#Immediacy on speech making

Now you may have more cash available or at least your credit ...

Now you may have more cash available or at least your credit rating has improved enough for you to borrow more to buy or lease more equipment.

So what use are you going to make of this opportunity? Is there any equipment you could install which would show a good payback in manpower saving? Could you perhaps remove one or two bottle-necks at the same time? Improve work efficiency One of the greatest time-wasters is job inflexibility, when a man carries out a job up to a certain point. Then he sits and waits while another man is sent for to remove the nut or do whatever other job the first man is unable, unwilling or not allowed to do. Fortunately it is no longer so common to see 'demarcation disputes' in the headlines, but the problem is still widespread at all levels of our society, from cabinet ministers to fitters. Perhaps this is closely linked to one of our basic psychological needs, which the late Bob Audrey called the 'territorial imperative'. Nevertheless, it is possible in practice to reduce the problem to negligible proportions.

The easiest way to get full staff flexibility is to set the scene for it right at the start. Ideally, one should recruit only staff who can do any of the jobs needing to be done and train them to do them all In the real world you can't always do this, not least because when you are starting a new business you can't foresee all the jobs that will arise.

Also, a new business may not have all that much choice as regards recruits. What you can do is to select recruits with a flexible outlook, who are 'willing to have a go' at anything which arises. The personnel policy you adopt at the outset can also help or hinder the achievement of flexibility.

You should adopt one with as little in-built demarcation as possible.

For example, it helps if you avoid separate 'staff' and 'labour' with different hours of work, canteens, pensions and holiday conditions; separate entrances and time clocks for labour; weekly wage packets and monthly salary cheques.

You should also avoid elaborate hierarchical wage and salary scales with their associated 'perks'. Obviously not everyone is paid the same, but any firm with up to a few hundred staff can manage quite adequately with four or five salary groups which allow a certain amount of overlap.

Perhaps you don't agree with some or all of the above. Well, ...

Perhaps you don't agree with some or all of the above. Well, it's your business and you can run

If they have a union or staff association, the approach is likely ...

If they have a union or staff association, the approach is likely to be made through this body. If not, don't assume that silence means acquiescence.

They ... read more

It should enable you to work out the total cost of supplies ...

It should enable you to work out the total cost of supplies in your business and indicate where you may have opportunities for cutting your costs. Choosing suppliers When a new