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It will be tough to post sales increases this year, so focus on opportunities that you can easily control.
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often" is a Sir Winston Churchill quote that strikes home in these difficult times. That quote, and the use of Managing By Walking Around techniques (described in the 1982 book "In Search of Excellence" by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman) are the driving principles that need to be used by every furniture retailer in these tough times. In recent years Lean process has contributed another dimension to overall best practices strategy. In simplest terms, applying Lean principles to furniture warehouse and delivery provides a framework to eliminate waste every step of the way with the ultimate goal of achieving a perfect delivery.
For most furniture retailers it is virtually impossible to increase sales this year, so you need to focus on items you do control. This article is focused on opportunities that you identify using your eyes and ears through "Managing By Walking Around" and the use of common sense. If you have broad management responsibilities, rearrange your schedule to spend time in warehouse and delivery operations over a three-week period. Your entire first day should be spent in operations. Based on what you see while walking around, you will probably want to visit the warehouse on subsequent days to observe operations needing improvement and develop action plans to address these issues.
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