• Cut the cr*p!

    Posted by David Hammond on November 23, 2023 at 6:27 pm

    13 years I’ve been in the industry, and I’m forever trying to improve how we do business. Over more recent years I’ve developed processes to help keep control of things, and overcome some recurring issues.

    Yesterday saw me give a customer their deposit back, after missing deadlines for the artwork to be approved, and deposit to be paid, meaning there wasn’t time to produce the graphics for the provisional installation date.

    As always, everything was in emails, with dates and time frames given, and nothing is confirmed until both a deposit and artwork approved, evidently that’s been overlooked by them (somehow it’s my fault).

    So how do I stop it occurring again?

    The penny dropped last night, cut some of the crap and fluff.

    Rather than including such important information within general emails, in the hope that everyone reads them – I’ve dropped all of the BS.

    Important information is sent in it’s own email.
    No Name, no introduction, no pleasantries, just what needs to be communicated as clearly as possible.

    Something that happens in the military, and even with your road tax, TV licence, etc.

    The proof is in the pudding, in place of that job, I have 3 vans a grab truck to sign up for a fleet customer, who early on we had friction as they resisted our way of working… Before finally realising we know what we’re doing and haven’t let them down. They got offered their signage as part of a finance deal on their new vans, but declined as they didn’t trust them to do it right.

    Going into the new year, I’d encourage others to standardise how they do things, set rules, or criteria, and adhere to them, it genuinely has been the best thing we’ve done.

    David Hammond replied 4 months, 2 weeks ago 4 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Duncan Wilkie

    November 23, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    A step toward freedom. Set your terms. Fulfill your end. Move on.

  • Robert Lambie

    November 27, 2023 at 8:12 am

    Hi David

    I agree with you 100%, Standardisation of all your business processes is the only way, mate.
    Companies that have been in business for multiple years generally have standard practices they follow but are “never documented” with specific must-do bullet points.
    These practices should be reviewed as part of a standard process and updated with “improvements”, if possible.
    When you start a new employee, training them and giving them a copy of the company processes to follow daily, helps with even their employment tasks and processes they must follow.

    This is a HUGE subject and each and every thing you do daily can fall into the standardising process. but obviously, first, the general tasks of dealing with a customer, gathering their details through to van graphics installed and them signing a confirmation sheet ticking their happy etc is a priority to get right.

    The whole standardising and documenting of your processes is basically what obtaining a BSi ISO9001 certification is all about. It can be a long-winded process, but I personally wouldn’t be without it now. Although we have been using our own standardised process via our own job system for over 15 years now, we have only been ISO9001 certified for about 8 or 9 years, and now in the process of gaining our ISO14001.

    One thing many companies overlook with regard to different certifications is that the big companies will not consider using you if you do not have them.

    Anyway, its good to see you are taking it seriously, David. It will pay off in the long run mate.

  • Colin Crabb

    November 27, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    yup, important emails separate eg: proof copies / production times.

    Helps with customer service, and just looks good imo.

    ISO’s – we could get them, but haven’t ‘got round to it’ as we deal with multinationals already, and they like our personal customer service & quality above anything else, and tbh never been asked apart from IPO data certificate that we hold.

    • David Hammond

      November 27, 2023 at 5:20 pm

      Ditto, work with some big companies who are happy with the service we deliver.

      I’m sure many smaller companies don’t think they’ll see the point or benefit in standardising things, but it makes life much easier.

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