Production Chaos Meets Order

What happens when CHAOS meets ORDER?

I can testify as an eyewitness to what happened in our company when I finally commanded an all-out war on chaos and introduced Chaos to Order! At times, the battles were pretty ugly and we had some casualties along the way—yet we all survived.

We got a late start on declaring war, as it took several years for me to realize it was a WAR. I knew we were under siege by chaos in our company, due to the multiple production errors and other problems we were experiencing every day. Still, I didn’t have a clue as to how to stop it. We were slowly being out-flanked, surrounded and facing sure defeat at the hands of one stupid mistake after another.

I consulted with other “commanders” (business owners) about what they were encountering, and they assured me this was “something that comes with the territory” of business ownership. In fact, they reported, I should “just get used to chaos” being around, and—“as long as we make a profit”—not to let it bother me.

Sorry to say, at first I took their advice and told my troops (employees) we would just have to negotiate and live with the chaos. After all, it was “normal” in our industry. Right?

However, my own battle fatigue with chaos was causing a loss of sleep and sapping my will to continue in business ownership—not to mention the stress it was causing the troops. But, something way down deep was telling me not to settle for that kind of daily onslaught—not to give in, but to fight back. Slowly, I realized that chaos was not just occupying space with us; it was out to destroy me, the business and the ground I had fought for with blood, sweat and tears.

To make a long story short, let’s just say I had a spiritual moment at that point—an epiphany I detail in my book, “System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business.” I suddenly realized how I could defeat this enemy called chaos, but I also knew I had to be committed to its defeat, even if the war dragged on.

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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