Profiting At The Bottom Line™

This month’s focus: Not Everyone Wants A Better System

Whether you manage or own a company. You’ll hear many complaints within all levels of business. Whether it be departments, customers, suppliers, or any others. Usually the first thing to be blamed is: “The system.”

There are far too many to list however, here’s just a couple in brevity: Order process is convoluted, shipping doesn’t talk to receiving, salespeople don’t check stock before taking orders, buyers don’t stock what customers want, etc.

All the above are valid. Yet, that doesn’t actually mean they are the defense as to point or lay blame when issues arise. These same issues could very well be helping (yes helping, as well as being exploited by) the very people who complain the loudest about their current inefficiencies.

Case Study:
I was hired by one of the premier companies that both specialized in as well as supplied some of the world’s finest dining establishments in the country. One of my tasks was to reduce the number of order errors. i.e., Customer ordered X, yet received Y, and charged Z. It was for all intents and purposes a monumental task that had been tried many times before me with little to no resolution of note.

I worked on then devised a revamp of the entire ordering and fulfillment process which entailed developing a new order entry process for the company. My innovation worked so well that testing proved it all but eliminated the issue in one fell swoop. So, everybody is happy now correct? Well, not everyone.

All of the sudden the person which complained the loudest about all the earlier misgivings of the original system was now quite loudly proclaiming how this new system was “too hard to understand,” or, “making their customers uneasy,” because of new protocols. This person? The #1 salesperson for the company. Why?

It seemed this person had been exploiting many of the “issues” to their benefit however, or whenever the need arrived. i.e.,
Forgot to enter a customers order?  Say you did, then blame the system.
Customer complains about higher prices? Enter a lower priced (usually out of stock) product then, attach special instructions to fill order with higher priced item at same price. (“After all why should the customer pay for our mistake.” was the often employed alibi) Not to mention the back flips, and somersaults that would be demanded by this person from the company as a whole, as well as other departments for as they would shout, “You screwed up my order, and my customer. Now you go fix it!”

Once the resolved issues with the system became manifest where no one could end run them any longer, the person that complained the loudest as to fix the system, now was shouting they couldn’t work with it or they would lose sales.

Anyone can sell or move product out the door on the cheap. (or worse)
It’s up to you as to make sure you’re #1 because of the profit brought in. Not just the amount of product moved out the door.

You can’t make up a loss with even more losses on volume.

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr

Profiting At The Bottom Line™ is a monthly memo, which is pithy, powerful, and to the point. It focuses on innovative techniques and or ideas that you can put to work immediately in your daily or business life.