All businesses face same challenge
April 12, 2004
Regardless of what business we are in, we will always be challenged with a common task.
That task is to provide product or service better, faster and cheaper.
Look at any business.
It is the same challenge.
From the logging industry to manufacturing cars to computers to television news, always a better mouse trap.
You are in business.
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What makes you think you are immune to the same challenge? You are not.
It will always be the same.
That sameness is actually providing the difference in the “day-to-day” that keeps us going to the shop to open the doors.
Without having a challenge you would have no interest in your business.
As an owner or supervisor, the job of looking for continued improvement to the efficiencies of your operation should be your primary concern.
Computers are a great example to look at.
Even the model we bought last year seems slow to us now.
It runs at 15 to 20 times the speed of our first one and cost us less that half in comparable dollars, yet we are want it to run faster in order that we do not wait so long for those pictures to load, files to open, utilities to be working, etc.
We can now buy power in a computer that if we applied the mathematics logic to the purchase of a car would make a Lexus price out at around $2.
I believe every industry is on the same path.
Spelled out by consumers is the sentiment that they are no longer willing to pay for any industry’s inefficiencies! Consumers are more educated (and protected) than before, also making demands that stretch our abilities.
They make “unreasonable” requests.
I say to you those “unreasonable” requests are going to be the new standard for minimum performance by your business.
It is the business that responds to the marketplace’s requests that will soar above the crowd of competitors.
You should always be on the lookout for people to assist you in growing that business, making it run smoother, developing into a better place to do business for the community you serve.
The people can come from outside your industry or could be as close as one of your suppliers as a network to other workers looking to join a progressive company.
Keep your eyes open for people that have a caring attitude toward others and enroll them into the supporting of your business.
I have a true story for you.
When I arrived into town late one evening, I went to the hotel restaurant.
It was an all-day breakfast/coffee shop.
I felt like having a beer and after ordering one made a request of a server for a lime wedge.
The woman I asked this of was not my server but one of the regular staff, I think filling salt shakers.
After she was gone for what seemed a long time, she returned with a little bowl full of lime wedges.
I asked her what had happened and she informed me that the kitchen was out of limes so she had to go clear across the hotel’s casino (very large) to the bar to get some for me.
I recognized this as someone who would not let anything stand in her way of making the customer happy and subsequently talked to her about a job as customer service rep at one of my client’s businesses.
She interviewed and took the job offer to become their best performer.
You need to be on the lookout for people that can make a contribution because they hold the view that part of their purpose is to help others.
It makes no sense to me as a consultant when I observe companies that get busy in the office then take a fully qualified and productive floor staff member and move them into an office position.
Most of them do not have the disposition and definitely do not have the skill set to do a great job.
Add to that the fact that good technical people are hard to find.
Yet I see many business owners cut their own throats by removing people with this short=term view.
What should happen is people in ownership or supervisory positions should get creative.
How is this for a possible solution? Senior production staff members should be made into mentors to youthful workers teaching them all of the library of knowledge they hold in order that the next generation can do it better, faster and cheaper.
Jay Perry is the founder and chief executive officer of American Business Consultations, a Reno-based consulting firm.