#Immediacy on speech making

If well planned and carried out, such a campaign can only result ...

If well planned and carried out, such a campaign can only result in the business becoming financially stronger. He may even be able to suggest, from his broader experience, which aspects of the business are most likely to repay study.

As an example of one way to start a cost-reduction campaign, let us listen to Tony's story: 'My name is Tony. I run a wholesale chemicals-blending and packaging business with a staff of 53. I decided the best way to get maximum impact for starting my cost-reduction campaign was to have a meeting of the entire staff. I chose a Monday because my sales manager was in that day, gave the van drivers short runs and told them to be back by 3.30 P.M. I told the rest of the staff after lunch that we would close at 4 pm. because I wanted a meeting of the entire staff.

I then took the works manager my deputy the office manager and the sales manager into my office and explained my plans. Once everyone was assembled in the packing shed, I explained that I was starting this campaign because the kitty wasn't growing fast enough to keep up with my expansion plans. Because my aim was growth, there was no question of redundancy. I also reminded them that the faster the profits grew, the faster their annual bonus would grow.

I then announced that, to speed the process, the following temporary measures would come into effect immediately: cheques normally all cheques would be signed by myself; in my absence they would be signed by the office manager; orders all orders for materials, supplies, etc, over £125 must be countersigned by myself; orders over £110 but under £125 must be countersigned by the works manager; contracts all contracts must be signed by myself; permanent staff no new or replacement staff will be hired until further notice; temporary staff all engagement orders must be signed by myself; overtime no more overtime to be worked except with the written permission of the works manager or myself. admitted that this was arbitrary and perhaps unreasonable, but until the campaign had gained enough momentum, I was quite prepared to be unreasonable. I also wanted to receive by 10 A.M. each morning figures for the previous 24 hours for gas and electricity consumption, materials consumption, value of orders placed; stocks of chemicals, work in progress and finished products at 8 A.M. that' morning.

All of the above were intended as short-term measures until they could be replaced by better long-term measures or until study showed they were unnecessary. 'Finally I told them that the long-term study =would begin the next day under the guidance of a committee composed of the three managers and myself. Specific projects would be assigned to individuals or small teams. There would be a weekly progress report posted on the notice board and a review of the whole campaign would be presented at a staff meeting in one month.

'The meeting concluded with a lively question-and-answer session which went on long after normal finishing time-. Looking back on it, think the meeting set the right tone to get the campaign off the ground. The only mistake I think I made was in not having some big visual aids to help explain the situation.' The long haul How long should the long haul be? Not too long, I feel. There are two reasons for the 'short, sharp shock': one is to jolt people into doing a mental U-turn, the other is to reach the peak of enthusiasm as quickly as possible.

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It is not enough to reduce costs you have to keep them ...

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