Have you ever walked into one of your kids’ rooms and thought (or said aloud) “It’s a wonder you can find anything in here?” Teenagers are notorious for having rooms that look more like war zones than habitable places. But aside from the anxiety it causes you to see a room in such disarray, your teenager’s messy room probably isn’t going to do much harm. Sure, he or she may waste a lot of time looking for matching socks, but it’s not the end of the world.
The same can’t be said for business — in business, disorganization can lead to a loss of time, money, and productivity and an increase in stress.
Imagine you’re the owner of a service area business and you’re trying to get all of your service technicians in their trucks and out on the road. Time is money, and whether your team is on their way to their first appointments of the day or still running around back at the warehouse, you’re paying them for their time. Is everything in your warehouse organized so your team can get off to a stress-free and productive start or will they waste time trying to find what they need to start the day?
As business owners, we brainstorm ways to cut costs and raise profit, but many of us forget just how important organization is to that cause. When your technicians have to hunt down a part or tool or weave through a messy and disorganized warehouse before hopping in the truck and heading to an appointment, time is wasted and stress is heightened.
All it takes to ruin the attitude and day of a service professional (or anyone for that matter) is a late start and a frustrating morning. Why not take the time upfront to make the start of every day easier, less stressful, and more productive for your team by organizing your warehouse in a streamlined, logical, and easy-to-maneuver way?
How do you do that? Analyze and observe a typical morning, ask your employees for input, and determine how things could be better organized. Even a few extra steps add up, so consider layout and figure out the smartest setup.
Of course, if you’ve ever organized your closet, you know all it takes is one day when you’re too lazy to hang that sweater or fold that shirt to undo all your hard work. To prevent this from happening with your warehouse, take a few minutes at the end of each day to make sure everything is neatly put back in its right place and ready for the following day. You can make this the responsibility of one of your team members or all of your team members — it’s up to you.
The Service Trucks
Time waste and frustration don’t just happen in a messy warehouse — it can happen in a messy truck as well. Our friend Chuck Roydhouse, a former firefighter and the recently-retired owner of a chimney service company in Anne Arundel County, knows just how important a clean and organized truck is. His service trucks had a place for everything and he put in the effort and time to build shelving and organizational compartments to reduce time waste and frustration for his techs and his customers. Not only will an organized truck allow your techs to easily find the tools they need and get the work done faster for your customers, but it also communicates something to your customers. If you think I’m crazy, listen to this quote from a review of an actual service business:
“His work truck was neater than our family vehicle — and that is saying a lot.”
We often forget what mess communicates: it communicates that you don’t care. Your customers will start to wonder what else you don’t care about. So make organization a priority in your company. Everyone — from you to your employees and customers — will benefit.