Sunday, March 23, 2008

Small changes

Making small changes seems to make bigger things happen. That is what apparently creates a climate for adaptation and for new ideas about how we manage.

This year, the small changes included efficiency. We have started on an improved operations manual and decided to do a few little things to make operations go better. I see the differences in the way we handle work now and also see where we have to go in order to stay current and continue to be competitive in the embroidery industry.

Funny thing about the business these days is that we have to focus more on speed and fast turnaround and less on bidding for large jobs.

Business in the U.S. these days has to remain competitive but price doesn't seem to be as big an issue as speed, quality and quality delivery. We do have to be reasonable with price, of course, and certainly want to stay within the range of charges that other embroiderers charge but our primary desire is to do each job perfectly and send it out on time. One of the primary statements we have made to our operators is that we do a hundred thirty thousand pieces a year... one at a time.

The change, though, has been a progression to steadily smaller jobs. A recent statistical summary of work for one of our customers revealed that out of 583 purchase orders, the largest single job was for 240 pieces. Fully 75% of all of the jobs entailed less than six pieces. What a realization!

Retooling is not always an option but we have changed our direction as a result of the statistics. Our staff has taken to them readily and one might think that we've always been doing this sort of work.

More about that later. For now, a pleasant week and Happy Easter holiday to all.
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