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Case Study

A flash flood closed the only access road to the local industrial park. The businesses were not damaged.
The Sheriff closed the road for all traffic and notified the business owners of record. The good news is
that the company had submitted its crisis plans to the local fire department and they were able to share
the contact information with the sheriff.

At 6:00 a.m., management started the calling tree to notify personnel that the facility would be closed for
at least one day with more information to come. By 7:30 a.m. the tree was complete with two phone
numbers that were ‘no longer in service’. Calls to other people in the department got new numbers for
the employees. The bad news was that those two employees were stuck in traffic at the road closure.

Human Resources

Case Study

A flash flood closed the only access road to the local industrial park. The businesses were not damaged. The Sheriff closed the road for all traffic and notified the business owners of record. The good news is that the company had submitted its crisis plans to the local fire department and they were able to share the contact information with the sheriff.

At 6:00 a.m., management started the calling tree to notify personnel that the facility would be closed for at least one day with more information to come. By 7:30 a.m. the tree was complete with two phone numbers that were ‘no longer in service’. Calls to other people in the department got new numbers for the employees. The bad news was that those two employees were stuck in traffic at the road closure.

Lessons Learned:

  • A new mechanism was created for employees to update their contact information.
  • A drill was run to verify personal contact information and emergency contact.

Communications and Marketing

Case Study

The company created a website and a Facebook page. The Marketing department ran a local newspaper advertisement announcing discounts on several items that were itemized on the company’s website. However, the Marketing department did not advise the web team of the sale and details, nor the sales department which led to the sale prices not being loaded into the sales system and customers not receiving the sale price. The Facebook page received negative comments regarding the sale, the website pricing and past problems. The call center began receiving phone calls and emails from disgruntled customers asking for clarification and tying up the sales staff.

Lessons Learned:

  • All materials released to the public would have a full review by all ‘customer facing’ teams.
  • Releases will be scheduled with all teams having time to update.
  • The Marketing team will create internal information sheets for the call center to respond to phone or emails that have questions.
  • A new policy and plan were put in place to monitor the Facebook page and remove or respond to negative comments.

Customers

Case Study

A company with a sales force had a sales representative who passed away. Unfortunately, no one thought to change the reps phone number, voice mail outgoing message, or to even check on any voice mails or emails that were being sent to the mail boxes. Only when a customer called to complain that they had not received their order did staff realize that no one had made these changes and customers were hearing the deceased team member’s voice and that no one was checking the messages. In addition, no one was calling the customers back.

Lessons Learned:

  • A team was created to update their procedures:
    • Forward the deceased worker’s phone to a co-worker.
    • Put a message on the deceased worker’s phone indicating that calls would now be taken by another sales rep.
    • Send a communication to all customers associated with sales rep indicating the passing and who their new sales rep would be.
    • Depending on the tenure the rep had with customers, it may be appropriate to indicate family’s address for sympathy cards or charity to donate.
    • Update the customer record to add the new sales rep’s name.
    • Reviewed the company policy about commissions to determine if earned commissions would be included in the benefit package to family.

Business Operations

Business Operations are the tasks that keep your company functioning around your Revenue Operations (discussed in depth in Chapter 5).

Case Study
Overnight, a severe storm had hit the company offices and neighboring business in the office building. The next morning the staff noticed that the power outlets had black marks on them. As they powered up the office equipment, several items did not turn on while others did.

A list of equipment that did not operate was created and called into the insurance agent. The agent confirmed that the machines were listed on the policy and authorized ‘like replacements’ to be purchases and for an electrician to repair the outlets.

The damaged machines did not follow any pattern either by power strip from a blackened outlet or direct to blackened outlet.

Lessons Learned:

  • The team reviewed how the machines were connected either by power strip or directly into the wall. They ensured that they did not connect multiple power strips; used one strip per outlet plug, and no extension cords were allowed from a power strip.
  • A policy was created that, when possible, they would unplug all devices from the wall outlet if a storm was imminent.
  • Management ensured that all office equipment, even leased equipment, was listed on the insurance policy.
  • They posted the contact information for an electrician available in an obvious location and coordinated with the company facilities representative to secure a repair company that could be used in the future if needed.
  • The team looked into getting a ‘whole building’ surge protector.
  • The team also reviewed with landlord if the area was typically prone to lightning and reviewed getting lightning rods attached to the building.

Revenue Operations

Revenue Operations are the processes and infrastructure your company uses to create revenue.

Case Study

A key person at Light Manufacturing broke his leg and had a full leg cast. He could not be in the back of the shop for his safety and for the rest of the team. He needed the income vs. Workers’ Compensation payments. The owner decided to move him to the front office where he it be safe and easier for him to move about. His temporary job was to learn more about the Supply Chain process, especially the purchasing of goods used in the back shop.

The shop team came to ask him questions several times per day, as he was the sole person that knew the whole process in that area. Work was interrupted in both areas of the company.

In order to reduce disruptions in the case of future injuries/illness, the front office team and the injured worker created a training manual and had a local high school art student paint the work flow on the wall of the shop.

Lessons Learned:

  • The injured worker was able to move about safely.
  • The injured worker learned more about the entire supply chain process and had a greater appreciation of the purchasing time lines.
  • The back shop got a process visual guide.
  • The back shop team got a training manual with a mentor available during the learning process.
  • The front office team got a better understanding of the back shop work processes.
  • The injured worker was able to continue to contribute to the company while recovering.
  • The entire company learned the value of cross-training and appreciating the work done in both sides of the business.

Facilities and Vehicles

Facilities and Vehicles are the buildings, equipment and vehicles used by your employees or company in the daily performance of their jobs.

Case Study

Early one morning, the owner got a call from a warehouse worker that the front loader was not working. He had tried everything with no success; who should he call for repair? The owner went into the shop and tried everything to get the machine running. The techs were starting to show up expecting their vans to be loaded for the day. The owner walked to the back of this machine and accidently slapped his hand on the propane tank – it was empty. ”The noise was like a church bell!” It was empty with no spare tank in the shop and no one else had a company credit card to fill the tank so the owner had to go himself. The office staff had to call all the morning customers and explain the delay or reschedule.

Lessons Learned:

  • There was no fuel log for any warehouse equipment
  • There was no maintenance log for any warehouse equipment
  • There was no maintenance log for any of the company vehicles
  • The CPA suggested getting fuel and maintenance contracts with a local garage
  • The CPA did not have any equipment or vehicle inventory information
  • The CPA had not been allowing tax depreciation on either warehouse equipment or vehicles due to the lack of an equipment or vehicle inventory list
  • There were no driver histories, so the insurance agent suggested the drivers take basic courses for insurance purposes and premium reductions
  • Drivers that picked up HazMat bulk materials did not have training or certifications

Information Technology

Information Technology is the technology involving the development, maintenance, and use of computer systems, software, and networks for the processing and distribution of data. It may be a couple of PCs or MACs with Internet connection via a cable company or an entire system with servers, workstations and shared printers with network connections.

Website design and maintenance is also covered in Chapter 2, Communications.

Workstation application software is also covered in Chapter 4, Business Operations and Chapter 5, Business Operations.

Case Study
A third-shift employee was new to the company and had not been fully trained on all the devices in the computer room or where to find all the supplies. At 5:30 a.m., a loud bell tone rang and rang. The employee remembered that in previous job the fire alarm was a bell tone, so he grabbed the BIG RED button on the wall and foam came out of the sprayers in the ceiling fixtures. Unfortunately, it was not the fire alarm that was ringing; it was the normal delivery truck bringing supplies. The loud bell was installed so the third shift operator could open the dock door.

Lessons Learned:

  • A new training module was put in place to ensure that everyone who had access to the computer room understood all emergency sounds and what to do in an emergency.