Dave Tate shares a couple of things he does when deciding to work with a vendor.
I look in the trash can. I’m not going to give away all my secrets, but if the can is empty with no liner – I’m not doing business with them EVER. This can mean only a few things.
1. The don’t complete their work.
2. They get distracted easy.
3. They are not detail oriented.
4. If it isn’t their job, then they don’t check the details of their staff’s or custodial service work.
5. If they ran out of bags, they don’t know how to plan ahead.
There are some other things I think it can mean but the important part is that there’s nothing that can be good about this.
The one thing I always look for is if they have a BAG. If so, THEN I look for the balls to go with it.
Last week I was in an Operational Effectiveness workshop at one of the vendors working with me. (My role is to both manage the relationship between my company and the vendors doing service work for us, as well as support those vendors to ensure they are profitable and effective.) We were working on a process that is so screwed up we don’t even know if we have a problem. Anyway, the Director of OE at the vendor noticed the Director of Service Operations always parks his car next to the door of the warehouse in an area clearly marked as a no parking zone. The OE guy rightly called him out, saying that if the Director doesn’t follow the posted rules, why should anyone else?
Solution: if you want to park in the no parking zone, make it a parking spot. Otherwise, don’t park there. Likewise, when you see trash piled up somewhere instead of where you say it belongs, maybe where you need to move the trash can.
These little things say a lot. I know the guy who parks in the no parking zone is working hard and does a great job; but his entire organization disregards no parking zones. Which leads to things so out of control you don’t even know if you have a problem, much less what to do to make the business better.