|10-04-2011, 02:37 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2011
How to manage when stuff are everywhere?
I'm in a job where the stuff are everywhere.
Multiple systems to update in.
Multiple reports to send.
SOme are online, webbased, some are in the common drive, some are to be emailed out, some are on ERP.
Some are in physical filing systems.
For one single order, I have to touch up to 8-10 different systems or reports.
And an order can last from 1- 3 years. And each order is very complicated. There is always somethng "pending". The customers are slower than slow lorises and the boss push us to to keep reminding the customers.
Obviously, so many systems and trackers , the aim is to track things but it becomes cumbersome to have to track all the trackers (orders, complaints, invoices, order numbers, quotation numbers, inventory requests)
And there's knowledge everywhere, from technical stuff to commercial stuff to customer infos.
It's fun to learn so many things for an intelligent newcomer like me, and obviously the company employs me because they think i'm capable of handling such a difficult job. yes, i am capable. (simple routine jobs would bore me!!!)
But to excel in the job, how can I be on top of everything??? How can I remember everything? How can I keep track of everything??
I don't want all these things to become clutter inside my head.
I'm sure there are ways to be on top of things without staying back in office and sacrificing my personal life.
Do you guys have tips??
|10-04-2011, 04:46 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2009
Obviously I don't know what you have already or how receptive your company is:
Does each order come with a unique reference number? If not, start there.
For each order, is there a detailed check list of which system to look at, where? If not, start creating such a check list.
You may need to identify the flow of the system - this is actually easier for a newbie to do than an old hand who may well be doing things on 'autopilot'.
Depending on exactly what is involved, if you are inputting the same information in a few different systems - eg say name and address - it may be easier if you take that information and enter it into the 10 systems in one go. Alternatively, it may be easier to deal with each system step by step.
If you do find yourself reentering the same data in several places, then time to consider automating that. If your company is receptive, and again, depending on your systems, this may be something YOU could do, or it maybe something you need to get a software or IT person to do. In my last full-time job, one of the things I worked with my team was to automate as much data transfer from one database/spreadsheet/document to another which meant we were able to produce our monthly reports in one intense day of 8-9 hours on the first day of the reporting month while our colleagues in other parts of the country were taking up to 3 weeks to produce the same. If your company has taken you on to tackle things like this, you could put some effort there.
If you don't already have one - have a 'bring forward' list for customer-chasing. Say the accepted interval of hassling the customers is 1 week - put all your hassles for week 1 in one folder, hassle them all then transfer to week 2 for repeated hassles. Of course, you could also do this with computer-based systems, eg a spreadsheet. Last hassled date. Depends on quantity of hassle, what you need to hand when you do hassle. and so forth.
Sounds like there's great scope for a 'reengineering' project of your processes as sounds like they've built up adhoc over the years and need some backroom effort to make much more efficient. However, this costs time and energy which your company may not have, and also might appear 'too hard' and 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'. It can be somewhat scarey contemplating a process overhaul, but you might need to work on your company's fears a little - are the processes relying on one or two old hands who know how everything works - what would happen if they got run over by a bus one day - what would happen if they quit - what would happen if... blah blah.
Don't know if any of that helps.
BTW I was a 'six sigma black belt' in a past life LOL
|10-04-2011, 06:24 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2009
A good place to start might be to produce a Process Manual so anyone fresh from a temp agency could do the job - this will really help you iron out the work flow and also be a good starting point for revamping everything.
|10-05-2011, 02:17 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2011
the company does have a workflow....
a) it's too complicated and theoritical to read and nothing beats learning handson.
b) it is not task oriented. so contains no details on action steps, it's only conceptual. so i did my own SOP which is task oriented , with step by step what to do, plus what triggers which actions. (eg. Logistic team notify me of customer part arrival, that is trigger for me to create a work order, and also update some other system.)
and guess what, when boss learned that i am doing my own SOP, he got alarmed, "nooo, why are you doing your own one ? we can't have different people doing different things!!! it's WHY we have an existing workflow for common use !!!"
i was just trying to learn faster so i did my own!
|10-05-2011, 03:22 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2009
Has he seen yours? Have you talked him through the benefits of a step by step manual?
If the existing one is conceptual, then you can blend the two which might be:
Step 23: From existing manual "What we are trying to achieve here is the effective processing of the hot drinks". Then from your one "Which means: Step 23a - put the water in the kettle up to level 'max'. Step 23b - plug the kettle into the electricity and switch on'...
So, if he's receptive, talk to him about why the existing one was inadequate for you as a newbie and the benefits of yours, especially if there is a flu epidemic! If he doesn't know how to do one of your processes that you have to do, ask him to give it a try - using the existing manual and then your one.
Years ago, I did something completely differently to the way an old manager in the department wanted it done - but if we had done it his way, it would have taken 10 years (and I'm not joking with that) and our deadline was 18months. He spent the whole time in a state of fear, pulling his hair out going 'we're going to come horribly unstuck' - whereas in fact we were the only unit in the country (out of about 250) to achieve the deadline with a result that passed the official national government audit (it was a government department).
|10-06-2011, 06:07 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mississauga, On Canada
After spending 25 years in corporate life, I learned that if one wanted to excel in any job, any position in any field, it's best to get a mentor, somebody in your company or industry if possible. Learn from somebody who has been in your path already and have been successful.
It could be a boss or it could be somebody else. As long as it is somebody you recognize as someone who is respected and has an obvious track record. This is the type of person one should learn from for our own current jobs.
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