training

In 1983, Vinny Nardo founded Reborn Cabinets in Anaheim, California, with a $300 table saw and a 1,200-square-foot office. In 2017, his sons Vince (company president) and Anthony (CFO) increased revenues from $31 million to $41 million while opening branches in San Diego and Pleasanton. The family owned and operated business now has five California locations and one in Las Vegas.

A $10 million revenue jump in one year typically would tax the marketing and lead generation resources of a remodeling company. The biggest challenge for Reborn, however, has been bolstering staff to support additional production and keep pace with the higher demand from sales. Not too long ago, the company prioritized recruiting and developing employees as its principal business ethic.

“I spent a long time and a lot of effort to refocus not only the culture, but also the values, of the company to understand we had to invest in our staff and that we had to put our people first,” Vince says. “The key to being a great company [is having] the right people. We decided one of the components for building a winning team would be formalized training and support.”

The remodeler hired a director of training and launched Reborn University, an in-house training program that included the installation of a 70-person classroom. New employees receive optimal instruction from the start, and existing staff participate in ongoing training to help advance their own careers. Workers just have to petition their manager if they want to pursue a better position at the company.

“We can make sure that everybody is receiving the same information, in the same type of format, and that there [is] continuity across all the departments,” Vince says. “We wanted to put together succession planning for the staff, so they know the path that they could go down [while] working here. With this program, we can really produce the right kind of employees for a winning team.”

Finding enough people to put through Reborn University necessitated the creation of a dedicated recruiting department. The company employs three full-time recruiters who fulfill requests from managers when they need new hires. To boost revenues $10 million in just one year, Reborn had to pinpoint dates on the calendar so that managers could coordinate the recruiting, hiring and training.

“Once [salespeople] hit the street, we know the selling cycle [relative] to the installation cycle, so we know we need to increase installers at the same pace to offset those new sales reps,” says Vince, who began tracking turnover by department to ensure the company maintained its target head count. “By mapping that out, we were able to predict when and how many we had to hire.”

Sales will always have a higher turnover rate than production because Reborn does not tolerate unsuccessful reps, he adds. Salespeople must sustain a certain closing ratio and undertake curriculum-based retraining to improve their skills continually. The company intends to hire 30 salespeople and 70 production workers this year to accomplish its revenue goal of more than $50 million in 2018.

“We’re not going to open up any new offices or [expand significantly]; it’s more of building on the foundation we’ve created already,” Vince explains. “Expansion is expensive. Whenever you expand a business, it’s going to cost you profit no matter how you look at what you’re spending.”

Incorporating so many new employees has validated the efficient processes Reborn implemented years ago, such as electronic documentation. The company observes key performance indicators to manage departments and make sure the business stays on the right trajectory. “If everybody’s hitting all those metrics, and we’re monitoring them every day, then the plan’s easy,” Vince says. | QR

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