Eliminating the Drive-by Shooting

“Drive-by Shooting? Excuse me?” I said to Joe, the owner of a printing company with whom I was doing a Webinar demonstration of our software.

Joe and I were going over one system I recommended that he was sure would make life easier for him at work. It’s a part of our software that gives everyone in a company the power to do their jobs without having to interrupt management or other employees to get the required information, supplies, etc.

I told Joe about a related story I had written in my book—“System Busters”—about owners or managers walking through the shop or plant and being repeatedly stopped by employees asking many of the same questions, time and again, in trying to deal with the same old issues.

The story involves a typical scenario that goes something like,

  • “Hey Bob, did you get those supplies I asked you about last week?” Or:
  • “Hey Bob, can I have next Friday off. My uncle’s dog is having surgery and I think he needs my support.” Or:
  • “Hey Bob, you didn’t tell me Fred was going to be off today. We have this big job that needs to be out and I needed him here!” Or:
  • “Hey Bob…”
  • “Hey Bob…”


Joe laughed and said, “Yeah, I call that drive-by shooting.”

It was my turn to laugh. I told him that line was going to be my very next blog.

I recommend to owners and managers that, when they are being constantly stopped as they walk through their shop or plant, they should ALWAYS keep a pad and pen in hand. They should not only write down the requests people are making, but take those questions and requests back to their offices and consider what system or systems they could implement to give employees the information, supplies, etc. they need without having to ask. Doing that would eliminate peronnel having to constantly pull on another to address the same questions…or, as my new friend Joe puts it, “Shooting me as I walk through the plant!”

Did I mention? Great system Work?

P.S. Avoid getting “shot”–Systems only work if you implement them!

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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  • JBS Printing

    I agree one of the biggest complaints shop owners have is not having enough time in the day, but if they took the time to train their employees and give them the ability to answer questions.

    Not only should Printing Companies have a FAQ section on their website, but they should also have a FAQ sheet posted throughout their shops so they don’t have to be stopped and asked the same questions over and over, it will fre up their time and allow the entire shop to be more productive.

  • Linda

    Thanks for sharing such good information!