Business Order is From God
While visiting that Dutch settlement, where a musical play my wife Susan and her sister Donna wrote was being performed, we were impressed by the cleanliness and order we saw everywhere.
After two days, it had finally hit me that there was something very unusual about the town. I asked Susan and her sister if they noticed anything missing in Orange City. Looking around, they guessed at various things that might be missing, like no patrol cars, etc. Not getting the right answer I said, "There is NO litter, anywhere!?"
Folks, we're not talking about a little litter here or there, but actually NO litter anywhere! We did not see something as small as a gum wrapper on the roadsides.
Hard to believe, after seeing so much litter along the highways and streets in our state of Tennessee and, sadly, almost everywhere we travel across America!
In addition to NO litter or cluttered yards, we visited several small businesses in the downtown area that were ALSO immaculately clean and orderly. Inquiring of several shop owners about the pristine look of the place, we were told how the town's people scrub the downtown streets by hand with buckets of soapy water and large push brooms.
No, they were not kidding! CLEAN was in full display in Orange City, Iowa.
One local townsman was surprised by our comments about the town's cleanliness and lack of litter. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” he said frankly; then proceeded to give us a little history lesson of Orange City's Dutch community and its commitment to order.
You may be thinking, “Thanks for the sermon, but what’s the point?”
The System of Cleanliness Ensures Business Order
Sadly, there seems to be a short supply of parents training their children NOT to trash our streets and public bathrooms. Consequently, the same not-so-trained folks learned to disregard cleanliness in the very business affording them a living. For this reason, it’s up to business owners to provide training and special systems for keeping work areas clean and orderly. Systems like Lean Management, which is also a system of cleanliness.
Most business professionals understand that business disorder produces chaos. In fact, poor housekeeping accounts for mistakes, lost tools, lost documents, missing inventory; and, most concerning, lost revenue.
For this reason, we developed the 100% System of Cleanliness to train our employees to be consistently clean and orderly in their work areas. This system tracks and audits the performance of each employee to ensure compliance.
Grading on a scale of ONE to 10, for keeping work areas clean and clutter free, some employees graded at a TWO, where others graded at EIGHT.
What was the difference in these individuals? Some, we learned, were naturally neat and orderly, likely having learned from childhood about such things. Apparently, others had not had the benefit of that learning.
Something had to be done to bring all employees up to the best standards of order in our company, that’s when we developed our 100% System of Cleanliness.
Using just that one system, we saw employees who graded as a TWO become a NINE! And, not surprisingly, those who were EIGHTS became 10s.
Did I mention? Great systems are next to Godliness!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.