Clear Instructions Save Time and Money

Poor communications and instructions create stress and problems in a company!

My wife and I own a 10-acre farm property in Liberty, TN, about an hour from our home. The other day, a man with a pronounced Southern accent (I should talk?) called me on my cell phone asking, “Are you the one that’s got teenagers in Liberty?”

My children being grown, I was puzzled. “Teenagers?” I repeated, “No, I don’t have teenagers—sorry!”

OK, ‘bye!” the man said, and hung up.

Teenagers in Liberty? I shook my head, wondering what that was about.

A short time later, a woman called and asked, “My husband just called you…aren’t you the one with a 10-acre property in Liberty?”

Teenagers — 10 acres. My wife and I had a good laugh over that. Good thing I wasn’t anxious to sell the property!

Some years ago, when I began systemizing my company I realized that, if we were going to bring sustainable order to our business, I had to consider all aspects of my operation. That meant evaluating everything—production, accounting, personnel, administration, equipment, purchasing, maintenance, sales and marketing, technologies, shipping and receiving—and especially how we communicate with one another as a team!

A few years ago, a friend—who never misses an opportunity to introduce me as a “Systems Guru”—sent me an article he’d found about a well-known airline that had developed a unique “Maintenance Complaint System.”

It seems that after every flight, the airline’s pilots fill out a form called a “Gripe Sheet” meant to CLEARLY inform mechanics about any problems the pilot might have had with an aircraft. The mechanics are then able to fix the problem and to document any repairs on the same form. Pilots later review the “Gripe Sheets” before their next flight. Good systems like this are serious matters for airline safety!

Philip Beyer, founder/president of Beyer Printing and Ebiz Products LLC in Nashville, TN, is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant, author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business," and an InterTech Award recipient for the design and development of System100™ business process management software. Philip speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses.
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