#Immediacy on speech making

the daily plan of where each vehicle should go. In many businesses ...

the daily plan of where each vehicle should go. In many businesses this is made up, not by the drivers, but by someone in the office who may or may not have any driving experience. Get a large sheet of cork or similar material and paste on to it a cheap road map such as garages sell.

If necessary, you may have to fit together more than one sheet. Stick a map pin in to locate each customer, using a colour code if you have different types of vehicle.

With a piece of string running from pin to pin you can now trace out each day's route and measure the day's mileage from the total length of string. Do a few random checks against vehicle daily mileage records to see if there has been any unauthorized use of vehicles. Now you want to see if you can improve vehicle productivity, which you can measure in ton-miles per day or sales per day, whichever suits your business best.

This means turning the improvement you made from your vehicle utilization study into additional deliveries each day. With your map and piece of string you can quickly experiment with alternative routes, checking the promising ones by working out the timed daily schedule to ensure you don't exceed the legal limits on driving times. At the end of this you should have some more efficient routes, which use fewer vehicle days.

You can then utilize the spare days of the vehicle fleet in the way which suits you best; for instance: reducing your use of contract vehicles; disposing of your oldest vehicle or laying it: up for emergency use only better servicing of vehicles; taking on more work. On the other hand, conducting these studies or just thinking about it may cause you to feel that distribution is too remote from your main business to justify spending so much management effort on it. You may decide to contract out the whole job of distribution many firms do today, even some large ones.

But if you have done some of the above studies, you will be in a much stronger position when you come to negotiate with an outside contractor. Service capacity First, may I repeat the point that the division between the three main types of business selling, making, service is often unclear and many of the investigation- methods described above can be applied to service businesses.

That said, we must admit that the range of service businesses is so wide that it is difficult to generalize. Take, for example, car repairs, catering, dry cleaning, instant printing, insurance, travel agents, just to mention a few.

What have they in common? Perhaps the main feature is that they are all dealing directly with the public. Not only the business itself, but many of the staff are dealing directly with the public and what they say to the customer is legally binding on the business. The customer, therefore, gets his first impression of the business from a face-to-face encounter with what is often a relatively low-paid member of the staff.

This puts a high premium on selecting the right staff for the right job and making sure that they are properly trained before they talk to customers. In many businesses the background information keeps changing for example car repairs, building societies and so it is necessary to maintain a more or less continuous retraining to keep the staff up to date.

In such a labour-intensive setting, it might seem that the only way ...

In such a labour-intensive setting, it might seem that the only way to increase capacity is to increase staff.

This is often true but not entirely so. There are ways... read more

Another obstacle is fear. The assistant may become so good at the ...

Another obstacle is fear.

The assistant may become so good at the job that he gets a better job with your competitor or even starts his own

If the task recurs, this method soon becomes habitual, because it is ...

If the task recurs, this method soon becomes habitual, because it is easier to copy how you did it last time than work out the best way. From time to time, you should step back and ex