provement, you can strengthen team performance significantly by tweaking
the team makeup and providing team-specific coaching.
Some situations, however, might be influenced only by casting a wider net
that encompasses the entire company culture, leadership and communication styles, and the environment of accountability and feedback. Team performance is highly dependent on all these areas, and in most cases, you need to
start with engineering and initiating a culture change in the leadership. As with
so many other business practices, building and sustaining high-performing
teams must start with the leader.
Dr. Joe Mayer is the managing partner of the Mayer Business Group, 7330
Royal Portrush Drive, Solon, OH 44139, 440-248-9070, www.mayerbusiness
group.com. He is a certified business and executive coach with more than 25
years of experience. He also is a member of the Management Advisory Council of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International.
November 2013 The FABRICATOR 65
A Tale of Two Teams
The assignments for both teams were identical: Go through the orders
in the evening to ensure all information needed to produce the part has
been received and is complete; make sure material is available; and schedule the part for production during the night shift.
Before their production meeting, team A’s members had already
checked the new orders. When the meeting started on time, members
discussed that a critical dimension was missing in a customer drawing.
Because the team member representing sales was on vacation, someone
from operations volunteered to call the customer. After three tries he
tracked down the responsible person and clarified the missing information. The part shipped, as promised, the next morning.
The delivery chart on the team’s performance board indicated that they
had hit the 100 percent on-time delivery mark for the last four weeks. The
suggestion and task follow-up charts showed that they were working on
improvements to the order flow and a new order check list.
Team B’s meeting had another late start. Some members had to be
paged several times. After 20 minutes of sitting around and waiting, everybody was finally physically present, unapologetic, and unprepared.
Eventually they found the same problem as team A did, and with the sales
representative on vacation, the team leader told the team member from
operations to follow up with the customer. Getting sidetracked after the
meeting, the operations employee left a message late in the day for the
customer’s purchasing agent.
The next afternoon, when the customer called to inquire why his part
had not arrived, the operations person told the team leader that it was
not really his job to contact customers, and that he did the best he could
by leaving a message for the purchasing agent. “If sales would have done
a better job of checking the part,” he said, “surely it would have shipped
The angry team leader yelled at the operations person in front of the
entire team and told everyone that this behavior was unacceptable, that
he was called on the carpet by the owner himself, and that there would be
consequences if they didn’t shape up. He took it on himself to follow up
with the customer and then told the team that they personally needed to
walk the part through production—or else.
When asked, the team leader did not know their on-time shipment performance, guessing it was somewhere in the 80 percent range. Yes, they
had brainstormed improvement ideas months ago, and after some searching he located the list under a stack of drawings. Needless to say, all assignments were past due. His only comment: “I can accomplish only so much.”
Use Global Shop Solutions ERP software. Before you know it, you’re
saving thousands of dollars. Year after year. Just like our many
successful fabrication manufacturing customers.
For a FREE copy of our Scheduling White Paper
visit www.GlobalShopSolutions.com or call 1.800.364.5958.
TRUST Global Shop for ERP Success.
Designed to Streamline™
“Global Shop has made us a much
more efficient operation and has
allowed us to produce more
parts and maintain our
on-time delivery at
a high rate.”
Miller Welding and Machine
©2013, Global Shop Solutions, Inc.
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