Date: October 7, 1999
From: "Bob At Laine Grant" <LaineGrant@aol.com>
Subject: Re: AMS-Forum Why didn't we think of that?
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Here's an example of what you are talking about. I was doing some consulting work with an owner who told me that he had his office staff expenses well under control. He pointed out that his bookkeeper made $9.50 an hour and had been with him for 12 years. He was proud of these facts. After working inside with his staff for several days, it became obvious that there were numerous problems killing his cash flow including a severe accounts receivable problem. At the root of the problem? The $9.50/hr employeee who was constantly behind in all aspects of her work - and who kept such a complicated system, antiquated manual system that she used it as a shield to keep questions to a minimum. She had learned how to keep the owner happy by jumping on whatever "hot" issues he brought to her, but that was it - everything else was on a "I'll get to it when I get to it" basis. Plus she was the top gossip in the office, and very rude to customers as well (she covered the phones during lunch). My report concluded that he was loosing $4,000 a month at her desk alone. (Who knows how many customers took their business elsewhere after talking to her on the phone). I said he should spend an extra $1,000 a month and get a decent person in that job, which would net him $3k in profit. He could pay the base salary of the sales rep he wanted to hire with the remainder.
Turnover is a major factor in most moving companies I work with. Often, those leaving are simply moving on to another moving company. This goes for inside as well as outside people. If you are paying relatively low wages to your inside people, and they stay, in this strong economy, you might be mistaking loyalty for complacency. In a competitive marketplace, complacency kills you. You need people that want to contribute at every level of your company. I'm not saying fire the veterans, but I am saying fire them up and find ways to let them contribute to making the changes that every organization needs to have in an on-going plan for improvement.
Bob at LGC
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