Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Toxic Employees

Have you been in a company where there is a employee that, most often, seems to be disruptive? This can be as simple as jokes that become offensive, mannerisms that are not professional, issues that are not supported by the company policy manual, and worst of all, insubordination. I have dealt with these circumstances in my 20 years in manufacturing and operations.

With Nevada being a right to work state, the easy solution might be to just terminate the employee. That would be in your right, but risky. A number of problems could occur in the aftermath that might become a bigger problem than before.

An excellent solution to most all problems in the workplace is to have an exceptional Employee Policy Manual. This manual would include every aspect of tasks and responsibilities from the time the employees arrives to the time they depart the workplace. Leaving out details only sets the employer up for avoidable stressful situations. So you make it look like a Senate Bill. So what? The manual is written to protect the employer. But written well, the employee will understand their rights as well.

The policy manual I co-wrote (for the company I co-owned) allowed us to avoid (and win) numerous claims of wrongful discharge and unemployment. Even lawyers and our Workers Comp provider were impressed with our employee manual.

Let's correspond so that I can help with your manual.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Marketing vs Production

Sales and Marketing are the core departments to any business, manufacturing or otherwise. Without them, the rest of the company need not exist. What would the rest do without products being developed and sold?

But once those products are marketed and sold they need to be manufactured well. And that's when the tables are turned. Without good manufacturing practices, producing a product worth buying, then Sale and Marketing my not have any reason to show up to work. Who is going to buy inferior products?

Without understanding some phase of the process within each department a project can quickly become off-task. For Marketing to set forth a product without previously understanding the manufacturing constraints can (and has)lead to mis-printed packaging. This major oversight delays the Product launch date, tarnishes reputations, and increase the cost of goods which diminishes the profit margin.

Companies can do well by hiring (or training) a skilled manager to oversee the total project. One who has experience in both departments and, possibly, others. One person that fits that criterion is a small business owner. This well rounded person has had the experience of developing new products, finding a way to market the product, being out in the field selling, coming back to the factory and making the product themselves. This hard working individual is who I am. Please visit my VisualCv and learn more about me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu

This new viral stain of influenza has worldwide attention. While the swine flu is named after pigs who are sick, eating the cooked meat cannot get you sick.

The spread of disease causing viruses and bacteria come from a likely source. The toilet bowl. Watch this link to see how that happens.

While it is very important to wash you hands by some means (soap & water or a sanitizer) cleaning your toilet bowl is also very important. I produced toilet bowl cleaners for 20 years and have knowledge to share. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Employee Relations

Having an open door policy means more than having the door open. It means to invite colleagues, employees, vendors in with a smile. It means to listen to their dialogue and show interest in the content. Then an intelligent and logical decision can be made to the conversation. Do not belittle people. That never serves a purpose and seems to undermine morale of the individual.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

White Water Rafting in Business

We stood there looking at Corkscrew (a Class 4 rapid on the Salt River) I pondered on how navigating these treacherous waters are much like owning your own business.

As a two time business owner I understand that making a split decision is critical to the survival of the business, much like in white water rafting. A wrong decision in rafting will overturn the boat and put all the riders in the icy cold water, fighting for their survival.

I tell this story because these experiences have allowed me to grow and protect the people in my raft. To lookout ahead for all predicted obstacles and guide the raft through to calmer waters.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Groover

In the fall of 2004 I was invited to a Grand Canyon single track mountain bike trip at Temp Point. In the National Park System there is a requirement is that campers bring everything in and pack everything out and leave the area cleaner than when you arrived. One of those "thing" is a toilet system call a groover.

The name "groover" came about because in the old days an old Army Ammo box was used as the toilet. After you finished your business and got up you had grooves on your backside. Hence the name of the toilet stuck as "the groover".

My good friend and host, Rob Shepler, had placed the groover in a pristine location overlooking the awe of the Grand Canyon. What a place to to take a moment in time. As I needed to take my moment I was overwhelmed by the choking odor of exposed solid human waste. And I thought to myself, I'm going to avoid eating anything more on the trip so I wouldn't have to make a trip to the groover.

Back at camp I told Rob that the groover smelled worst than any zoo or porta-potty I had ever been in and we had a good laugh. He said that was a problem that had no good solutions. (Rob is an Eagle Scout and an avid oresman on white water river rafting. He has been down a dozen Grand Canyon tips).

Rob knew of my 20 years of experience in the toilet care industry and I told Rob that I had a solution to this awful problem. I went back to my lab and developed a compound that is now used in river toilet systems. Rob and I formed a company called, as you might guess, Groover Labs, Inc. ( and are a key supplier to major river rafting supply companies.