By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc.
“Four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past…. the neglected opportunity.” ………….Omar Ibn Al-Halif
Last week, a President began his “Financial Check-in” --- at our CEO Peer Group. His opening comments left the Peer Group’s members --- quiet…..very quiet.
From initiatives, primarily in his Pressrooms --- mostly in the 4th quarter, his company had improved their bottom-line between $600,000 and $700,000 --- with most of that being accomplished --- at one plant (not two, or three plants).
Then he added….that, in looking forward, they now understood --- that they had only scratched the surface --- that they had much more to learn, to implement, to achieve --- than had been demonstrated --- in last year’s 4th quarter.
I am personally grateful for a multitude of issues:
1. He had taken a chance --- based on my credibility with him --- and particularly that of Mr. Ray Prince --- to have his Plant Management --- and Pressroom Managers --- attend our Pressroom Performance Improvement Workshop.
2. He and his team went back, rolled-up their sleeves, and put to work what they initially had learned. (In other words, they didn’t sit on the information --- and let it slowly die…..an indefensible death….of neglect.)
3. He and his team, had begun measuring their improvements --- on a broad, daily basis. Their early achievements….spurred them on.
4. He was willing to share what he and his team were accomplishing --- with his CEO Peer Group.
5. He acknowledged, when I questioned him, that the numbers he shared --- did not include --- “increases in revenue” --- basically produced with little to no labor costs --- resulting from reduced waste --- on a broad front.
6. Those accomplishments --- had been achieved --- without buying new, more productive press equipment. (His capital equipment budget --- is now becoming a reality, not just a “wish list”.)
7. Equally impressive progress--- is expected to be achieved --- on a broad front --- at his other plants. There’s additional progress waiting to be developed --- because this progress opens-up numerous other options --- e.g., for improved “product and customer mix”.
The companies that prosper --- five years from now --- are today --- with enthusiasm and excitement --- breaking their molds of comfort.
If you aren’t improving…..almost every corner of your company, including not just your manufacturing, but also your targeting of customers, and customer markets --- you are in jeopardy.
One of my favorite aphorisms from Dick Vann, founder of PostMark: “Comfortable animals…… get eaten.”
“He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.” ……….William Blake