I had a glimpse of one of the superstore’s depot recently. I was amazed at the number of activities that goes on behind the scene as 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 so many people involved in getting the stock from suppliers to shelves.
It got me thinking. If deliveries were dumped all over the depot floor without being checked in, left unpacked for days then delivered late to the shop floor, what will happen? The innocent people who come into the store to pick up a few groceries will probably not be able to do so.
Is Your Personal Warehouse Stacked to the Roof?
What came to mind as I observed this depot was the bare truth that we are all warehouse gatekeepers. Puzzled? I bet you are wondering what do I mean by that statement.
The same process in the depot is applicable to what is occupying the space in our personal warehouses. We all have skills, talents, gifts, knowledge, experiences, services; products that should be accessible via the ‘shop floor’ so people who need what we have to offer can access them. However, for reasons best known to us, our depots are littered with unopened boxes that are yet to be shipped to the right location and arranged on the appropriate shelves.
I was guilty of this syndrome for many years – leaving all my talent in the warehouse, waiting for someone else to take stock and put the validation rubber stamp on them before shipping them to the shop floor. Little did I know that it was my responsibility to take action and package my passion.
The same goes for those thinking of starting developing products, businesses, community groups, social enterprise or a new career – you have the solution to someone’s problem. Are your ‘goods’ on the shelves where they can be accessed?
Who is Taking Stock of Your Stock?
Many of us are probably taking stock of what we have done over the past months. I try not to be swept away by the “what have you achieved this year” syndrome. It does not matter to me if you set goals in April, June or November. The most important aspect is not the date you set the goals but the actions that follow the goals.
According to Wikipedia ‘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 talent in your warehouse?
Do you wait until the end of the season to open the boxes and discover rotten goods that you could have been put to use 6 months ago?
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 ‘shop front’ to those who need it?
One of the key elements of stocktaking is to know the ‘products’ in your warehouse and the tools you need to get it to the right people.
Is your product or service still in the manufacturing plant awaiting packaging?
Do you have a distribution system to get your ‘product’ to the warehouse?
Are your products and services properly packaged and ready for the shop floor?
What workforce would move your stock to the shop floor?
If we do not consciously take stock of what is in our warehouses and accept the tasks required to get them to the stock floor, we may end up with out of date products and services and no one to serve.
If you are struggling to get your products to the ‘shop floor’, why not delegate it. Just imagine if superstore directors/managers decide to carry out the depot work themselves, rather than put people in place to move the products to the shop floor. All those intricate details must be taken care of by competent staff and they hire the right people to get it done.
One of my favourite acronym ADO – Automate, Delegate and Outsource. This helps declutter my life and focus on my strengths. One person can only complete just so many tasks at any given time. I have come to realise that there is no point feeling guilty about tasks you may never complete – I felt that way for a long time. If you are thinking of starting or growing a business and you cannot 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 go by. Find a way to declutter your warehouse by packaging the components of your passion and allow others to benefit from your talents.
Stocktaking is a necessity but the stock controller has the power to ensure the shop floor is adequately stocked and meeting the needs of those who want the goods. Therefore, 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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