6/8/12

In The Absence...

Best Practices (Part 2)


You have probably, at one time or another, driven through or walked near a construction area where dirt, sand or clay may be mounded into piles and barren of vegetation?  Rain in these areas randomly cuts a path through the mound, meandering as gravity pulls it along.  Sometimes it cuts a new path, at other times it follows a path that has already been created.  All of these are usually freeform, without a plan, eroding through the mound.  If the construction company creates a channel, gutter or other place to be fed by the runoff water guiding it to a specific place, the mound will have a better chance of remaining intact.

Best practices are a channel that reduces random methodologies and consequences.  Most companies have best practices in place.  They are not necessarily those that would be found in anything created by the company.  In the absence of best practices in place, each person develops practices of their own that meet individual needs within their perspective of the right way to do things.

Expense, risk and delays can be reduced by having communicated best practices in place.  The example below is simple and illustrates a challenge when best practices are not defined and communicated.

Out of Coffee Again: Meagan ran a very tight ship and put many practices in place in order to ensure efficiencies and controls.  All ordering was from the central office and based on inventory of supplies and usage tracked, with just in time ordering in place.  Carefully crafted vendors relationships led to deep discounts.  Each location had a limited inventory that was replenished from central supply.  The series of best practices certainly achieved the objective of cost control and managed purchasing.  

One day, a key location ran out of coffee.  Running out of a staple item never happened in this company.  No one knows for sure how they ran out, but one of the newer admins decided to solve the problem by going to the local store to buy coffee.  The coffee machines required a specially packaged coffee pod which was not carried in grocery stores.  Knowing that there was an important meeting to be held in the office, the admin decided to buy an inexpensive coffee pot, filter and the coffee.  Several types of coffee were selected.  When the admin got back to the office and went to set up the coffee, it was found that the other coffee pot had a permanent water line.  No other convenient water source was available and there were no available outlets and no space in the coffee bar to set up even a small coffee maker.

The admin decided to set up the new coffee maker on one of the break tables in the kitchen.  This meant carrying coffee to the coffee maker and taking away space that employees routinely used and did not necessarily leave in the same condition they found it.  The coffee cups and condiments were near the regular coffee maker.

When the meeting was in progress and coffee requested, only ten cups could be made at a time taking staff away from other tasks.  It took extra effort but they managed to serve the meeting.  Afterwards, the admin wanted to be reimbursed for the cost of the coffee maker, coffee and filters.  There was no method in place for the admin to submit an expense.  This created an exception to the processes in place, since there was no way to enter a personal reimbursement of this type in the current accounting system.  The first thought was to reimburse the admin out of petty cash but this exceeded the amount for a petty cash expense without documentation.  The challenged rolled through the company, from the costs and time to address the problem to the level of exasperation.  This expense which should have been less than $100.00, with all costs calculated, now had cost the company over $500.00 and caused many deviations in processes.  This did not even include the cost of overtime for the admin to complete critical tasks that could not be done while the admin was in search of coffee.

The whole issue could have been circumvented if training had included the processes defined by the best practices methodology of the company, which included an emergency replenishment method.  Cost of using the best practice in place would not have cost any additional dollars and certainly would not have created the havoc that the path taken independently did in the company.

Just like water eroding the mound of dirt at a construction site, this un-channeled and independent effort now had eroded processes in place so that what usually would have flowed smoothly, without obstruction, now included twists and turns, ruts and new rivulets that held little purpose.

Lack of communication creates an absence of best practices replaced by individual methodologies.  This simple challenge grew to be a costly experience for the company.  It could have been easily averted if the best practice in place had been trained and communicated.  As is often the case, the best practice is not defined and communicated until it has cost the company money.



8 comments:

oakleyses said...

prada outlet, kate spade outlet online, coach outlet, burberry outlet online, longchamp outlet, longchamp outlet online, nike outlet, jordan shoes, ray ban outlet, oakley vault, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany and co jewelry, ray ban sunglasses, gucci handbags, christian louboutin, michael kors outlet store, longchamp handbags, christian louboutin shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike air max, coach outlet store online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, prada handbags, louis vuitton handbags, coach outlet, tory burch outlet online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton, chanel handbags, true religion, cheap oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, red bottom shoes, michael kors handbags, nike free, christian louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren, kate spade outlet, coach purses, nike air max, burberry outlet online, true religion outlet, oakley sunglasses

oakleyses said...

ralph lauren pas cher, air max pas cher, hermes pas cher, longchamp, ralph lauren, longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton uk, ray ban pas cher, nike air max, nike roshe, vans pas cher, nike free pas cher, sac michael kors, scarpe hogan, hollister, abercrombie and fitch, converse pas cher, lacoste pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, nike roshe run, burberry pas cher, chaussure louboutin, north face pas cher, true religion outlet, air jordan, north face, louis vuitton, louis vuitton pas cher, mulberry, timberland, nike air max, oakley pas cher, hollister, tn pas cher, ray ban uk, nike blazer pas cher, guess pas cher, nike air force, lululemon, air max, true religion jeans, michael kors uk, barbour, new balance pas cher, michael kors canada, sac louis vuitton, nike free

oakleyses said...

north face jackets, reebok shoes, ugg, nike huarache, uggs on sale, ugg soldes, celine handbags, north face jackets, giuseppe zanotti, marc jacobs outlet, ugg outlet, uggs outlet, replica watches, birkin bag, bottega veneta, ghd, vans outlet, soccer jerseys, babyliss, canada goose outlet, mont blanc pens, asics shoes, insanity workout, canada goose outlet, canada goose outlet, nike trainers, nike roshe, ugg boots, lululemon outlet, canada goose, longchamp, soccer shoes, ferragamo shoes, chi flat iron, mac cosmetics, wedding dresses, ugg boots clearance, valentino shoes, instyler ionic styler, jimmy choo shoes, herve leger, nfl jerseys, beats headphones, abercrombie and fitch, mcm handbags, hollister, new balance outlet, uggs outlet, p90x workout

oakleyses said...

nike air max, montre femme, vans, hollister clothing, toms outlet, canada goose, swarovski jewelry, moncler, iphone 6 case, pandora charms, canada goose, gucci, uggs canada, ray ban, moncler, timberland shoes, karen millen, thomas sabo uk, converse, pandora uk, converse shoes, parajumpers outlet, lancel, moncler, coach outlet, moncler outlet, louboutin, moncler, supra shoes, ugg, links of london uk, baseball bats, moncler, oakley, louis vuitton canada, air max, pandora jewelry, hollister canada, swarovski uk, hollister, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, moncler outlet, replica watches, ralph lauren, wedding dress, canada goose pas cher, canada goose

oakleyses said...

ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, replica watches, ugg boots, nike air max, cheap oakley sunglasses, nike free, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, longchamp outlet, jordan shoes, longchamp, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, prada handbags, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, chanel handbags, uggs on sale, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, christian louboutin outlet, ray ban sunglasses, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet, louboutin outlet, ugg boots, louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, prada outlet, louis vuitton, louboutin, oakley sunglasses, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet, burberry, kate spade outlet, louis vuitton outlet, nike outlet, tory burch outlet

oakleyses said...

michael kors, oakley pas cher, kate spade handbags, ralph lauren uk, ralph lauren pas cher, north face, michael kors, michael kors, burberry, hogan, hollister pas cher, nike roshe, sac guess, ray ban pas cher, ray ban uk, coach outlet, true religion outlet, air force, coach purses, nike roshe run, lululemon, coach factory outlet, coach outlet, timberland, true religion jeans, vanessa bruno, nike blazer, nike free, nike air max, hollister, new balance pas cher, vans pas cher, nike free run uk, nike air max, lacoste pas cher, louboutin pas cher, air jordan pas cher, michael kors, sac longchamp, north face, true religion jeans, abercrombie and fitch, tn pas cher, air max, longchamp pas cher, true religion jeans, converse pas cher, mulberry, hermes, nike air max

oakleyses said...

wedding dresses, mac cosmetics, new balance, ralph lauren, beats by dre, bottega veneta, celine handbags, oakley, nike roshe, north face outlet, nike trainers, giuseppe zanotti, longchamp, iphone 6 cases, abercrombie and fitch, jimmy choo shoes, iphone cases, chi flat iron, p90x workout, iphone 6s cases, nike huarache, baseball bats, soccer shoes, instyler, timberland boots, hollister, iphone 6s plus cases, nike air max, vans shoes, valentino shoes, nfl jerseys, iphone 6 plus cases, lululemon, soccer jerseys, ghd, mont blanc, hollister, babyliss, louboutin, s5 cases, insanity workout, asics running shoes, reebok shoes, birkin bag, ferragamo shoes, herve leger, mcm handbags, ipad cases, north face outlet, iphone 5s cases

oakleyses said...

pandora charms, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, moncler, ugg pas cher, moncler outlet, vans, thomas sabo, canada goose, barbour, bottes ugg, louis vuitton, moncler, karen millen, hollister, marc jacobs, wedding dresses, canada goose outlet, moncler, pandora charms, ray ban, louis vuitton, montre pas cher, canada goose, supra shoes, louis vuitton, barbour jackets, ugg boots uk, toms shoes, moncler, converse outlet, moncler, juicy couture outlet, pandora jewelry, sac louis vuitton pas cher, doudoune canada goose, converse, replica watches, nike air max, lancel, canada goose, coach outlet, pandora jewelry, juicy couture outlet, moncler, doke gabbana outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose outlet, links of london, canada goose, gucci, moncler