Systematize Your Systematizing

Wanting to improve processes to better serve customers is always a good thing. It becomes a bad thing when you implement systems and procedures that only complicate things instead of improving them.

Let me use press kits as an example. Just a few short years ago we regularly got press kits from equipment manufacturers in the form of folders filled with loose papers and a disc of images. As technology progressed, so did the delivery of product information. Now, we almost always get press kits on a jump drive or USB stick. This was convenient, as it kept us from lugging big stacks of papers around and we could easily download information from the jump drive straight to our computer.

What started out as a great system for delivering information soon got complicated. Sometimes these press kits are more complicated than they need to be. Instead of a jump drive with a number of documents and images, we now get jump drives filled with a complicated folder system for each product.

What used to be a bunch of files in one place just a click away is now files buried in folders that require multiple clicks to locate product descriptions and images. The companies that send us these kits are trying to be helpful. But in an attempt to be more organized and systematized, press kit jump drives are now just as complicated as their paper predecessors.

While systematizing an area of your business, the faulty outcome may come from a flawed system for systematizing. Here are some three tips for better systematizing.

  1. Involve those who actually do the work in the process. The PR companies that handle these press kits might want to consult the editors who need to access the files for input on how to organize them. You should involve your staff in process planning as they are the closest tied to it.
  2. Identify objectives. The press kit is designed to share the information with editors so we then pass it onto our readers and site visitors. Making it easier for us to do that increases the likelihood that we will. If your objective is to increase turnaround time in the shop, look for steps in the servicing of equipment that can be done by someone other than the main technician to free them up for more time on things that require their expertise.
  3. Identify requirements of the “customer”. We need revisable documents and quality images. Don’t deliver PDFs and low-res images (or worse, no image at all). Your service customer requires a quick turnaround time on equipment. Get more information from the customer on the front end of the equipment service so technicians can work through without interruption or calls to the customer. (As suggested in the first tip, talk with technicians to learn what information they require.)     

Apply these tips when systematizing in your dealership to better meet the customer’s needs and desires.