A Winning Team
It’s the beginning of another new year! The numbers are in from last year and hopefully they were positive. Great time to review what went well last year and what we could have done better.
This is always a good time to return to basics. A good time to review all of the departments and all of the team members within each department. Whether your company manufactures a product or provides a service, it is very important to start each New Year evaluating your organization.
The very first task is to review the goals of the organization. Sounds simple, but if the goals are not clearly established, means of measurement for each team member understood, how can you expect success?
Interestingly the real goal of any organization is often lost in the interpretation by each department. The actual goal of any manufacturing or service organization has to be to produce increased profitable sales! Each and every task in every department of the company should be focused upon increasing profitable sales.
This sounds so simple. Many will argue that everybody in their organization understands this simple concept. Numerous studies indicate quite the contrary!
Success begins with mutual respect by every member of the team for every other member of the team. It is management’s responsibility to be certain that fellow employees are aware of the responsibilities of others and how each function in each department has a direct effect upon the success of the entire company!
The worst possible scenario is for individual departments to be judged upon their work alone. Their success has to be closely linked to the work of all other departments and the final goal of the organization, increased profitable sales!
It is management’s responsibility to set the goals, make the assignments, and develop the tools to measure success. They must clearly articulate their plan to all members of the organization! They must make it clear that success of each department is directly related to all other departments.
Every organization is judged from the very first answered telephone call through the shipment of goods and services, to the final payment of invoices. Any misstep along the way will have a direct negative effect upon the success of the company! All departments and employees must work diligently to assure success!
Product development must constantly keep an eye on the direction of their industry. Is the goal of the company to provide proprietary, unique products or commodity products? Perhaps a combination of both. Is the current product line sufficient, or are new or improved products necessary?
Marketing is provided with the company products or services and has the responsibility to create an exciting marketing and advertising program. Literature, samples, electronic and print media. The material has to be up to date, contemporary, and plentiful!
Outside Sales takes the product to market. Their goal to create demand, visit the customers, fend off the competition in a positive and professional manner!
Inside Sales and Order Entry must work seamlessly to provide the customer or client with outstanding, knowledgeable, professional service! From product knowledge to complete and accurate quotations. All in a timely fashion!
Engineering must step in during the quotation period and after the order is secured. They are responsible for making sense out of myriad pieces of technical information and creating the tools required by manufacturing to ship the finished goods or services. Their task is demanding, and time consuming, but invaluable in creating an excellent finished product! If their job were easy, anybody could do it and profit margins would suffer.
Manufacturing is responsible for producing high quality material, on time and within established budget.
After the completion of all of these steps the product must be shipped efficiently, on time, to the correct location, by a customer friendly driver. Invoices must be sent in a timely fashion and collected with sensitivity and desire to create a long term customer!
It all sounds so simple! Does your company work as a team? Do all members of your organization understand that their responsibility is part of an overall plan with the goal to increase profitable sales? Is it clear to all members of the team that there is no success by individual departments if the entire organization does not reach the goal of increased profitable sales?
If any member of your company does not understand the importance of their contribution to the success of the organization, your company is courting disaster!
Building a winning team takes hard work and dedication by every member! No task is unimportant! If it were easy, everybody would be a winner!
William L. Shannon CSI, CISCA
President of Shannon Corporation
Recipient of the 2004 De Gelleke Award