This week has been on odd one at Samka Architectural Solutions Limited, Bank Holidays always affect the working week and it means that work seems slower. But the sun shone and that puts a smile on everyone’s face – well that’s the theory the practical is not always so.
My week always starts with a scheduling meeting which in involves the Commercial Director, Production Manager, Business Support Co-ordinator and Design and Contracts Assistant. This is a meeting where we can ensure that the work is scheduled both on the factory floor and on site. Procurement is scheduled, deliveries are scheduled, plant hire is scheduled, people and finance are scheduled and overall we review where we are and where we need to be. This is often a lively meeting with contrasting views and opinions but always for me a great start to the week because we are able to coordinate the work load.
The challenges that often arise from scheduling meetings are not hitting deadline dates and the reasons behind that – often we review our systems to ensure that nothing gets missed but we cannot always allow for human error or being let down by our suppliers – but do our clients want to hear that, No! I ensure that we always go to our clients with honesty and with a solution rather than a problem but that’s not always enough and we have to manage closely relationships with clients and suppliers to retain and exceed satisfaction.
No Hell from Mel
Following scheduling I go straight in to another meeting with the Business Support Coordinator to review the previous and plan the current week. This is a fun meeting in which because of the trust between us I can relax a little and laugh about the things that frustrate me. Mel has worked for me for over two years and in that time has become a trusted and loyal employee who protects me from people, stress and my workload. Our meeting lasts about thirty minutes and then its time for a breather.
Next meeting is with the Production Meeting – this is a multi purpose meeting in which I mentor, train and develop Wayne’s managerial skills. We set Objectives for the week and these will generally involve his time management and ensuring that he gives time to share his expertise with the Workshop and Site operatives. We review staff development and any issues that have arisen or may arise with regard to personality clashes and workloads. Metal working is a very male dominated environment and often the testosterone flows which can create tension and we have to act to manage that. If we are busy tension can run high but also, when we have a quieter week like this week after the Bank Holiday and a bit of sunshine, clashes can be common.
Walking the Factory Floor
At the start of my week I also put on my Steel Toe Caps and walk the factory floor to chat with the guys and see how things are going with them. With responsibility for Health and Safety this gives me an opportunity to see that we are complaint with regulations and ensuring that we are doing everything practically reasonable to minimise risk. This is an important time for me as I can find out what is happening at the coal face.
Meetings about Meetings
The rest of my week may often include external and internal meetings that will involve Networking, Sales, Finance, Strategy, Contract Handover and Debriefing. I make sure that I only attend meetings that will benefit me, the company or the other attendees because all of our time is precious.
Meetings for meetings sake are not worth the time spent on them which is why I plan, set objectives and timings and ensure the correct people attend them. Meetings that are planned proffer good to way communication and see results for business.
Banking on a Bank Holiday
Friday beckons and once again a meeting day – off to Newbury for a Seminar arranged by Lloyds TSB Bank, a much appreciated invite for me and Nigel to attend. We have a great relationship with our bank and in particular Mary Strachan our Relationship Manager, so I am looking forward to tomorrow and what it may bring. No doubt I will report in next weeks blog.