When you are attempting to keep happy customers, happy employees, happy banker, paying your bills and then add the challenge of making positive changes. By Gary Shotton #000161
Challenge Of Change
By Gary Shotton
Hello, my name is Gary Shotton and I’m here hopefully to “Inspire Better Business” and we are glad you are a part of this global enterprises, global effort to even reach out to developing nations, to help with messages that would help them become self-sufficient. Today, I’m going to talk about the ‘Challenge of Change’ and I’m going to talk to almost everybody that runs a small or mid-sized business has a real challenge to make changes. I know that I, know from experience. I’m going to talk about the things that I must do or have moved into, now being able to move our company and make changes. I hope you will stick with me on that. Now the big issue that we have got too looked at, is this question, “how do I make my business run smoothly?” Some people had toured my shop, this shop right here. I’m recording this at night because there is no noise, but in the daytime, we have some 50 workers on the day shift. We have another seven or eight or nine workers on the night shift. So, how does this run so smoothly? It’s not perfect, but how do you not worry about it in the middle of the night? How do you keep from making a trade off from the business taking over your personal life? time with your spouse, time with your children. These are battles that every single company that is a smaller or mid-sized company that I know must face, and fight and figure out the answer to I’m not perfect. I have done a lot of things that I wish I could do over again.
I have learned from my mistakes and I’m still learning. So I’m not giving you the impression that I’m perfect in this. I’m still learning. You see all of us face, in my opinion, three full time jobs. When you come to work you have three full time jobs, for sure. You have one full time job, if you’re not careful, of being the main person to take care of the customer. Taking care of the product and get the product out, whatever it is. Let’s say, a hair salon, butcher shop, a tire repair, dog grooming, a restaurant. We have that challenge of taking care of the customer, that’s so very important. So, a happy customer, they’re coming back. So that’s really a full-time job. We normally have enough things happening that we have a pretty full-time job just dealing with problems. The machine just broke down, somebody didn’t show up for work, something didn’t go as planned, we got a delay. We got started a little late, so it’s almost a full-time job just taking care of problems. And then add the third job that I’m suggesting. You’ve got to be changing. You must be improving systems and making changes and making progress. How does this work? How can you do all that? I’m already tired, I already go home late. I have done all of that, I have done what I’m talking about, in a negative way. And I’m trying now to come to some level of success now that I own a machine shop. I’m a little older now and I have gained some experience. You might be surprised that I’m not at work but about 10 to 12 hours a week. When I used to be 12 to 14 hours a day. A big difference now at 10 to 12 hours a week. I used to not be able to take time off and if I did, I just take off for a long weekend or when we had a holiday and be very careful when I’m gone. But now, I’m going to be gone next month for 15 days solid/straight, I’m not going to have to check in on every move. They’re not going to need to call me. I’m going to be in a foreign country, and I do that three or four times a year. I’m going to gone at least ten days for three or four times a year. I’m not bragging I’m just saying I have gotten to the point. I have come through some of this, and now I have mastered some of it but still learning. You see, part of this comes from me being focused on creating systems. Processes and systems, if you go to any fast food restaurant or any on a box store like a hardware store that’s nationwide or lumber company that this nationwide, they all must have processes. The bank must have a process. They have a software and they are constantly, learning constantly improving. Driving your skill sets down to some software that’s available to almost every industry is one of the keys for us. When that software kind of becomes like a boss in the sense that we are learning how to use it and it’s all inclusive it brings all aspects of the business into one software. In our case, it brings the quality and how we do quality into that process. The way we buy materials, it’s inside that software. The way we organize the quotes starts with the process. You get the quote and that creates a router through the shop to make the parts. The parts get through the shop because it has the right price at the end. Invoicing is correct at the end if it starts right. If anything in that process gets goofs up then, we have a problem at the end. Shipping has its process. We are always documenting; we’re creating work instructions as a process in their systems. And then there’s work instructions. If somebody is doing something specific, a task, it is worth it to write it down. We have them write it down, we don’t write it for them. We’ve created a system so that a part of your job includes writing down your process, with some guidance, with some direction from us. Then we become now have a system of work instructions. You see, one of the things that you have got to do is be able to train your replacement, because when you’re gone somebody has to be able to do the job that you normally do.
We can’t say, “we can’t make that part because the guy that normally does that part is on vacation”. What do you think your customer is going to say if I tell them that?”. Well, that’s what I hear sometimes when I call some places. And I’m thinking, my goodness they are not any better company than that? We must give everyone in the company all the information they need to make a good decision. I’ve said this for years, “you know, we have intelligent, dedicated, and skilled workers at every position we have”. The one thing that’s missing a lot of times is we didn’t give them all the tools, or we didn’t give them all the information. They want to do a good job. They want to improve the company. They want to make things better. But we are holding them back. I’ve seen this with second generation. I have a situation where I’ve seen very clearly where an older gentleman maybe even older than I am has been in their business for thirty years. Now the son wants to take over. Well the older gentleman that is my age is holding back progress. Because they’re always saying, “well this is way we’ve always done it.” Son says, “but Dad, there’s new technology.” Dad says, “well I don’t feel comfortable with that” Well dad we need to do things this some different ways. So, there’s some giving up of the leadership. Some of the freedom for people to have the right tools, the right instruments. It could be computers; it could be measuring devices in our case. I buy good equipment and then give my guys all the information they need. So, our data system set every drawing is accessible at every computer in the shop. Every person in the company has anything needed to do their job, we work hard at getting the paper, documents, and the information to them in a timely manner. They don’t have to wait, and they will make a good decision. They will make a better decision than, I try to get involved and tell them what to do. Never point to this and start making people’s decisions for them. Teach them how to make good decisions, you know, one of my problems is that I am an addict. I’m addicted too micromanaging. And part of plan for me being away from work is to counter the addiction I have of giving somebody a task and then coming over the top of them, and then start to micromanage what they’re doing. That will destroy the person working for you. If you get the kind of person you really want, if you micromanage them, they’re going to hit the door. Maybe not immediately sometime because they will get tired of it. I try not to do that and part of my remedy is just be gone. I didn’t know I was doing it and yet I could see the results. There are certain things of course you don’t give everyone access to, your accounting, and other information that is private. That is only for you. Just, everything that they need to do their job. Well, I hope this helps, I hope you’re inspired by these talks. And please share them with others. We appreciate it very much!!
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