Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just A Little Extra

Being in an economic slowdown gives us all a new opportunity to do more. It seems that most, if not all, parts of the economy are experiencing some sort of slow down. We are now seeing it in our small part of the universe. Through the first ten months of the year, numbers were good. November was a soft month. December is a little better, but not great. What does this mean for a company with ten outside sales people?

If each of our sales people is able to add one or two medium jobs a week, then we are back on track. That is well within the scope of our sales force. The amount of quoting is steady, so the business is there.

I'm sure this is true in many industries and parts of the country. Just a little extra effort each day will bring the level of business back to a point of sustainability. It's time to quit listening to the news and use that time to look for and land new business.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lean Transformation

We are now in the fifth month of our Lean Manufacturing transition. The more we get into the process, the more we realize what needs to be done. The amazing part of Lean is that the more you do the more you realize what can be done.

This week we started a process of leaning out online ordering for storefronts. The number of steps was cut by two thirds and the number of minutes to process an order was cut in half. And the amazing part is that this is the first effort at leaning out this process. When a group of people attacks a problem, amazing things can be done.

I am looking forward to seeing what we are able to do in the first full year of this process and for many years to come.