For anyone who is superstitious about Friday the 13th being unlucky, or who puts much faith in the concept of good luck, the poet Emily Dickinson had some choice words on the subject of luck.

“Luck is not chance,” she said, “it’s toil; fortune’s expensive smile is earned.”

The Roman Stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca said, “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.”

But perhaps Thomas Jefferson best describes our own approach to the concept of luck: “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

So on this Friday the 13th, here are five ways Draper prepares and works hard to ensure our customers have “good luck.”

Packaging
Projection screens in particular are liable to freight damage because of their long, thin shape. It feels like the worst luck to see a screen come off the truck with a huge gash or one end crushed. Draper has worked extremely hard on this problem, trying many different solutions, sending packages across the United States, and tinkering with packing inside the box. We feel that hard work is paying off now with the use of Fiberwrap®. Unlike corrugated cardboard, which has air pockets, FiberWrap® has a solid core. This gives it 250 percent to 300 percent greater beam strength than corrugated packaging. With the great deal of preparation and work put into this solution, we feel like it’s no longer the “luck of the draw” when your screen arrives undamaged.

Testing
It would be easy for us to have our products made somewhere else and only see the outside of the boxes as they sat in the warehouse. It would also be easy for us to put a product together and toss it in the box without a second look. But we take the time and effort to make our products right here in Spiceland, and to perform quality checks throughout the manufacturing process. Then, once the product is finished, we thoroughly inspect it to make sure it works. No bad luck here—just lots of hard work and prep to get it to you in working order.

In-House Manufacturing
At one time Draper was mainly an assembler of parts. But we came to realize that the more we do ourselves, the better the product and the lower the lead time. So we’ve added metal folders, laser cutters, plasma cutters, electronic welders, powder coating lines, and other equipment to allow us to manufacture many of the components of our products. And we aren’t done yet. We’re adding more new equipment and bringing more processes in-house on a regular basis. Preparation + hard work + great design = great products. Luck isn’t in the equation.

Follow Up and Follow Through
When you’re working on a big project, especially one that is complex and stretched out over a long period of time, things can slip through the cracks. We work very hard to try and keep that from happening. So, we follow up, reminding people via phone or email what’s coming next and making sure plans haven’t changed. And we follow through, keeping design, manufacturing, and delivery on schedule and ensuring that the luck is all good.

Rapid Improvement Events
The concept of a Rapid Improvement Event (RIE) is simple: a bunch of people spend a lot of hours concentrating on a specific area to bring about improvements. Draper’s RIEs are cross-functional teams with members from all areas of the company. They start early and stay late. They measure. They walk. They plan. They measure some more. With the help of our crack maintenance staff they move a lot of stuff. In the end, they measure again. These events have been instrumental in Draper improving quality and lead times, and in keeping us using our space efficiently. When you do those things, you make your own luck!

Click here to find and connect with your Draper representative, and find out how we can make all of your projects seem lucky.

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