It's been said that the way you do anything is the way you'll do everything and all too often, that proves to be true, especially in small businesses and entrepreneurship. The problem arises when anything and everything all exist in your own Great, Growing Company and you, as a responsible owner, look to make a small change or a tweak in the operation.

If you set out to deal with your company in a fragmented way - you try to fix this, then try to fix that, then move over to handle a personnel issue, then over to a money issue - it is devastating.

Understand that every single seemingly insignificant thing that you "fix" in your company impacts everything else. It may speed it up, it may slow it down, but it forces it to move no matter what.

The question, of course, is how to make it easier to fix the vast interconnections that occur in a company. When you deal with something as hopelessly complex as a human being, you can't.

Hence, a system or series of systems that can be tweaked, enforced, and modified - not a human interaction that can be seen in multiple ways, but a straightforward plan that presents the process for any and all to see. The benefit now is that such a system offers the ability to drill down to the level on which a change needs to be garnered and then, that change can take place. Before that change is ever in play, the decision makers can review the systems and forecast where every other change is necessary.

Here's an example - your delivery times change for you to receive inventory at your business. That directly impacts scheduling for the employees who unload those deliveries, which in turn impacts scheduling for other employees and, potentially, the current schedule of the unloaders. At the same time, any extra hours may impact the total labor cost, overtime, benefits, and even how the operation is able to function if the delivery is now in a time when more employees are on the clock than previously. Following this further, will this schedule change require different ordering times? A higher on hand inventory? A subsequent increase in Accounts Payable?

So many things, dependent on one minor change, and yet, if you don't react and understand that one event in the overall context of your operation, you can create a cascading series of failures that could impact you for weeks ... and if you really mess up a client's order, the impact could be felt for months!

On the other hand, if you have clear processes in place to communicate these changes and effectively deal with them, the effects on your business are minor and never a cause for drama - because you are able to see the vast interconnection within the operation and from there, take the steps to ensure effective communication, easy integration, and no loss of coherency.

The wings of the butterfly keep right on flapping.

Published on: Jun 15, 2017
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