We had some executives come in and visit us today from different parts of our company. They’re doing something called benchmarking, a fancy way of saying they want to find out what we do right and how we can improve what’s wrong. They perceive us as doing a lot of things right, which is good. And we, as a small group, do things well that should, and could, be adopted at least company-division wide.
To give you some idea what I’m talking about, the Hydraulics group is one division of our company, which is a diversified industrial manufacturing company. We grow, come up with new stuff, and buy other companies to move into or reposition ourselves in the wider industry/industries in which we compete. We’re considered a global leader in this area of manufacturing. So there’s the overall.
The Hydraulics Group is then subdivided into individual divisions. We, however, are not a manufacturing division. Instead, we’re a cost center, meaning the service we provide to the company doesn’t have its own inherent profit. We therefore carry a charge to cover our costs.
So, some divisions do not want to operate with us in the system, despite the value we add to the process. We provide, as our biggest benefit, a single point of contact for all the customers we service. They can come to us for orders, for information and tracking of orders, for expediting orders, and for returns. We then go to the specific manufacturing divisions to get whatever we can in the way of servicing the customer requests, whether that’s a date of shipment, a proof of delivery, an authorization to return (ATR) number, an expedited order, pushing the order’s due date out if necessary, order cancellations, and so forth.
So this team is coming in to see how we do what we do, so they can develop a benchmark, or a profile of best practices and roadblocks to success, for customer satisfaction and service. One thing which arises as an outcropping of growth and acquisitions is diversified methodol0gies and practices. And that means customers sometimes get caught in the spokes of the wheels of progress.
Our boss put on his best presentation voice and mannerism, and did a lot of talking, but there were nine executives plus his four staff members there today. It became a Q&A session at just over the halfway point. (Most of which, naturally, would have been answered if they’d just shut up and listened.) But my boss played ringleader very well, and did us proud.
Now that this is over, I have projects I have to return to, and commitments I have to make to that end. That means I’m going to be busy as a three-legged cat with diarrhea over the next few weeks, but at least the spit-shine part’s over.
I don’t even get to sleep in tomorrow. I gotta get to the eye doctor for an early morning appointment. I keep promising myself I won’t make them early anymore, but I can only do Saturdays, and the later in the day I make the appointment, the worse the wait, and the bigger portion of my day is spoiled by it. And that’s just the eye doctor. Never mind the real doctor.
So, what’s up for you this weekend? Have a good week so far? Hang in there, it’s Friday, y’all.