April 5, 2009

Do You Have Your Opening Day Program Set?

By Paul Bieber

Play Ball!

In the spring, probably the two greatest words in the English language. Yes I am predictable, so what, this is still my blog! Six weeks of spring training, watching the old pros and the rookies. Who is going to make it? Practicing the throws from third base and short. Lots of practice goes into the start of business on opening day. Why can’t a glass company run like this?

Well, it can.

What plans have you made to improve your company? What have you done to improve your players? What trades have you made?

You are missing a great opportunity to upgrade your staff. There are a lot of great people out of work–through no fault of their own. Put an ad in the paper…see what you draw…I am very sure you will upgrade your staff. How do you do this without upsetting your current people? You get rid of the dead wood hanging around, delete the weak players on your team. Place the ad, then hire great people for the upcoming season.

Do the veterans on your team work out with the rookies? It is quiet now, so you have time to set up teaching teams. Give each vet/rookie team an assignment to create something out of your scrap metal and cutoffs. Maybe build a miniature airplane, or boat; something that takes care and patience in cutting and forming metal.

Practice loading trucks, knocking minutes off the time it takes to leave the shop each morning…maybe look at the layout of your shop to see where there are bottlenecks in your work flow.

Have a veteran/rookie team look at all of your scrap and your cutoffs. Have the veteran explain what each type of product is, how it is used, and then they make a joint decision to keep it or to scrap it.

Do you have a new product you are going to start working with? Now is the time to create a test installation out of the scrap in your yard using the new product and getting used to it.

Even the $20 million dollar ball players need to practice. Give your workers the opportunity, and fact require your workers to practice on new products before the first time they see it on a job site. Avoiding the errors with strong practice sessions will create a stronger and more profitable glass company.

This blog is about as ‘corny’ as can be…but it is correct. Practice…practice writing up orders for shower doors, practice perfect caulking beads, practice measuring tough out-of-square pieces, practice giving customer service. It is the only way to become a champion, on the ball field, or the glass industry.