Friday, August 30, 2013

Do You Know What Your Job REALLY is?

You’re the president of a manufacturing company. Do you know what your “job” is? If you’re the president of a smaller company, chances are you are wearing a lot of hats. In a bigger one, maybe not. In either case, there have to be clear lines of where your job begins and ends.

By the way, this applies to every employee of the company. Yikes! Does this mean that as an owner I’ve got to define exactly what each employee is supposed to do and just as important, what the boundaries are? Simply put: yes. That is your job as the president. If you’ve got an HR person, you can delegate it but ultimately it’s your baby.

If you’re not the president, this applies to you as well. You’ve got to know exactly what you are responsible for and what authority you have to carry those tasks out.

Sounds pretty easy, huh? Well, it’s not and if clear job definitions are not in place and understood, chaos will result.  Let’s say you are in the quality department and somehow you are tasked with talking with the customer about delivery issues. Doesn’t sound too bad. Right?

Well, unless you have past experience dealing with purchasing agents or expeditors, it’s going to be a rough day. Sure, you’re on solid ground talking about quality issues with the customer, but once you start talking dates and unless you are the person directly responsible for the scheduling of the shop, you are out of bounds.
Maybe you got this authority as a result of someone else quitting or no one else wants the job but clearly, this is not a quality function.

Same thing goes when someone in accounting gets involved in machine maintenance issues. Sure, they will be writing the checks and posting it to the proper account. It is up to the manufacturing department to have primary responsibility for this kind of expense. Should the size and type of machine problem be discussed at the management level?
Yes, but only after there has been a pattern of problems or the price exceeds a certain level. However, no one in accounting has to micro-manage a maintenance issue. Period.

Proper job expectations and scopes are required for proper manufacturing shop functioning. Got problems at your shop? Maybe someone’s doing the wrong job!

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