These days, small businesses are ecstatic about whatever good work that comes in, allowing them to keep the doors open, bills paid and customers happy!
But, here’s a scenario that still happens all too often: A customer gives your company a large, time-sensitive order, and when you’re right in the middle of fulfilling that project, those all-too-familiar words ring out that send everyone into a panic—“We’re out of (this or that)!”
Once again, some critical item is out of inventory, or was not special ordered for the project, so the inevitable NEXT words you hear are, “Quick, somebody run and go get it!”
I call that reaction management
—like putting out a fire with a Q-tip. It’s costly, both in terms of time and money, and it’s more than frustrating—it’s just plain old bad business!
A good inventory management system
is vital to a thriving business—it’s easy to manage and it takes the worry out of all your projects and in-house needs.
Unfortunately, the “reaction” style of management is the norm in many companies that have yet to learn about and implement good systems. In such companies, nothing is done to fix the problem until a project is put on hold and workers stand around waiting (on the clock), while someone is rushed out with instructions to, “Quick, run and go get it!” They may be given the additional instruction to, “Pick up TWO, while you’re at it!”—you know, one to USE and one to LOSE. The extra one is known to get lost in a company’s clutter, due to the fact that its inventory of consumables is ALSO loosey goosey.
I know it seems like TOO MUCH—boring, tedious and time-consuming—to have to stop what you’re doing and plan and implement a proactive system to eliminate those seemingly small, non-conforming, system-busting events, But, I ask you to count the cost—in time and money—and then add in the cost in frustration, to yourself and those around you. Think about others, especially those who work for you, regarding how THEY perceive your management style and your company. Is it really the best work environment? Is it all you hoped it would be?
When I visit businesses, I often hear from employees about the small, aggravating things that go on in the company, which over time gives them the impression that “EVERYTHING is chaotic.” And yet, I know that may not be so.
Small-business owners risk everything they have to start and maintain a business. Their aggravations come from all sides—they’re the ones who worry:
- when things break down,
- when taxes go up,
- when regulations press in,
- when good employees are lost,
- when revenues are not enough to cover rising costs and much-needed retooling, and
- when customers are not getting the service they should expect.
The small-business owner is the one whose name, reputation and financial investment is on the line every day. I can relate—I ARE one! My hope is that other business owners employ the best systems possible to make all their best efforts pay off.
I lay out in my book
how to set up a simple, effective and proactive consumable inventory system.
People work best when they have the right tools to help them do their jobs. An inventory management system
is a powerful tool! Quick—run and go get it!
Did I mention? Great systems work!