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Mission Possible: How Shared Values Help You Build a Stronger Shop

Mission Possible: How Shared Values Help You Build a Stronger Shop

In 2007, my dad quit his 9-5 and opened a machine shop. I was in college at the time, and when I realized how much help my family needed running the front office, I shifted my studies to focus on all things business and accounting. I wanted to help K&A Precision be the best it could be.

Shortly after securing our first customer, the economy took a nosedive.

My family shares a key mindset that helped us keep our doors open during the ‘08 recession: No matter what, we stay anchored to our shared mission.

That mission is to provide unparalleled service to our clients. We believe relationships are everything, and we deeply value our customers—80% of whom have stood by us for over 14 years and many of whom were pivotal in helping us pull out of the recession. Our commitment to excellent service is reflected in every interaction. It permeates our culture, brand, and long-term company vision.

4 Benefits of Having a Shared Mission at Your Shop

Here’s how staying laser-focused on core values can help drive better decision-making in the shop:

1. You’ll make decisions faster.
A strong shared mission drives decision alignment, meaning less hemming and hawing and more executing. Whenever we’re faced with a major decision at K&A, whether it’s a big purchase or a small process change, my dad and I always go back to the basics. We ask ourselves which path will help us better service our clients, and then we take that path.

2. Navigating change becomes easier.
Taking chances is the only way to grow with our customers’ evolving needs. But working in a family-owned business with different generations, we face the classic “old school vs. new school” mentality clash from time to time; something my dad may view as an obstacle, I view as an opportunity.

To make change less intimidating to my dad and stepmom, who have grown accustomed to doing certain tasks a certain way for many years, I always align the change with our shared mission. I paint a picture for them of how this change will help us better service our customers—whether it’s embracing new technology or shaking up our processes. Having a clear understanding of why this change is essential for our success is what gets them on board.

3. Focus = clarity.
Recently, I had a conversation with a customer who asked for a price breakdown. Because our shared mission drives every investment we make at K&A, we already had a solution in place to handle these types of conversations; using Paperless Parts, I was able to instantly show him all the manufacturability warnings the system automatically flagged that contributed to a cost increase. We had a tool aligned with our values, so we were able to bring clarity to a potentially complex situation.

4. You can adapt with purpose.
When you stay focused on your company’s unique shared mission, you always have a solid core to latch onto and grow from. In our case, because we foster such deep relationships with our customers, we’re always running ideas by them. If we’re thinking about investing in a new piece of machinery, we’ll reach out to our engineers and ask what projects they have coming down the line. They’re often the deciding factor between making a purchase or not. Consulting our customers helps us make smarter decisions and strengthens our relationships by showing that their needs are top of mind for our team.

Back to Basics

Our customers not only helped us weather the recession in 2008 but also propelled us to thrive in the 16+ years that followed. Our genuine appreciation makes our mission an easy one to follow.

Of course, we’ll always be thrown our fair share of curveballs, but knowing where we stand helps us keep our eye on the ball.

Want to see how Paperless Parts can help you better serve your customers?

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Linda leads project management at her family’s machine shop, K&A Precision, Inc., in Fremont, CA. Fast, efficient, and honest, K&A Precision Inc. has become a reputable and well-known Precision CNC partner in the Bay Area. Linda earned her degree in Business Administration from De Anza College and earned her Project Management Certification from PMI®.