Peace and Profit - The Two Ps in ProsPerity
One morning several years ago, I was facilitating a Webinar demo of our business management software and the integration of an “Operations Manual” for an owner of a printing company and a group of his managers. It came as no surprise when one of the managers asked, “Why do we need your system to bring order to our business? We are many times the size of your company and very profitable. Besides, isn’t a certain amount of chaos to be expected in our industry?”
Before I could answer, the owner shot back at the manager, “We may be profitable, but I’m tired of the chaos;it’s very stressful. I’m the one who has to stay at the office, even when I’m sick, to make sure a large project gets done on time and without errors.”
The owner told us about his having run a 104° temperature at one point, yet he was unable to leave the building for fear the company would lose a great deal of money on a certain project. Sounded like, “If you think I’m just doing this for my health—you’re right!” He had now decided that making money isn’t the only thing in life and he was tired of missing out on events in his children’s lives.
The owner’s business had grown rapidly and had opportunities to expand further. However, the chaos was growing exponentially and his business had reached a point of diminishing returns when adding more growth.
I could really identify with this owner, as those things had happened to me before I learned the power of systems. I’ve heard many stories from other owners and managers expressing similar frustrations, over the past decade. I sometimes wonder why so many are willing to live with the pain year after year.
Understandably, the first thing many of those we do demos for want to know is the profit side of implementing systems such as Quality Control, Communications and Preventative Maintenance, etc. As far as I’m concerned, increased profit is a given when you: first, bring order to your business with written systems; and second, install a system of accountability that makes it all work!
Like this particular business owner, my prime motivation for implementing systems to run our business was not just profit. I also wanted PEACE in my life—the peace systems would bring to our employees and, most importantly, our customers.
I was certain if we reduced errors, eliminated bottlenecks and our equipment operated at peak performance, PEACE and PROFIT would come.
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.