By Mark Porter
As the old saying goes "When life gives you lemons make lemonade". This can be applied to the daily problems you encounter in your business.
Documenting and recording problems provides several benefits to your company and you can actually turn problems around to strengthen relationships with customers, vendors, employees and improve operating procedures.
Providing employees easy entry of information such as Job Number, Customer, Vendor, Employee, Department, Problem Type (Paper, MR, etc), Quantity effected, Problem Description, Problem Solution etc allows you to sort and analyze problems which can provide many benefits such as:
Don't Make The Same Mistake Twice
Becomes a Database of Problems and Solutions
Improve Relationships With Customer/Vendors/Employees
Documenting Problems Minimizes Damage
1. Don't Make The Same Mistake Twice
Another old saying goes "Your not stupid for making a mistake just for making the same mistake twice."
By recording problems against jobs you can be immediately notified when re quoting or rerunning that job of the issues incurred last time. At the estimate stage it allows you to re quote the job based on the previous information or at Order Entry you have the option to not proceed with the job if the customer is not willing to incur the extra costs this time around.
2. Becomes a Database of Problems and Solutions
Recording problems and solutions builds a knowledge base that can be accessed by employees in the future. By entering the problems with data such as department, problem type employee etc allows us to shorten the solution time to similar problems in the future.
Combine this with the ability to add video and images of the problems/solutions to the database and you can learn from your previous mistakes.
3. Improve Relationships With Customer/Vendors/Employees
Generate a list of problems you have with good customers each quarter and then discuss those issues and offer solutions with the customer. Continually refining the working relationship between your company and customers allows you to produce higher quality, better priced and better serviced products for them. This strengthens the bond with that customer ensuring it takes a bigger mistake or price difference for them to take their business elsewhere.
The same logic applies to vendors and employees. By discussing issues with people you strengthen the working relationships to the betterment of your company.
Trends can be seen with employees and certain operations. Say an employee is always having problems with MR a certain product. Additional training can be provided. Trends with Vendor materials continually causing problems can be identified and rectified.
4. Documenting Problems Minimizes Damage
If nothing else documenting problems can save money and relationships in the event of disputes. The more documentation you have the more you reinforce your position to the other party in a constructive and articulate way. This can reduce or eliminate your liability and open the possibility to future business.
So next time you make mistake make your company stronger for the experience