In and Out—On Time

Rod Lorenz

My father, Ralph, who founded our company, had a dedication to getting a job done on time when he took it. I remember once after a heavy snow that made the roads undrivable, he packed all his floor-finishing equipment on a snowmobile and headed to a job just to make sure he kept to the schedule he had promised.  I was at home because it was a snow day away from school, and Dad’s commitment made an impression on me.

Ralph’s still has that dedication today. When we take a job, we do everything possible to arrive when we said we would—and to finish when we promised we would. 

Sometimes that can be a real juggling act. Things happen—customers’ schedules change, other contractors working on jobs have timing issues, equipment breaks, employees get sick. But whatever arises, we try to keep the schedule “in a square.” 

As with the rest of the world, it has been difficult to navigate the schedule with COVID-19. Some customers have been forced to move their projects because they’ve been inflicted or have been in contact with someone who has.

We’ve also had employees who caught the virus. In one case, we even needed a former employee to come back to help us out for a few weeks. I am proud to say that even with all of this, we’ve been able to meet almost all of our customers’ scheduling requests.

I also remember another time when Dad impressed upon me that importance of sticking to the schedule. I had started working for the company as an installer and he gave me a bag cellphone—the “ancient” kind that was as big as a backpack. Cellphones were a new thing, and Dad was certainly no techie, but he understood the importance of being able to communicate to keep things on track. Before then, when I had a problem on a job, I’d have to leave the job and find a payphone to call the shop and get whatever help I needed. 

What Dad understood, and what we still understand at Ralph’s, is that doing things on time, as we said we would do, is good for everyone—our customers and the other contractors working on a job. It just makes for a smoother job.

It’s also good for our business. For example, Cassie Beltrand, an interior designer with Verdigris Interior Design, recently told us that she enjoys using us for home remodels because we “stay on tight scheduling.” She also likes that when she asks us for a bid or flooring samples, we respond quickly. It’s a cliché, but time truly is of the essence.

Dad started Ralph’s more than 50 years ago, and ever since, Ralph’s has strived to not waste anyone’s time. We do that by staying on schedule. That’s not going to change.

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