Monday, March 31, 2014

The Adventures of MACH TWO – Chapter 3 & 4 by Mike Lee

Mike Lee
Management Success!

(MACH TWO gets his name from the fact that while at work, he is constantly going MACH TWO with his hair on fire.)
In the continuing adventures of MACH TWO, a once mild mannered technician turned automotive shop owner, he is in total overwhelm and he can't seem to find enough time to think.

Chapter Three:
Why Did I Come Out Here?

Oftentimes, MACH TWO finds that his day starts off bad and just continues to get worse throughout the day.  The shop opens up and there is a rush of customers.  Usually, while he is trying to get them handled, the employees are working in cruise mode.

By 11:00 a.m., the shop is in total chaos.  Of course, in the middle of all of this chaos, the phone rings and a customer wants to know what has been found out about his car.  MACH TWO puts the customer on hold and walks into the shop to find out the diagnosis of the customer's car.

Before he gets there, Bill, one of his technicians, wants him to look at a problem that he has with a customer's starter.  Then Frank wants to know what h should do with the linkage problem that he has on this hot-rod.  Ten minutes goes by and suddenly, MACH TWO is standing in the middle of the shop wondering why he came out there in the first place.

Part of the problem is that MACH TWO has no plan of attack.  He runs his organization by the CRISIS METHOD of management.  Basically, he is solving every problem in the organization.  He has the jobs that he is supposed to do, plus the problems that everyone else is supposed to handle but can't.  So, because he is busy solving all of his employees' problems, he never gets a chance to do the things that he should be doing.

The symptoms that exist in this type of shop:
The employees can't seem to handle the tough problems required to completely perform their jobs.

The real problem is:
The shop owner lacks employee handling and training skills.

The shop owner needs to let all of his employees solve their own problems.  The way to do this is to consult the employee on the steps necessary to finding his own solution instead of giving the employee the quick fix that he/she wants.  The shop owner can do this by asking questions.  Find out exactly what it is that the employee does not understand and work from there.  Unless the owner starts doing this, he/she will never be able to grow and expand.
Chapter Four:
What Do I Do Next Boss?

MACH TWO finishes road checking a car and pulls back into the shop.  The first thing he notices is that all three of his technicians are not working but just standing around waiting for him.

MACH TWO goes ballistic.  It is four o'clock in the afternoon, there are cars all over the place, and he has lied to half of his customers about when their car is going to be done.
The office manager runs out and indicates that Mr. Royal Pain is on the phone demanding to know if his car is going to be done tonight.  Of course, he has been calling every half hour asking the same question.  She also tells you that she has two other customers on hold.
The blood pressure gauge on MACH TWO begins to burst.  He yells at his technicians to get back to work.  "Work on something, I don't care what, just don't stand there!" he yells.  He tells the office gal to just hang up on Mr. Royal Pain.  He then goes into the office and barks at the two customers on the phone.

When he finally arrives home, he yells at his kids, kicks the dog and ignores his wife and just sits in the chair staring at a blank television screen.  During all of this he is thinking to himself, "Why did I go into this business in the first place?"

The shop owner is basically acting insane and is in total overwhelm.

Real Problem: 
The owner lacks organizational skills and employee handling skills.  He is running a "Hey, you!" organization.  This means that he is telling everyone what to do verbally.

The shop owner needs to start organizing his operation.  He needs to develop a method of routing work, where the employees don't have to come to him to find out what to do next.  He needs to develop a system that will make finding the status of a customer's car easy for any employee in the shop.  This also means without having to interrupt everyone.
In the next chapter, MACH TWO will enter the advertising jungle and try to figure out where he is.

Management Success!