The National : JULY - AUGUST 2016
18 THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER JULY AUGUST 2016 Are You Looking For Trouble? Are you looking for trouble? There are many phrases that sum up a manager’s job. Among them are these: • Don’t expect what you don’t inspect; • Catch somebody in the act of doing something right; and • Management is getting work done through other people. I like all of those. They are all true. I am, however, especially fond of describing management as “looking for trouble.” It really isn’t the ultimate in pessimism. I like to view it as a perfect example of pro-active management. There are two types of management: pro-active management and re-active management. As a manager in any type of business, you must be proficient at both. Unfortunately, many managers are good at reacting, in fact, so good at it that they have little time left to be pro-active. My tours throughout North America installing my unique procedures are really about implementing pro-active management techniques. The fact that these new procedures are often radical changes, suggests to me that too often plant owners have settled upon the belief that their business can only be one that works with re-active management. Not true. Perhaps a clear explanation of the difference is in order. Re- active management means that you, as the manager, re-act to situations as they present themselves. Example: It is 5:55 pm and a customer comes to the counter to pick-up his order of shirts. You can’t find it! A look in the assembly department and you find the order, incomplete. You are forced to re-act. You then do what needs to be done to make the order ready to go. You may re-wash the missing shirt. You may have to start up the boiler again. Or, you may tell the customer to come back tomorrow. No matter which, you have failed to meet your customer’s expectations. You may have even built up a tolerance to this kind of situation. You may have even forgotten that this scenario means that you have failed to meet your customer’s expectations. If that is the case, it is probably because it happens too often. You have accepted this type of re-active management as a way of life in the drycleaning business. It doesn’t have to be that way. Another example of re-active management is when you have to re-act to a broken piece of equipment. Pro-active management dictates preventative maintenance. Pro- active management is doing things that prevent an undesirable situation from happening in the first place rather than managing to react to it when it does happen - dealing with the situation however effectively. Preventative maintenance is an easy concept to understand when we are talking about equipment: Do this and you attempt to prevent that undesirable equipment failure. Will you succeed in preventing equipment failure all the time? Of course not. In fact, you may never know if taking the time to replenish the oil in those hydraulic checks, or tightening this bolt and screw will ever actually save you time and money and aggravation. Probably nothing will ever occur that will prove to you that topping off that automatic oiler, for instance, saved the day. But you should know, in your heart, that it can only do you good. Being a good re-active manager is being a fire-fighter. There is a bad situation, and you come to the rescue. You can not do without the fire fighter, but it would surely be better to have prevented the fire in the first place, don't you think? www.tailwindsystems.com Don Desrosiers asks ...
APRIL MAY JUNE 2016
SEPT OCT 2016