The down side of surrounding yourself with great people and empowering them is losing contact. When your team takes ownership and runs with it, their need for you dwindles. The plus side of this is that it allows you to focus on other things.
As the team at Ebsco has taken ownership and developed their roles, it has allowed me to focus on developing our quality system and start our path toward AS 9100 certification. That’s GREAT! The key to so many things is balance. I lost sight of that. Our sales team has really done a great job of developing relationships and satisfying customers needs. They don’t need me!
That’s true. They don’t need me but I really need to stay in contact with our customers. How can I develop a new quality system, focused on meeting customer’s needs without having contact with our customers? I can’t! As a part of management I NEED to have direct contact with our customers. I need to visit our customers. I visited customers more frequently a few years ago. I picked up some of my best ideas on these visits.
The one thing that has become common at Ebsco is change. It’s that time again.
We have assigned many of our customers to our top managers at Ebsco. They will be responsible for calling and visiting those customers. We are putting the decision makers face to face with those we make decisions for. What a novel idea.
The primary purpose of this contact is to make sure our customers know how important they are to us. We are putting the people with the authority in front of them. We will be able to find out if they have any requests for us to serve them better and thank them for their business. This is reason enough for the visits. More importantly, it will provide the information we need to set priorities and make decisions that will benefit our customers. That is the reason we exist.
We have included our Production Manager, Quality Manager, CEO, CFO, COO and Quality V.P. Each of us will now be out with the customers on a monthly basis. I imagine we will see some changes in priorities. Each has different areas of concern that will be directly impacted by their individual experiences. This should allow us to be more customer focused in everything we do.
We get to go back out in the field and see our springs in action.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go stock up on business cards.