The 2020 Miscalculation That Haunts Me Two Years Later

I recently realized that I’ve spent the last 18 months mis-categorizing Kaser’s busy-ness.

I thought we had a staffing issue, and that hiring more people would take care of it; but the more I hired, the more the workload stayed the same.

Turns out we were just coating way more parts. It seems obvious in retrospect, but it wasn’t at the time – how was I to know that my largest customers’ production would bounce back so robustly through a pandemic, staffing crises, and global supply chain issues? (For the record, I’m very glad it did.)

If I could go back in time, I’d tell 2020 Jase to keep his foot on the gas.

My dad, Jay, has always set that example for me. In 35 years of business, he’s never hesitated to take that next step: adding square footage, investing in new equipment, expanding Kaser’s services – whatever it is, he jumps in with both feet, and the demand follows. His ambition has never steered us wrong.

For most of my professional life, I’ve sought to emulate my dad’s mindset…until Covid. I paused. I hesitated. I worried, briefly, that we wouldn’t have enough work to keep the team busy. And I regret it.

Now, with our customers thriving and more parts coming in than ever before, Kaser is at the limit of its capacity. Even if I hired more people, there’d be nowhere to put them. Our shop floor is full of parts, and the equipment is operating nonstop.

“So why can’t you add space and equipment now?” I can, and I’m working on it. But if I’d done it sooner, I wouldn’t be turning work away today.

Entrepreneurs, learn from my mistake: be aggressive. Stay a step ahead of your business. Build the addition the moment you think it could come in handy someday. Invest in the equipment, even if it’s slightly more than you need right now. The minute you start operating at full capacity, you’re already behind.



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