System Detection

“But, we got the parts in and shipped the units. I thought we handled that quite well,” protested Valerie.

“You are right, your supervisor did a good job. That’s what supervisors do. But your work, as a manager, was not done,” I replied. “The job of the manager is to create the system. When you discovered you would be short of parts, it was your supervisors job to go find the parts, but it was your job to ask

  • Why didn’t our system anticipate this shortage?
  • Why didn’t our system detect this shortage as soon as the order was placed into our system?
  • Why didn’t our system spot our supplier’s inventory and indicate a shortfall in those parts?
  • Why didn’t our system have alternate vendors for those critical parts?
  • Why didn’t our system continually track alternate supplier inventories to find odd lots at aggressive pricing?

“The job of the manager is to create the systems, monitor the systems, improve the systems. It’s great that we have a supervisor who knows how to scramble. But I prefer a system that responds to our constantly changing circumstances. The role of the manager is to create those systems.”

One thought on “System Detection

  1. Michael Cardus

    Tom enjoyed this. And I keep thinking, doesn’t the supervisor have some accountability here? I understand the manager needs to determine where in the system the break down took place, the supervisor found the necessary resources. Although wouldn’t there be some needed coaching and development from the supervisor also?


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