Action Plans Start Here with a Question

Strategic plans aside, we’re “sheltering-in-place.”  How is your business going to function without you there?  How will you get restarted?  How will you build back? 

I have so many questions that are going mostly unanswered by the news.  We are so entrenched in the today that no one seems to be looking out.  Looking down has never been the answer for success.  Great leaders never spent their time in the here-and-now. 

We at CIMx want to be the voice of hope and help for those people that are also unsure.  We want to give you some things to think about and do while you’re work from home or even just struggling with others being gone.  For any of you who are going into sheltering in the next 24 hours or few days, we want to provide the right reading for you to be working on moving ahead. 

Today, we’re starting with some basic questions for you about your business.  When you think about what’s going on today and especially if you are shut down right now, what is the plan for you to restart?  Have you built one yet? 

I’m not talking just machines.  Let’s consider people, too.  Whatever your role in the business, what can you or should you do to move the needle right now for when you return, whether that be returning to the office or returning to work altogether?  Do you know your key purpose?  Why you are hired to do what you do? 

Let’s break this down a little further. 

Consider your role in your company separate from location.  So many of us see ourselves in our roles where they typically take place.  At a desk, a work center or an area.  Walking or sitting.  Moving or staying mostly lethargic.  What if you removed location from the equation altogether?  Think about how your role would change.

Over the last few years, I have been travelling heavily.  I was gone more than a week a month for months on end.  My role in the company wasn’t built around the “travelling consultant” model and it was difficult to predict when I was going to be in the office with enough time to really dig into something.  I had to find a way to make things happen when I wasn’t there.  Location proved to be more important for some things than for others and it became easier to prioritize what to work on depending on where I was.  

This is an important consideration when we think about moving ahead in the days to come.  I’m currently sitting at my kitchen counter writing this.  We went completely remote a week ago and area finding connecting through online tools very helpful.  Our entire team picked up with Slack and Zoom and other precious online tools so quickly as we had built a plan long ago for how to work through change. 

So, consider what you do for your team and your company.  What are the top 3 things that you are responsible for?  I usually bucket these into one of 7 categories, according to the 7 Domains of a good business model by John Mullins that I’ll go through later, but here’s a few questions I might ask. 

  • What role do I play in making the product we sell?
  • What do I do to provide revenue to the business?
  • How do I talk about our product to others?
  • How do I or can I support the team?

I’m always curious, too, about how what I know about my competitors and my customers.  I want to know all I can because having good data helps you to make good decisions.  Better data means, well, better decisions. 

Think about these questions in terms of the role that you currently serve, assuming you were on-site and working a normal load.  Think about how they can or did change due to the current events in the world.  This is the first step in being exceptionally productive during this time of change and crisis. 

 

In 2020, we are rolling out meaningful tools for manufacturers that are affordable, on-target and competitive.  We are also expanding our educational offerings.      

We believe in the critical importance of manufacturing right here in North America and we work hard to keep you working.  Ask us questions; you will find that we are far more reachable than other software providers you may partner with.  We are here to help you find the right tools and use them, whether it's a Google doc, an Excel sheet or a Production Control system.  To learn more about meeting your targets for 2020 or just getting a question answered, visit us at www.cimx.com.

 

ASK THE EXPERTS 

 

Topics: What is Paperless Manufacturing?, How can software improve manufacturing quality?, How is MES different than ERP and other software?, What is Smart Manufacturing?, How does software motivate process improvements?, How can you implement paperless manufacturing?

Written by Kristin McLane