Systems for ‘Slobs’
My EPIPHANY? If you want to have a clean and organized office and desk, it must be systemized! It works the same way as using Quality Control Systems to eliminate errors in a company. I went into great detail in my book (“System Busters: How to Stop Them In Your Business”) about how I put the 100-percent System of Cleanliness into every area of our company—every office, every desk, EVERY work area.
About two years ago, while speaking at a Continual Improvement Conference in Lexington, KY, I was able to visit a Toyota manufacturing plant. I was amazed when the tour guide showed us how the facility had implemented the “5S” system—not only in the plant, but at every desk in the production management areas. The company had gotten down even to the smallest details, just as I had done many years earlier.
Toyota actually went a tad farther, by marking or taping squares on desks to indicate where a stapler was to be kept when not in use, consistently! Its staff often work in three shifts, and office workers may share a desk with two or more other people. The marks reminded workers to put things back in place for the next shift—it works.
Now, when some people visit our company they have been known to comment, “Philip must be a clean-freak. How does he keep his office so clean?”
Obviously, they don’t know that I am, as I said, by nature a “slob”—and they have never ridden in my un-systemized SUV with me to get a cup of Starbucks!
The story in that book I told you about at the beginning of this blog had instantly prompted an entire vision for my operation. I wanted to see what a totally systemized business would look like—how it would function and how it would affect our customer service and, particularly, profitability. I had personally never seen such a business, but over the next 10 years, I watched it become a reality all around me. Systemization made all the difference!
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.