The Post-it® Notes System
While Judy and I were discussing those pesky non-conformances, I showed her the original purchase orders with the CORRECT dates, and asked why the dates had been changed on her copies. I offered solutions to fix the problem that would take little effort. But, Judy seemed rigid and unable to recognize that, with just a few tweaks to their systems, we both could avoid all these problems, and she wouldn't be getting panic calls from her location managers—something that rarely happened with Barbra.
Apparently, Judy had joined that company hoping to bring her own print vendors with her, and I soon realized that she was looking to find fault with my company.
It was clear, our company wouldn't be her print vendor much longer, and I was getting nowhere offering suggestions for any improvements to their purchasing system. So, what did I have to lose, asking her about all those Post-it® notes?
Judy made it clear, that what I was looking at was HER system for having everything she needed to remember, posted all around her where she wouldn't forget anything. How do you argue with logic like that?
What was the result of Judy's Post-it® notes system?
The BAD NEWS was...we LOST a very good account—and I found out later, Judy had also LOST her job. A "LOSE LOSE" for all of us!
The GOOD NEWS for us? Barbra—having come to know the value of quality control systems—brought our company along with her to her new job.
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.