up with our prices, it would be easy, accurate and speed up our quoting process.”
With full support provided by Joinerysoft, Lee was able to set up most of the software during the 2 day installation & training period. Bob’s experience also came in useful to check pricing in the software was accurate and was customised to their joinery. Lee impressed with the knowledgeability of the trainer, who was also a time served joiner himself, says, “The way the trainer explained it was brilliant and helped me to gain a good understanding. Ongoing support after training has also been good.”
Purchasing JMS just 12 months ago, Lee has discovered many more benefits than just improved quoting! Bob is also happy that he doesn’t have to get involved in quoting anymore and is now full time in the workshop which he prefers.
All paperwork generated from JMS continues the professional image of Crookes & Son, including: quotes, confirmation of order, supplier orders, cutting sheets, delivery notes, glass orders, and invoices.
Cashflow has been improved with deposits now requested with confirmation of order, something which was neglected before as too time consuming. Glazing reports, including diagrams of bars, has improved ordering of glass, and such is the accuracy of JMS, that Lee is able to order glass in advance for time sensitive orders which helps to decrease lead times.
Lee says, “JMS has saved me at least 50% of my time in the office, and made the workshop more efficient too.” Lee says he is quoting more now, and therefore spending more time in the office, but whereas the workshop would previously grind to a halt without supervision, now with clearly laid out cutting sheets from JMS, both the apprentice and another new recruit can get on with jobs. Lee confirms, “The cutting sheets give them the instructions they need, it basically tells the story of the job. It has given them the confidence to cut out, and complete the entire job from start to finish.”
Customer feedback has been very positive with the introduction of JMS quotations, especially from builders who are able to use the detailed diagrams and clear quotes to explain to their end customers what they are getting for their money. As a result of all the improvements in the business, Lee says, “Our profitability keeps increasing year on year, and I know that JMS has played a part in that.” He says of Joinerysoft, “They are a very helpful company. The new JMS Setup Wizard is brilliant and walks you through setting up the software step by step. It is easy to visualise the joinery as you set it up.” Lee concludes, “JMS makes us more professional and is easy to use. It has made my business much better!”
Crookes & Son Traditional Joinery Ltd
Tel: 0114 233 0699
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