In his book, The Pumpkin Plan, Mike Michalowicz describes the seven-step process for creating one of those huge pumpkins you see at the state fair:
- Plant promising seeds
- Water, water, water
- Remove diseased or damaged pumpkins
- Weed like a mad dog
- Identify the stronger, faster-growing pumpkins; remove the others
- Focus all your attention on the remaining big pumpkin
- Watch it grow
The book describes how to apply this process to a small business. Lawrence Industries used the same idea to grow the company’s composite window hardware business.
It was the beginning of COVID, and the company had created a new window lock in an innovative way. The team decided to take this innovative mindset and focus all efforts on improving its window lock manufacturing process.
“Similar to the Pumpkin Plan method, we ‘watered’ our window locks,” laughs Brandon Lawrence, Lawrence Industries president. “We let go of the things we weren’t good at and became a master at one thing: window locks.”
Short-term results were immediate as throughput and volume began to increase.
“Most manufacturing companies make batches of things to fill inventory in warehouses,” he explains. “We do things much differently: everything we do is made-to-order.”
This means Lawrence Industries keeps its costs low by not carrying inventory. “Each part we make, we sell,” says Lawrence. “This means each part in production already has a dollar amount attached to it.”
The company was so successful at “watering” its window locks business, it now produces 50% of the locks in the United States – even before the sale to AmesburyTruth.
“We’re all thrilled with the acquisition,” says Brandon Lawrence. “We want everyone in the industry to know we’re here to support them and to make as many composite window parts as possible.”