September 20, 2016

How Computer Solitaire is Hurting Your Business

By Paul Bieber

It only takes three or four minutes. What’s wrong with that?

It is not gambling, so no one gets hurt.

Some folks need a break during their day to help focus during real work time.

If these thoughts are all true, then playing computer solitaire at work will actually improve a glass company’s work output. You betcha. Playing solitaire is like eating a potato chip … you can’t stop with one. That three or four minutes becomes six or eight minutes. And twice a day, or more, and you have a serious misuse of time.

If one of your glaziers, or someone in your shop wanted to take fifteen minutes a day, outside of their normal break times, would you allow it? No way.

What makes it OK for an office worker with a computer to take this time?  Not a darn thing.  It is up to leadership to prevent this.  Not by becoming the computer police either.  All you have to do is create a work list for your office people.  The best one of all is to go through the yellow pages for your area and call every single company and offer your services whenever they might need glass.  Follow that up with a personal note, along with a magnet or sticker or scratch pads with your name and number.  You will be amazed when a customer calls for a repair or an upgrade to their storefront and they called you because your team had called them a month earlier.

Make sure your showroom is eat-off-the-floor perfectly clean.  Fifteen minutes with a can of glass cleaner is better than fifteen minutes with solitaire. 

Call every customer you have done business with in the last year, asking if everything is right with your work and possibly do they need more work done.  This is in addition to calling every customer from yesterday and asking if everything was done to their satisfaction.

For your staff that isn’t in a customer contact position, design a work program that fits.  Your accounts receivable person can make sure you have a current resale certificate on file for each customer.  Make sure all contact information is correct in your records; plan a one day a month visit to major customers, along with their sales rep or follow-up with each COD customer and find out if their credit record has improved enough to earn an open account with you.

For your estimators, have them go over every new Dodge report looking for prospective work.  Let them call on the contractors in your area on a regular basis to find new work.  An estimator can speak with greater job-spec knowledge than anyone else in your company.

So, you get the hint.  Give appropriate work to everyone, and your will solitaire usage go down.

P.S.  I was sitting at my desk trying to come up with a topic for this week’s blog, and was playing solitaire to kill the time between ideas.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.