How Do You Check Up On Your Company?

It’s tough to see something, anything, looking from the inside out. Getting a true overview requires a clear idea of what you are looking for, as well as a method to confirm your observations.

All sorts of thoughts here… what does this mean to a glass company today? If you sit at your desk or get up and wander through the shop, or go to job sites, you can never get a true picture of your company. People change their styles when the boss is around. (If you have watched the TV show “Undercover Boss,” you know what I mean.)

Next time you are out of the office, call in, put a handkerchief over the phone, and ask to speak to yourself. See how easy it is to get to your voicemail, or to leave an actual message with a live person. You want someone to say, “The boss is unavailable, can someone else help you?” As opposed to, “Hold on,” and then it goes to your voicemail.

Better yet, ask a friend to call, briefing him ahead of time about getting a quotation on something simple, like replacing a 34-by-76-inch fogged IG unit. Have your friend ask questions about pricing, different types of glass available, “what is low-E?” and how quickly this can be done. Ask about a warranty on the work, and can this replacement be done on a Saturday so he doesn’t have to take a day off from work?  If you don’t install on Saturday, and suddenly you get an answer that says this can be done, you know you have people moonlighting, probably taking the patio door unit from your own stock! 

Have your friend call twice, once during non-lunch hours, and the other time when a different person will be answering the phone. You may have a cracker-jack person on the phones, but at lunch time, the second team might not be as good.

What about the ethics of “spying” on your own people? You are not doing this to play a game with them. You are looking to improve their training and to check that your systems are working. If you have someone that you think is doing a poor job, then work with and improve him or her. If your receptionist is weak, then train them. Don’t mention that you had his work checked by your friend. Just start a training plan to improve things.

More on this in my next blog, including hiring professional companies to visit your shop and do secret shopper campaigns.


A Very Well-Deserved Pat on the Back

Okay, I am starting from a prejudiced position. No doubt about it. Nonetheless, I want you to read this blog and know that it is all true and my prejudices are not showing up here.  Prejudices can be both good and bad; this is one of the good ones.  You see, Key Communications is very near and dear to my heart–a fact of which I am very proud.

By now you have read the 50th-anniversary issue and learned about the history of Key Communications, the publisher of USGlass.  You have learned that Deb Levy invested everything she had in reinvigorating this oh-so-important magazine for our trade.  Deb is mild-mannered, very polite and genteel.  But she is a true entrepreneur.  She has taken many risks to bring needed information to our industry and to grow her company.   

Yes, it’s her company, but we all feel it’s ours, too.  All of the writers, bloggers and contributors feel this is our company.  The editors of the various magazines all feel it is our company.  Everyone connected with USGlass and its sister publications feel it is our company.  This week, in Atlanta for the GlassBuild show, Deb and her team are celebrating the 50th anniversary of USGlass.  I can’t make it there this time and I just wanted to publicly share my thoughts about our company.  

Congratulations to everyone at Key Communications.  You deserve it.