Never Settle for ‘Never Never’ Land
Hendersonville, TN, just north of Nashville, is home to many of Music City’s celebrities and successful entrepreneurs, including one of our clients—a well-known fire and water restoration company.
My friend Kent, the owner, and I were reviewing and updating his company’s quality control systems and adding the necessary prompts to ensure its new wireless hardware and updated MIS software will have minimal input errors when used by its technicians.
These are mandatory updates, as ordered by my client's franchisor, in order to retain certification. Kent was on a tight deadline to implement these new systems, or risk losing a large share of his business. To Kent’s mind, that was “Never Never Land!”
The largest hurdle to overcome was how to ensure the input of correct data.
If one of the company’s technicians entered INCORRECT moisture and drying data, and uploaded that data to corporate headquarters, it could cost thousands of dollars in lost revenue and many hours of lost time trying to make necessary corrections. The good news was, this client company was already ahead of the game with its written Quality Control Checklists for every process. Now all we had to do was minor tweaking.
It was gratifying for me, working out the various prompts with all the technicians and other members of Kent's team, as I had been able to be with them from the beginning of building the company’s Operations Manual/SOPs. After literally hundreds of hours of writing, it felt great to revisit them and see the systems still working as advertised.
However, the real surprise came when Kent and I took a break for lunch and he asked me to read a marketing plan he had developed for his company. I was quickly able to see why he was so energized! His plan has the potential to take his business to a whole new level—and I could easily envision him becoming a top leader in his industry.
Before I could ask the $64,000 question—How was he going to implement the plan?—he said, “Philip, as I was writing my plan, I knew exactly how to implement it. I could envision it actually working because, thanks to you, I now know the power of written systems. I realized that each element of my marketing plan has to be infused in our systems, using a series of prompts to ensure the plan is carried out consistently.”
As I listened to Kent, I thought about all the seminars and conferences companies spend thousands of dollars to attend. Many times owners and managers come away from those events fired up with new ideas and visions of grandeur. However, upon re-entry, back at their respective businesses—as meetings are scheduled to put feet to those new ideas—over time those lofty ideas and plans often fade away into "Never Never Land."
Many of those best laid plans were NEVER written down. I would venture to say, most were NEVER systemized using written prompts that might have ensured all parts of the new plan—every miniscule detail—would be implemented and completed every time, every day, without someone forgetting to do their part.
My client knew exactly how to go about systemization, as he had many systems in place that, with a little tweaking, would ensure his marketing plan had the teeth to take a large bite out of his competition.
I believe Kent’s decision to employ systemization in his company, and his vision to do whatever it takes to complete the journey, will allow his company to reach its full potential—with nary a thought to settle for “Never Never Land.”
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.