Managers, Managers, Managers vs. Smart Systems
As a business grows, system complexity also grows, with many owners believing the solution to the complexity is adding managers, managers and more managers!
Business growth experts acknowledge that when a business experiences growth, frustrations can increase exponentially.
So, is the answer to hire MORE managers?
When a business doubles its employees, you would think its problems, frustrations and complexities would only double. The truth is, growing exponentially means that when a business doubles its employees or customers, problems may triple or quadruple.
How to Keep the Wheels of Production and Service Turning
There are various methods business owners adopt when growth happens, to confront exponential business complexity, which results in errors and miscommunication.
One method eventually doomed for failure and burnout is to work longer hours.
Another method is to simplify the product line and services. This method will work; however, before implementation, it needs careful study. Before growth happens again, it’s important to find the root cause. An owner must determine why exponential non-conformance got out of control in the first place.
Managers, Managers and More Managers?
Yet another method utilized, especially in medium to large businesses, is to hire more and more managers. This multiple-managers method seems to be the preferred, go-to solution. The thinking is to have several people oversee the increase in non-conformance. This, however, does not root out the cause of the problem.
In our book, System Busters; How to Stop Them in Your Business, there’s a more detailed chapter titled, “Managers, Managers, Managers.” You might want to check that out!
The Final and Best Solution
The method usually tried last, is to implement well-written SOP’s (standard operating procedures) that will address those growing errors and miscommunications. This method will bring production and service under control via quality control and other business process systems. This is the method we recommend and cling to — because it works!
With good systems, everyone in your organization is accountable. ALL share in the responsibility for keeping the wheels of production and service turning and improving.
You can reduce and nearly eliminate all errors and miscommunications to less than 1%. I know this to be true because we did it in a complex printing business!
The Goal: Reduce Errors and Miscommunications to Zero
We proved this method works, by measuring errors, miscommunications and all non-conformance, system-busting events. We also measured and captured, with data, the time and product waste and the monetary cost of that waste.
Year after year, we reduced waste, because errors and miscommunication were eliminated, systematically. This was accomplished using standard operating procedures, one step at a time.
To be clear, we did not wait until we reached 10, then 25 employees, to begin systematizing our business via written SOP’s. We started developing a comprehensive operations manual, both digital and hard copies when we had only five employees.
Misconception Among Small Business Owners
Owners of small businesses with five to 10 employees often say, “We’re too small for your method of organization via systemization.”
For those in the “I-think-I’m-too-small” group; truth is, systems, systems, systems that reduce errors and miscommunications are not just about you!
Smart systems are for and about your employees, customers, vendors and, yes, your family!
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.