Last month I wrote about making sure you know your costs and more importantly, being willing to charge what your plants are worth. Another important key to profitability is knowing why we do things. Ever heard about the park bench? Well, it’s a story of not being permitted to sit on a specific bench.  When inquiries were done, they found that the bench, several years previously, had been painted…you get the picture.  It’s amazing how many times we do something just because we’ve always done it that way. Try taking a fresh look by asking yourself, “Why do I do that?” A few years ago we hired Flow Vision, a “lean flow” company to help us increase efficiency. They helped us take another look at our production sequences.

Here’s an example: We check all the cuttings trays in propagation for misses or losses (so you get full trays!) Many of these same plants require a pinch. They also need to be move to a cooler location to tone before shipping. Formerly we saw these as three separate steps. Flow Vision helped us see that putting all these steps together made a lot of sense: pick up the tray headed for the new location. On the way, check for misses and do the pinching, and then on to the final destination. Huge labor savings without working harder! While you may have a very different operation, these tips may help you see ways you could improve efficiency.

Work Smarter, not Harder!

Til next time,