Never Again Hear: ‘Quick, Run and Go Get It!’

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?

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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