Ever gone to the fridge only to find someone’s returned an empty milk bottle? It’s not just annoying, it’s counterproductive. Here you were mistakenly thinking you had milk, and it turns out you don’t. Now instead of sitting down to a nice cup of coffee, you have to go get milk.
The same can happen in your business. Running out of stock is a classic example. Here you were thinking you had plenty of widgets left, and it turns out you’re out of widgets. Now instead of selling widgets to waiting customers, you have to stop selling to customers and start buying widgets. Either there’s no system or the system let you down. Do you know how many widgets you use in an average week? Do you know when you’re about to run out of widgets? Who’s in charge of checking the widgets? What’s the procedure when the widgets are running low?
This scenario can happen even on the smallest scale. Ever noticed someone struggle to get a pen working? When it’s clear the pen doesn’t work, I’ve seen people simply put it back in the drawer for the next person to deal with! They’ve just passed on the problem. It wastes time and effort.
So I say “No More Empty Milk Cartons”!