Systems that Really Rock
Is any of this beginning to sound vaguely familiar (Mr./Ms. Business Owner)?
Philip, what about the systems?
OK, then! One night, while driving home from one of those “glamorous” gigs (a frat house party in the un-air-conditioned basement of Mississippi State where many funsters spilled beer all over us and our equipment) as the rest of the “rock stars” snoozed in the back of the van, I did a lot of thinking!
I decided to call a meeting with the band the next Monday to resolve some of the issues we were having. A BIG one, of course, was the setting up and tearing down the equipment at each job.
Before the meeting, I made a detailed list of every piece of equipment we had, including things as small as an extension cord. After typing out my list, even down to detailing how things were packed and stored in the trailer, I made a few carbon copies on my 1970s IBM Selectric typewriter. Then I took the list and divided it up into five different lists, one for each band member. Each list included the items or equipment each member would be responsible for setting up and tearing down at our shows. I thought to add more items to my own list to prevent any arguments.
Aha, the real Philip is beginning to emerge—systems even for rock ’n’ roll!
At our meeting, I handed the lists out after a short speech on how, “If we work in a systematic fashion, we could tear down the equipment in half the time, and no one will be left pulling most of the load.”
They all agreed and, with a little tweaking, I distributed new lists at our very next show. Even I was amazed at how well it worked—we really did cut the time in half we spent handling our equipment. The band actually started getting along, and we even played better together. We had little turnover of members for the next decade, my credibility as bandleader went up, and we rock ’n’ rolled until 1988.
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.