Daily Routines—Not So Routine
When we first offered our organizational and quality control software System100 to the public nearly 10 years ago, one of our first clients was a business owner from Canada.
"Linda" had a thriving commercial printing company, but she was seeking a solution to get a handle on the daily operations. Linda's printing company had grown beyond her ability to keep the operations in her head, which happens to many business owners. The seemingly endless activities, managing employees—literally thousands of items, processes and decisions that must be addressed in a growing company in order to maintain control—all of it causing frustration and a sense of hopelessness for her.
As a business grows, the complexity of the operation multiplies exponentially.
In order to keep control, owners usually just work longer hours, spending less and less time enjoying the life they dreamed of, when they decided to start their own business. Linda was typical in that respect, BUT she was determined NOT to continue business as usual—she was one leader who was willing to change things for the better, whatever it took.
I remember the day Linda and her husband Ron flew down to Tennessee to pay us a visit and see our operations in person. I spent an entire day showing her, in great detail, the very systems I describe in my book. By the end of that day, she was completely sold on the fact that written systems were the answer to her frustrations; they were the way to bring her company to order without her having to be there every minute.
She made the decision right then to systemize her own operation.
After completing a few training sessions with us on how to implement various systems, she called me unexpectedly one afternoon—whispering as if to keep someone in her office from hearing.
"Philip," she said in a low voice, "I just had to talk to you. I'm so excited! Only a few weeks ago, I was on the verge of dismissing our production manager because he wasn't performing as I expected. Then, I implemented the Daily Routine System in our company two weeks ago, and I can't believe how well it's working!"
You see, before System100, Linda had constantly reminded the production manager each day that certain things needed to be completed, and she was frustrated that he couldn't seem to do them. When Linda had become our client, we had given her a Production Manager's Daily Routine Checklist that we had been developing for years. Linda simply tweaked it for her company. And it worked!
Linda continued in an excited whisper: "Philip, since Bob has been using the Daily Routine Checklist, he has not forgotten to do ANYTHING! Now, if I see something that needs to be done, I simply add it to his Daily Routine Checklist, and HE DOES IT!"
Sound simple-stupid? Too good to be true?
I've heard years of similar reports from other business owners, like Linda. It never gets old!
Did I mention? Great systems work!
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.