SUGGESTIONS OF WHAT YOU MIGHT CONSIDER FOR YOUR BUSINESS – #98

For thirteen weeks I have been isolated to my apartment/ office and limited to walks in the rose garden. Our staff has had no access to our building during this time.  If you talk to the 200 people that live in this building, majority over 65 years old, you see the criticism of management growing day-by-day without recognition of the fact that we have had no illnesses with Covid19 up to now. I am glad to be alive and healthy and I hate to see what is happening to our country during this time. Therefore, I decided to utilize the time to develop some short/long-term  goals for our business that we are glad to share with you as follows.

  1. Create a feeling of doing things for employees that will provide security, meet their requirements, and a very high degree of transparency. If you don’t, your burden of recruiting will affect your business as millennia’s will have more lucrative offers to match their expectations. As I learned in Alaska – the lead Dog has the best spot in the race – be the leader.
  2. Develop reliable suppliers – no More than 50% of orders for key supplies that sustain your main revenue generators. I once obtained a $2.5MM ORDER FROM WALMART. We were pursuing the other 50% of the order in vain, they never backed away from their basic rule. Capable, reliable, quality, service and support are words that should apply to the alternate suppliers and keep your business with
  3. Planning, Planning, Planning should be at the top of YOUR Management’s list of ongoing priorities. Planning at every functional level to insure all “BEST OF THE BEST” get heard and have their inputs. Please check the previous BLOGS for planning suggestions. Have the Managers do 6 month plan and then start on the 2021 Plan.
  4. Let the numbers crunchers do their work – have them help you – the budget is their responsibility. The days of adding an estimated figure to the YTD ending and project number – are over. You start with zero on every line and build from there. Accounting to supply each function, division or department with a 13-week cash flow statement. If you can’t supply a 13-week statement, you have problems. Put a big Red circle around that unit. Those folks who don’t have any income, have expenses – list them.
  5. Build up HR – transfer or fire marginal employees and replace with qualified HR employees. HR must be seen as the most important department in your business by the employees. Work is someplace the employee spends 1/3 of their lives – treat them right. Anticipate Covid-19 outbreaks or what would happen if employees stopped working and be ready for bouts of absenteeism which could become common events.
  6. Don’t cutout identified projects, and instead, allocate proper funding – monitor progress.
  7. Promote from within – HR to post and advertise. HR set up developmental and experience file for each employee. People hiring have to consider employed candidates first. All documents regarding existing employees should be accessible to employee and HR only. Special abilities such as education, international living and language capabilities should be listed.
  8. Treat employees well and right at all times and HR has to concentrate on building trust in all areas of the firm. Especially if temporary layoffs take place – stay in contact during this period – will help in the rehiring process- talented good people should be available if HR handles it well and stays in contact with layoffs
  9. Watch for employee misconduct such as devious activities, drugs etc.. Take corrective action immediately after identifying the deviation – which simply gets worst if not corrected.
  10. Make sure you are complying with all rules that State and Federal agencies are introducing daily.
  11. Constantly Increase transparency through installation electronic screens which show attainment of daily, weekly and monthly production goals.Use numbers but if you can show charts, it makes communication immediately transparent. Nashua Paper Company had paper charts showing all key numbers relating to the manufacturing floor. The Production Manager indicated that having numbers and charts posted, increased production significantly. I adopted the placement of boards immediately to my consulting activities.  On a recent consulting assignment, I was thanked for production increases, – but the question asked –can we use these same electronic boards to inform all employees of significant events such as birthdays etc., and an organizational chart that shows the Customer at the top, with the CEO & Chairman at the bottom of the chart pushing all the employees upward to serve all the CUSTOMERS. When you have hundreds of employees not knowing who they serve, the easiest way to remind them is the electronic board. Transparency at its “Best”. Post electronic boards in areas where traffic and visibility are high. Can you imagine showing the Customer that you care through electronic boards? It has to make a positive impression!!
  12. Have HR concentrate on classes during lunch and schedule them at 4:35PM to have the employer donating some time towards the employees success. The chances are, that most employees are winding up their day  (4:30 – 5:00PM) and would be interested in after work classes.  Also, utilize every source such as newsletters, specialty classes, speakers, P.R. sources etc. to post company, employee and other key info that employees will appreciate due to limited time constraints.
  13. Solve supply chain dependency problems by giving 50% of the order to a secondary supplier.This procedure assures an intact supply chain for those items that contribute to sustainability and profitability of certain products. You either adopt this policy or not.  There is no being half-pregnant on this anti-disruption policy.  We were fortunate to sell $2.5mm of shredders to Walmart which translated to a large shredder in each of their 5000+ stores. They only ordered 2500 shredders, no matter how hard we tried, “rules are rules”.
  14. Marketing to submit a new plan for remaining of 2020 and then focus on a plan for 2021. With all the changes taking place, and this being an election year, we’re all going to experience changes. One of the big changes and decisions is whether to have Direct, Indirect orE-commerce distribution channels? Can we maintain all three channels or any combination of these? Why not International – be careful here? If you are not distributing in any one of these channels, a total channel review should be started.
  15. The major changes in planning will take place in the way you approach the subject.More than 60% of businesses employ the theory of narrative fallacy in their planning efforts. relying too much on the story to explain a conclusion and may be missing data or information. Therefore, this initial meeting sets the stage for each department to develop a sound plan for their function. You will have to get together and determine what data you will need and avoid the situation that you might have too much data for an effective plan. Don’t treat this area lightly, because data will be the foundation that will guarantee the ability to experience growth. The era of data is here.
  16. Set up defensive tools against “cyber-attacks” that threaten your remote workforces. Install a program to remind them, that the WI-FI passwords require multi-factor authenticators. This will and should be a new responsibility of HR.
  17. Have all policies affecting the liability of the business and employees reviewed to make sure that they are up to date.

We could go on for hours, but I would like to make one last suggestion: please hire two individuals whose sole job will be to clean all the bathrooms on an hourly basis. This action will provide a secure feeling to all employees in this era of hand washing and other pandemics that will be amongst us for years to come. If McDonalds could become a leading company in the U.S., I’ll attribute some of that rapid growth to keeping the bathrooms clean. The customers and the employees could always turn to a McDonald’s clean bathroom.