Spotless

Quality Inspection Center

Quality Inspection

It was time for the yearly auto inspection. My usual inspection facility is Quality Inspection Center on Chatham St. in Cary….been going there for years.

What caught my attention today was how spotless the center was. The garage floor was  extremely clean as well as the waiting area. Now there is no real auto service done….simply drive in….a few visual inspections….some computer manipulations and  done.

The three attendants were in nice uniforms….all-in-all….very professional. For a rather simple process….Quality Inspection Centers conveyed a very positive experience. 

Flimsy

Low Cost?

Whirlpool evaprator trayA surprise last week….water on the floor under the refrigerator. A quick call to the appliance repair company….a prompt response and properly repaired.

The problem: the flimsy plastic evaporator tray was cracked in the middle thus causing it to leak water on the hardwood floor (of course some damage to several wood strips).

The causes:

  • Poor material specification for the plastic tray
  • Poor engineering design: Two clips that held the tray were incorrectly spaced….thus causing the plastic tray to crack

Whirlpool should know better….the plastic material was extremely thin. I would guess manufacturing cost less than a $.50. Engineering design should know that if the clips are incorrectly placed….the plastic will eventually crack. Oh, the price of the evaporator tray as a repair part $29-$47….really!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day

2014

Cary veterans

The Town of Cary along with SAS is developing a Veterans memorial on Harrison Ave….a major entrance into Cary.

Most will pass by without giving it a second thought. It is signficant that the town and SAS have come together on this project.

Even more significant is a prominent and meaningful tribute to Veterans of the armed forces.

 

Roof Top

Gardens in Brooklyn

Brooklyn-Grange-Farm - Roof

There is a growing trend in sustainable fariming….most of takes place on rural farms.

In Brooklyn NY, the farming takes place on rooftops. Brooklyn Grange Farm has several rooftop farms along with rooftop bee hives to raise crops that are sold to local residents and restaurants. Though studies are incomplete….there are fewer pollutants at the rooftop level than would be expected in the New York area.

This is a creative use of buildings….similar to the planting of trees in Detroit that uses much of the vacant land in the city.

The result – a new business (and community) model whether farms on rooftops or trees on vacant city lots.

http://brooklyngrangefarm.com/

WE

Team

Teamwork-1

A Raleigh chef (Ashley Christensen) has recently received the James Beard award for best chef in the Southeast….a very prestigious award.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/05/13/3858200/ashley-christensens-award-shines.html?sp=/99/106/139/

Ms. Christensen’s venues include Poole’s Dinner and several others that have been very successful.

What really stood out in the N & O story was that “her acceptance speech was laden not with “I’s” but with “We’s”. ‘We go to work everyday’. ‘We are excited to do the thing that we love every day’. ‘We are sre so excited about doing more great things'”

She stated it was her team that was the key to winning the award.

Great chefs/leaders/managers guide the business….it is the team that wins.

http://ac-restaurants.com/pooles/

 

 

Lessons Learned

Adjust/Adapt

lesson-learned

One of the more difficult aspects of growing a smaller business/organization is to learn from others….in particular from successful….much larger companies.

Managers often can’t visualize that what works for a $100 M company can also work for a $1M business.

An often used word is change….many companies are often in a change mode. For smaller orgaizations….it might be easier to adjust/adapt.

My idea has always been to explore new ideas and scale them to fit the size of the business/organization.

After all, a good idea is just that….regardless of size….it’s a lesson learned. 

 

 

Vision

Illusive

Vision - new

Tom Peters is a well-respected business thinker….one of the links on TrueNorth.

Recently there has been an ongoing discussion regarding an organization’s vision. Tom is not a proponent of vision. Tom is right in that often vision has very little meaning. Many vision statements are superfluous and most people don’t know what they mean.

Vision like many words (and concepts) is illusive. I tend to think vision is important if used and understood correctly.  Vision is a destination….a place where the business/organization wants to be. It must be attainable….it must be clear and well-defined.

Having a clear vision helps in decision-making. If something doesn’t fit the vision….don’t do it. The vision doesn’t change….strategy does change.

Tom Peters’s perspective….businesses have to act and do….”act – think – act”.

I continue to like Mission – Vision – Values as a foundation for organizations. I also like Tom Peter’s ideas of implementation….action….execution.

It’s not either/or but both….a picture of a desired outcome and the willingness to act intuitively.