An idiom is a phrase where the words together have a meaning that is different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words. There are over 3400 idioms in the English language. A few examples are:
A day late and a dollar short—If something is a day late and a dollar short, it is too little, too late.
Stem the tide–If people try to stem the tide, they are trying to stop something unpleasant from getting worse, usually when they don’t succeed.
Keep at bay–If you keep someone or something at bay, you maintain a safe distance from them.
Buying time—If you postpone an event hoping that the situation will improve.
As we begin March, the second month of the second quarter of our fiscal year, we may want to consider these idioms and how they relate to us and what other idioms might also help paint the picture. Like many other situations, it’s often best to understand where we’ve been, a look in the rearview mirror. We through no fault of ours we have lost one third of our sales. The economy has ravaged, restricted volumes and reduced the awards of new business to a snails pace.
Our most recent ABC analysis–activity based costing study, highlights a few areas we need to address to buy some time and maintain our covenants.
The ABC takes each product family and assigns costs; costs include fixed costs –square footage, heat, lights, etc. It is a very complex analytical tool. The most recent ABC was concerning. It showed product groups that were previously positive, now as negative. After further analysis we discovered that some of our cost shrink, in our shrink and grow was not proportional to our revenue loss. It is not a day late and a dollar short for us to correct this situation; but we all must realize these corrections will not be easy. We are looking at a number of plans to buy some time.
Leadership might be compared to three ball juggling. All you have to do everyday is delight the customer, achieve the expectations of the investors/shareholders/owners and keep your Team happy. Have you ever juggled three balls?
Mission, Consistency, Involvement and Adaptability are the four main pieces of our culture. Successful firms like ours have solid cornerstones, purpose beyond profit, humanized Leadership, Corporate Consciousness and collaborative partnerships. These principles are keys in building a brand, maintaining a reputation and establishing confidence and trust. A few keys to the next chapters in our 100 year story are making sure everyone on the team understands “we get it” and “you need to be part of the conversation”
Having empathy, understanding, sensitivity are all important; we all want to know how much you care before we learn how much you know. Being part of the conversation, really works for successful companies; knowledge of the mission causes involvement, being part of the solution generates adaptability. When you juggle three balls you adapt.
Our metrics for February will show labor utilization at Flint improving but still short of 80% goal. All other metrics are at or better than plan, the Flash is reporting Flint in the 90’s and Delta is reporting 80’s.Next week we have all hands meeting at both plants, Health-Plus will be in looking for an increase, we’ll review our reforecast with our bank, and many, many other items, meetings and opportunities.
Part of the mission, consistency, involvement and adaptability of our Culture to continually affirm, we get it; we understand that these are challenging, stressful times. I ask you to be part of the conversation. We must discuss the plan, the challenge and we all don’t win every time. Decisions are made by those who are involved. Your opinion matters and together we make it a better place.