Cabdoor is a custom cabinet door manufacturer supplying the small to medium cabinet maker and has had a 10-year long relationship with the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP). Initially, Cabdoor worked with OMEP to create a profitable and streamlined operation through implementing lean throughout the manufacturing floor and support areas. Since then, OMEP has been an integral part of Cabdoor’s success by setting strategy, improving sales, and providing business advisory services.
Cabdoor has realized that a key recipe for maintaining a competitive edge is to develop and engage their current workforce while attracting new hires compatible with their culture. After revamping their mission and core values to reflect their commitment to employees, Cabdoor’s mission is now ’Success‘ for their employees, customers, and the organization.
Cabdoor was challenged by high turnover, poor training quality, long training times, and a dependence on tribal knowledge. This created unnecessary labor costs, losses in production, quality issues, low employee morale, and constricted growth.
In 2014, Cabdoor collaborated with OMEP to transform their core values and beliefs. In order to remain competitive, they needed to create an engaged workforce to minimize turnover, improve time to proficiency, and create a learning culture to increase problem solving by the people doing the work. Fundamentally, they wanted to reinforce the belief that the success of their employees is linked to the success of their clients and organization.
OMEP and Cabdoor implemented an approach called Smart Talent to build the company culture by designing a job skills training system that drove cultural initiatives and improvements. For instance, development paths, career ladders, highly skilled trainers, and coaches were put in place. Tenure or favoritism was replaced by an objective compensation and performance management system based on skills, knowledge, and performance.
Cabdoor has seen a remarkable difference since taking the Smart Talent approach. Some of the early results are listed below:
- 90% reduction in training time
- Increased organizational productivity by removing the burden of training from team leader and allowing them to focus on production
- By training employees at a faster pace, they were able to grow sales by $2.2 million
- Created 18 jobs
- Catalyzed the successful addition of 1.2 million in capital equipment
- Created bottom line cost savings totaled to $134,600 through productivity increases and the SMART Talent program self-funded the peer coaching
But most of all, Cabdoor is building a culture which promotes learning and creates a flexible and AWESOME workforce.
Cabdoor has been at the forefront of the Smart Talent journey and will continue to integrate Smart Talent into Cabdoor’s culture. Currently, Cabdoor is finding ways to continually increase their hiring pool, implement a mentorship program, improve their onboarding, advance their performance management, and continue to improve the skills and knowledge base of their employees.
The OMEP approach to training and change within the organization has rocket-launched CabDoor to new heights in our Lean transformation transforming our business model from the inside-out. But, the real opportunity is not in what we started and accomplished, but in where we are now capable of going!