February 15, 2022

Happy Valentine’s Day to My Wonderful Readers

By Paul Bieber

You see, timing is everything. The old expression, “A day late and a dollar short,” comes to mind. It seems that I keep sending holiday and birthday greetings late. If you ask the very forgiving editors at USGlass magazine, my article submission on-time score has set a new record for being late.

So, what the heck does that matter to you, dear reader? It matters a lot. You know you have to submit quotes by a deadline or pay certain bills on time, often at the expense of paying others late. So, what is this column about then?

I had a medical device delivery the other day, and it needed a professional person to be here for usage direction. She called five days before delivery to confirm the appointment and time. She called the day before to reconfirm. She called the morning of and said exactly what time she would be here based on the mapping program in her car and arrived within two minutes of the appointed time.

Are you doing this? I know you often wait for delivery before you can do an installation. If the fabricator blows it, you are caught in the middle. You should keep your customer in the loop. They may be taking a day off from work to let you in, and your courtesy will be the icing on their Valentine’s cookies.

Be careful when you sign a contract with an unreasonable penalty clause for being late. Fabricators are generally busy now, and lead times are extending.

Did you promise an employee a review, along with a raise? If you are late with this, you have lost that employee’s morale. I know this is true from a time when I missed an employee review and paid heavily for it. Didn’t miss any after that.

Train your employees to be on time also. Most employees have two masters: the customer and you. Teach the importance of timeliness and communication, whether the immediate customer is the next department in your production schedule or it is the final customer where your team is doing an installation.

You can’t trust the mail to deliver anything on time. Be sure to use an overnight service or an electronic method to deliver a quote. Don’t send checks by mail. Use an electronic payment system to ensure correct delivery of payments. Your vendor will appreciate that, too.

A timely thought: “To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.” – Leonard Bernstein, orchestra conductor and composer.