• Do you maintain business confidences?

    19 Jul 2019 | 12:00 am

    King Solomon wrote, "He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets" (Proverbs 11:13 NASB). We may have confidential information, such as future business plans, pricing, or that a colleague may be dismissed. Keeping your mouth shut is a key[…]

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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Category >> Management
Mar 05
2011

The value of Tools

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

In any business we need tools to make our labor more productive. The prophet Isaiah heard from the Lord, “Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?” (Isaiah 10:15 ESV)

Tools make us more productive. However, how well we use those tools makes a difference. Take the axe. I have split many cords of firewood over the years. Over time I learned to split faster and more efficiently. However a master could easily out produce me.

Feb 25
2011

When Vendors Fall Down

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

When a service provider falls down on the job, and you lodge a complaint or request an adjustment, monitor how that vendor reacts.
 
If they are defensive, argue, or push the blame inappropriately back to you, you will likely never establish a positive, accountable relationship with that vendor unless they experience a major attitude adjustment.

Scripture teachers, "Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you" (Proverbs 9:8 NASB). You can only go so far with suppliers before you are using way too much energy.

At times, I want to “help” a supplier do better, I believe I can assist them in being better if they would only listen to me. I have come to understand I am not their business consultant. I have two, or three candid chats with a supplier who falls short. I explain what was agreed, what I received and how the product or service fell short. I then clearly explain what needs to change in the future. If there is no change, I then just place the business with a different company.

Feb 11
2011

UPS “No Left Turn” a Lesson in Great Management

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

United Parcel Service instituted a policy of not having drivers turn left. This was not a political statement, but a sound management decision.   You can view the U-Tube video on this link: http://bit.ly/ijpZdC  .

The reason is left turns creates more safety issues as more accidents happen turning left into traffic then just turning right. In addition time is saved by not waiting for traffic to clear. The savings? $20 million a year.

Jan 26
2011

Free Conference Calls

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I have been using a service, Free Conference Call, details on this link: http://www.freeconferencecall.com/ .

The price is right, and I have experienced good service. These are easy to set up and they offer features like muting or listen only mode.   

Each caller will get a phone number to call, you don’t have a toll free option, but with the declining cost of long distance this is not much of an issue.

Jan 21
2011

Develop Checklists

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

We are human, and will make mistakes. Errors fall into one of two types,  mistakes of ignorance for something we didn’t know and errors of ineptitude, mistakes we made because we don't make proper use of what we know.

Airline pilots have checklists they are required to follow, for good reason. The complexities of flying are immense. I drive an RV at times. I developed a checklist of things to do before I drive off, like checking the tries, closing all vents unhooking everything and latching down the loose items. One time I nearly started down the road with the awning still out. My check list caught that, saving me a costly repair bill.

I had a client that manufactured replacement windows and doors. Many orders required a redo because of mistakes in measuring. A number of measurements were needed and one error, however small, could be costly. I had the manager develop a simple checklist for each measurement. Mistakes were cut by 85% within one month and the few that were made were because someone left off a step on the checklist. This saved the company $50,000.00 a year.