I had the glimpse of Asda’s depot recently. I was amazed at the number of activities that go on behind the scene, whilst we innocently shop for our daily needs. There were boxes and crates everywhere, people unpacking, packing, moving, checking, listing, scanning, noting and buzzing. There were just so many people involved in getting the stock from suppliers to shelves.
If deliveries were dumped all over the Asda depot floor without being checked in, left unpacked for days then delivered late to the shop floor. The innocent people who come in to the store just to pick up a few groceries will probably not be able to do so.
Your Personal Warehouse Stacked to the RoofAs you may have noticed from my previous posts, everyday life always gets me thinking. What came to mind as I observed this depot was the bare truth that we are all custodians of personal warehouses.
The same delivery process is applicable to what is occupying the space in our personal warehouses. Many of us have got huge skills, talents, gifts, experiences, services, products etc that should be accessible via the ‘shop floor’ so the numerous people who need what we have can gain access to them. But for reasons best known to us, our depot is littered with unopened boxes that are yet to be shipped to the right location or arranged on the appropriate shelves.
I am also guilty of this syndrome. I started analysing our exhibition at the recent business show, I was truly amazed at the number of people who need the services we provide. Whether Business First Steps went to the show or not, it will have taken place. The only difference being many people may not be able to access BFS’ warehouse to pick up the services they need.
The same goes for those thinking of starting businesses, community groups, social enterprise or new career – what you have is the solution to someone’s problem or the answer to someone’s question. The question is, are your goods on the shelves where they can be accessed? If you are already running a business, are you maximizing the products or services you offer? Are you constantly restocking your shelves?
Who is Taking Stock of Your Stock?
Many of us are probably taking stock of what we have done over the past 10-11 months. I try as much as I can not to be swept away by the “what have you achieved this year” syndrome. It doesn’t matter to me if you set goals in April, June or November. The most important aspect is not the time you set the goals but the actions that follow the goals.
According to Wikipedia 2012 ‘Stock-taking or inventory checking is the physical verification of the quantities and condition of items held in an inventory or warehouse.
This may be done to provide an audit of existing stock valuation. It is also the source of stock discrepancy information. Stock-taking may be performed as an intensive annual check or may be done continuously by means of a cycle count.’
How often do you take stock of the resources delivered to your warehouse? Are you using your knowledge, skills, talents and resources to add value to the lives of others and yourself? Are you marketing the products in your warehouse to those who need it?
One of the key elements of stock taking is to understand your own strengths and weaknesses. What manpower have you got to move your stock? I am reluctantly letting go of tasks that slow me down. I now let someone else do them (and stack their own shelves) whilst I can concentrate on what matters most to me.
There are a lot of factors we need to consider when setting goals for ourselves – these include:
- Personal and family circumstances
- Your abilities and personality
- Your mind-set and daily schedules
- Available resources – including funds, knowledge, support etc.
If the task at hand is one of your pet hate why don’t you delegate it? Just imagine if Asda directors/managers decide to do the depot work themselves, rather than put people in place to move the products to the shop floor. All those intricate details need to be taken care of and they choose to hire the manpower for it.
In one of my previous blogs I wrote about my new acronym ADO – Automate, Delegate and Outsource – this is helping me a great deal, I feel a lot lighter with less baggage. There are just so many tasks one person can get done at any given time. I have come to realise that there is no point feeling guilty about tasks you may never get done – I felt that way for a very long time. Be realistic and get help, however you can even if you have to trade by barter. If you are thinking of starting or growing a business and you can’t navigate through the numerous steps, get help! Do not make the mistake of convincing yourself that you will get it done and let another year come and go.
Stock taking is a necessity but the stock-taker has the power to make sure the floor is adequately stocked and meeting the needs of those who want to buy the goods. So if you have to take stock as we approach the end of the year, do it with the mindset that you will get your goods to the ‘shop floor’ before they expire in the depot.
I wish you good success.
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