With summer in full swing, the employees have been taking off while things are relatively quiet. That means I’ve had to get my hands dirty once again pulling, packing & receiving. Over the last year and a half I’ve slowly transitioned to a more cerebral role in the business – spending more time doing marketing, accounting, planning and IT. As such, for the first time in while I’ve actually gone to the warehouse on a regular basis and did the grunt work.
It’s actually been a very good experience in many ways. Firstly, I get to see firsthand how some of the policies I’ve dictated have been put into place – or not. That means I get to offer a more direct interface rather than the numerous statistics we keep (which still have their place). Secondly; as the primary purchaser in the company and with games ‘disappearing’ from inventory for no reason (IT bug which puts Settlers of Catan to -3 for example for no reason) it’s good to actually know how many games we actually have (for some at least). Lastly; and rather importantly – I get to see what my employees are doing and fix things.
By fixing I mean creating new processes or removing old processes to increase efficiency. It can also mean looking at hours spent and considering if we need more help during specific times in the week. While it’s always nice when the employees come with their own ideas, one of the reasons you’re the boss is theoretically; you have more experience than they do. You certainly have a better understanding of all parts of the company and thus can make the calls they can’t.
Sometimes, getting your hands dirty is the only way to know.