A year seems to go by faster when you get older because it increasingly becomes a smaller part of your entire life. When I was a kid, summer vacation alone seemed to last forever. When you are 5, a single year covers 20% of your life. When you are 50, a year accounts for 2% of your life. This is why time accelerates as we get older!
There is an advantage to this phenomenon. Time becomes more valuable as you age. You respect it more. You come to terms with your own vulnerability at the hands of time. This can serve to make us more strategic about how we use our time. In our work life, treating time as a precious resource leads to good decision-making. What people and organizations do I want to be connected to? Who do I want to spend my time with? What do I want to spend my time doing?
This is all at the heart of our business values and strategy at Hancock Lumber. A work philosophy should enhance and support a life philosophy. First, we want to hang out with great people (employees, customers & suppliers). We want to hang out with people who are organized, collaborative, smart and big-hearted. Getting connected to people who save you time and bring positive energy into your life and work requires conscious thought and effort. Second, we want to work in partnership with customers and suppliers as a single team, not three teams. It is impossible to streamline the construction process with manufacturers, retailers and contractors operating in silos. We love builders, distributors, and employees that will collaborate, share information, and make time for planning with the goal of increasing accuracy and cutting out waste.
It takes time to be thoughtful about the network of people you are connected to. It takes time to plan and build out strategies to increase accuracy and reduce waste. But, the benefits of getting organized with the right people are powerful. In 2016 our accuracy rate (as measure by customer credits) improved again, for the 10th year in a row—this time by 5%. Our delivery efficiency (as measured by the volume of product on a truck) also increased again—this year by 8%. These types of metrics are not just—or even primarily—about making money; they are about that precious resource, time. Freeing up time is a powerful act. Each individual, each company can then decide how they want to re-invest that time and energy to make their work and lives more valuable.
As this year ends, I am aware and thankful of the people Hancock Lumber hangs out with! Hancock Lumber is nothing more that the people it attracts and by that standard this company is blessed. So I salute the amazing group of employees, customers and suppliers that give life to our brand and add value to a world short on time. Thank you!
Kevin Hancock, President
Hancock Lumber Company