Non-Biased Business Systems
Non-biased business systems enable management to make good decisions without presumption or partiality. Systems are inanimate objects, as they have no predisposition or prejudice.
The kind of business systems I’m talking about don’t know a white person from a black person, a cow from a kangaroo. They don’t know a lazy person from a hardworking, stay-on-the-job type person. Although they do process data that is input by humans, systems have no feelings or prejudgments, regarding data results.
Gut Feelings Can Be Bad Business
Many people will make important decisions based on gut feelings, because they rush to judgment. Well, pardon me for saying, but I think that’s BAD business! Choices made on gut feelings can be costly, because they lack all necessary information. It’s a terrible practice, especially when it concerns someone’s livelihood!
The System Buster Locator System
You may be familiar with a Corrective Action Report or Problem Report, normally associated with ISO or Lean. Our software has a reporting system that we call The System Buster Locator. It’s a system for tracking and identifying problems, errors and all non-conformances in a business. Management administers this system, using a special form, in order to find the root cause of a problem. The form asks for information such as, people involved, time wasted, cost in dollars, etc., and it has saved my company a lot of money over the years!
True Story About Our Non-Biased Business Systems
The first day we were going to use our automated System Buster Locator was very exciting! We were about to measure, in time and dollars, all the waste in our company ... in all departments and by all individual employees.
Logging into our software, I went to the reporting side of the System Buster Locator. I was just about to pull a report on SIX of our operators’ waste and error results for a given period, when I stopped short.
Our production manager was meeting with me, because she needed the information to conduct employee evaluations. We were about to rely on our non-biased business systems for employee evaluation reports.
I said, "Jennifer, before I pull this report, let’s use our gut instincts. Let’s each of us write down who we THINK made the most and least errors." We were surprised that we both thought the same thing about all SIX of our operators. Yes, our list was the same, about who we thought made the most and least errors. Gut feelings!
Shocking Conclusion of True Story
I then pulled our report on all six of the operators, and printed them out. Imagine the look of disbelief and shock on my face when I saw the results! I would have said my “gut feelings” were as good as anybody’s! Now I handed the report to Jennifer, and it was HER turn for 'shock and awe!' At that point, we wondered if we could even trust our System100 software’s report.
“Jennifer, something is wrong,” I said, “There must be a programming error, because this can’t be right!” I asked her to get our hard copies of the System Buster Locators for the same period. “Add them up on your calculator to verify our data. Let’s see what was wrong.” We still had our manual system as backup, until we were certain everything was operating well with the software.
About an hour later, Jennifer returned to my office with her manual report. It confirmed the software’s report. Shocked again!
Jennifer and I learned a valuable lesson that day, as we had both been mistaken in our presumption. We could have made a very bad decision concerning our employees, based solely on our “gut feelings.”
Both of us understand now, that when you are busy operating and growing a business, your decision-making process can be suspect. You can make grave errors in judgment when those distracted decisions aren’t based on non-biased business systems.
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.