Category: Problem Solving

Being Neighborly, The Home Depot Way

When you think about your neighbors, what comes to mind?  People you wave to on your way to work or school?  The guy across the street who helps out when you’ve got a roof leak?  The lady who has too many mangoes growing on her tree and pops in to share some with you?  I have neighbors just like them.

After last night, I realize I have a new neighbor I can count on in an emergency.  A neighbor who has been around for a while, supporting the community but somewhat in the background unless I needed some little things.  This neighbor came through for me last night when I needed them.  This neighbor is my local Home Depot.

Last night, my girlfriend came home from work and grocery shopping.  It was still light out though dusk was falling.  She opened the garage door and pulled her car in.  She got out of the car and was attacked by a man who had come into the garage behind her.  They scuffled, he grabbed her pocket book, she fought, the strap on her pocket book broke and he took off with it.  She’s a little bruised but appears ok.

The police came, many questions, DNA swabbing, K9 unit, detectives, the works.  We were notifying banks, credit card companies, and AT&T to cancel accounts.

While doing all this, we realized her house keys were in her pocket book and were now with the robber.  We have to change the locks – now!

Fortunately, we had put in locks that allowed us to change the keys and train the locks but, we needed the kit with new keys.  I drove to our local Home Depot, Store 0218, in Deerfield Beach, to get what I needed to change the locks.  I arrived just before 10 pm only to find they close at 9 pm.  Now what?

I knocked on the door and was greeted by Assistant Manager, Jasun, and Department Head, Bobby.  I explained what had happened and what I needed.  They let me in, double checked the information I had with me about the locks, got me what I needed and brought me outside.  Jasun told me, “Look, we are closed.  I can’t sell this to you.  Take this and go make your house safe, we’ll take care of it.  We are your neighborhood Home Depot and this is what neighbors do.”

If you think of companies like Home Depot as big, faceless, uncaring corporations just chasing the dollar, pause for a minute.  Companies are made up of people.  People who have feelings, people who live in our communities, people who are our neighbors.

The empathy and kindness displayed by Jasun and Bobby last night will stay with me forever.  The Home Depot should be proud of them and what they bring to the neighborhood.

Jasun, Bobby, thank you.  You made a difficult situation manageable and gave us the security to sleep in our home last night.

Home Depot, welcome neighbor and, thank you.

Preventing a problem vs. solving a problem; BP’s oil spill costs skyrocket to $9.5B

See the Fox article here or read below.

That’s right, $9.5B, BILLION and a $20 billion victims fund.

Does anyone believe it was less expensive, more effective, and more beneficial to BP’s bottom line (not to mention the men who died and the environmental impact) to spend all this money after having this problem rather than working beforehand to prevent it?

When the impact of a problem is very high (like this one), even if the probability of it occurring is relatively low, we need to spend time considering what we will do to avoid the problem.  We also need good contingent actions ready to roll immediately if we should have the problem anyway.

Did BP consider what could go wrong?

Did the explosion and subsequent oil leak show up on their potential problem list?

Did they effectively weigh the risks and rewards?

Did they just hope for the best and focus on short term results and management bonuses?

We can only hope that BP, the oil industry, politicians, and everyone else involved learn from this disaster.

What are you doing to avoid disasters in your business, your career, and your life?

Give us a call, we can help.

John Schneyer, Boca Consultants

Fox news article:
BP’s oil spill costs skyrocket to $9.5B

Updated: Monday, 20 Sep 2010, 7:42 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 20 Sep 2010, 7:41 AM EDT

NewsCore – The cost of the cleanup of BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill hit $9.5 billion, the company said Monday.

As the oil giant announced the capping of the well was complete , the final cost of the spill response became clear.

“The cost of the response to Sept. 17 amounts to approximately $9.5 billion, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, static kill and cementing, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs,” the statement said.

BP also reaffirmed its creation of a $20 billion fund to pay out victims of the oil spill.

More than four million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded April 20, killing 11 workers. Oil flowed freely into the sea until July 15, when temporary caps were put in place.

Final capping work was completed Friday, with confirmation of the kill’s success announced Sunday.

Recommendation for John Schneyer

I worked with John at Andrx during the early 20s. John directed the Knowledge and Change Management Department. He taught and implemented Kepner-Tregoe Problem Solving & Decision Making classes and processes.John used these processes and techniques to find solutions to many problems, avoid problems, and make decisions regarding transportation, employee performance appraisals, and product failures. He is a well organized individual and his knowledge of Kepner -Tregoe techniques was of tremendous benefit to Quality, Technical Services and Manufacturing in helping to solve manufacturing problems and quality issues. I strongly recommend John to any one who can use his services

Frank Greaves, President, Pharmaceutical Systems Consulting, Inc.

What in our Process Allowed this to Happen?

When a problem occurs and everyone is under pressure to deal with the mess, ask “What in our process allowed this to happen?” rather than “Who’s to blame?” You will get better results and find problem cause.

Give us a call, we can help.
John Schneyer, Boca Consultants

The machine that ran too hot

Follow this link to the Economist article on Toyota

The woes of Toyota, the world’s biggest car maker, are a warning for rivals

http://www.economist.com/daily/news/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15576506&fsrc=nwl

How well do you source your work?  How well do you know both your suppliers and customers?

Give us a call, we can help.

John Schneyer, Boca Consultants