The Post-it® Notes System
We discovered that Judy's new purchasing agent from the main office had not been sending us the purchase orders she had been receiving from the various locations.
Fact was, the new purchasing agent was letting all those purchase orders stack up on her desk, and to cover herself, she had changed the dates on the orders to make it appear that our company was at fault for missing delivery dates. So, I called Judy and arranged a meeting to show her evidence of the changed—actually forged—purchase orders and to discuss many other issues that had been problematic lately.
We had never had such a problem with non-conformances, as by that time we were a systemized company with 99.7 percent on-time delivery. Our rework ratio was a pretty consistent 1.5 percent or less, which could be proven through our System Buster system that tracks ALL non-conformances and how we fix them permanently.
When I arrived at the meeting and walked into Judy's office I was stunned. I'm sure my shock was all over my face, and I couldn't stop scanning the room in disbelief.
I had been in this office several times when Barbra was in charge and, unlike Judy, she had always kept it immaculate. Now it looked like the aftermath of a hand grenade loaded with various colored Post-it® notes. The walls, Judy's desk and computer were covered in them, like a bad attempt at wallpapering.
I had never seen anything like this before, and I've seen some pretty chaotic offices in my time. In fact, I write in my book "System Busters" about my own cluttered office, years ago, and how I had finally found the cure for all that, using the power of systems and implementing what I call the "100% System of Cleanliness."
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.