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Organised chaos

If you are a small rapidly growing company then things will always seem hectic - even chaotic. Just when you had organised and agreed some overtime to ensure a major order goes out in time - another huge order comes in! Nice problem, great opportunity but stressful and seemingly chaotic. The secret of being able to cope with such chaos is to have an organised workplace with some simple, but fundamental, controls. Without these it really will be chaos - and when it is chaos then it's hard, maybe impossible, to make money. So what things need to be in place to manage all this chaos that your sales activities bring to the business?

Try the following:

  • Simple housekeeping rules; a place for everything and everything in its place; clear desks, no clutter, electronic not paper copies. A few basic ground rules can make a huge difference - without them a lot of your people will spend a lot of their time - and your money - chasing and searching for supplies, documents and lots of other things that should be at hand - but aren't. Get your people to develop such rules - you might be surprised at the good sense and good ideas that they come up with

  • Some 'visuals' - charts, diagrams - a picture tells a thousand words - and colour coding. Make it easy to track a customer's order and make it easy to measure and track your output.

  • Plan each job - a very simple one page plan for each job or contract, who will do what, when, where – and when do we invoice. This works for both manufacturing and services. It also helps you identify problem areas - if you can't see where the problems and bottlenecks really are, then it's hard to do something about them.

Workplace organisation isn't difficult. It's just a lot of common sense - but it's easy to get into bad habits. Organised chaos is much better than disorganised chaos!

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