Not everything needs a complex solution and huge investment, sometimes simple will do just fine


Not everything needs a complex solution and huge investment, sometimes simple will do just fine

I recently heard an interesting story wherein a factory which was manufacturing toothpaste found too many customer complaints from their wholesale dealers. It seems, there were many of those product boxes which were being shipped to dealers across cities and countries, who found that some of the boxes they received were empty.

Now this created a real stir. Complaints were pouring in and the matter got escalated to the CEO of the organization.

It was then found that there was a problem in the factory floor’s machinery equipment which was causing this issue and it would be at least five to six months before they could get new equipment’s that were upgraded. But until then, they could no longer keep doing this and shipping empty boxes now could they?

So their CEO checked up, had a couple of meetings during the next few weeks with his top performing team of professionals, did a lot of research across to find best possible solutions, invested a lot of money, hired high end consultants to brainstorm and finally installed a new high end technology device that monitored the weight, scale of the product at the finish line and scanned through the boxes to detect which ones were empty. Once it did, it beeped and the factory manager would come, inspect the box and dispose it off.

So this way, they could ensure that empty boxes were no longer shipped. Though this was a temporary solution, they knew it better than to avoid while they awaited for their new machines.

This new machine which detected empty boxes was readily available but it cost massive amounts of money to the organization. But, it was the only quick solution that they could think of after spending so many hours in meetings, brainstorming, hiring best consultants etc to to arrive at a solution which helped them track empty boxes.

So the new device was in place and was doing a fine job. Every single day it detected an average of about 15 to 20 boxes and every time it beeped their factory manager would come, dispose off the empty boxes. The CEO was very happy as he got the report at the end of each week that an average of about 100 to 200 boxes were detected and disposed off. This went of for about two to three months.

After about three months, for two consecutive weeks, the CEO got reports that there were zero boxes disposed as none were found to be empty. He got curious and immediately decided to take a stroll at the factory floor. Just few lines before the new device that detected the empty boxes, he noticed a rather large fan pointing towards the assembly line. So curious, he went to the factory manager and enquired.

The manager responded, “Sir, I was just getting loaded with too many tasks on the factory floor, so every time the machine detected and beeped, I had to leave my task here and rush towards the line. Finally, I just thought of installing our factory fan which blew off empty boxes and kept the ones that had products in it intact. I am sorry.”

The CEO was baffled.

A simply FAN placed at the end of the line did what the new device was doing but literally at negligible or almost zero cost.

Now instead of all those meeting hours, hiring top consultants, brainstorm sessions, if he would have invited the factory manager to give a solution in the first place, he could have avoided so much cost and chaos.

The logic and message behind this story is very simple.

Today, we are so hooked up on devices, fancy solutions, new age media tools, big investments, fancy and lavish spends etc about things, process, people etc all around us that we often tend to miss out on simple solutions.

Like the old quote goes:

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated ~ Confucius

In life, it pays and goes a long way to stop and smell the roses. 

For eg. when was the last time:

  • We thought of sending a sincere Thank You for a job well done.
  • We ensured to take ownership and have a sense of urgency for a task at hand.
  • Make payments to our service providers on time not only because of a legal agreement, but simply because they are doing their job well, on time, professionally and simply because it is the right thing to do. May be you don’t pat them on the back, but the least you could do is reciprocate their work and tasks by paying on time. Remember, life has a way of balancing itself. For eg. I have a simple policy in life, “I will treat you 10 times the way you treat me.
  • Replied to an email not because you had to, but because it was the professional, courteous and human thing to do.
  • Not just reached out to someone because you needed a favor, but because you just dropped in to say Hi.
  • Each and every aspect of our tasks, routine, decisions says a lot about who we are. Remember, if you treat someone disrespectfully or unprofessionally for no reason, it does not say much about them, but a lot about you.
  • Value feedback, opinion from everyone in your team, organization etc who are part of the process and or tasks in question. Remember, if you want to grow fast in life, go alone, but if you want to build an empire, form alliances.
  • And most important of all, life is not about impressive things, complicated solutions, high end meetings, expensive stuff, fancy devices etc. sometimes its simply about getting things done with the right set of people for the right reasons the ethical way.

So the next time you decide on something, think through, have a sense of gratitude, professional courtesy and mutual respect. It goes a long way.

Have an amazing week ahead.

Have an amazing day ahead.

Be Well

Ananth V

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