The Digital ‘Supply Chain’ Gang

Murray Pratt Blog, Current Events, Humor, Life

BS socks

I am going away for a couple of nights this weekend for the first time in six months.

Probably the first time in about three years when it hasn’t been with my kids on vacation.

I am looking forward to the break. Someone took an hour away from me every day this past week – and my kids and I were an hour late for just about every darned thing in our lives.

Put this on top of a long rainy winter, a busy life of coaching hockey, and working long hours in our burgeoning transportation management software company, and I am just worn out.

My staff is worn out. They are tired and sometimes sharp with one another – even though they have a fundamental love and respect for one another. Things are tough at home for some of them – the trials and tribulations of our children, our partners, and our parents. It’s all the stuff of life, though I don’t think we would have it any other way.

We had our monthly ‘Done Well – Do Better’, meeting tied into a St. Patrick’s Day celebration today in our office. It’s a chance for us to celebrate the things that are going well and share some of our thoughts on how we can improve.

I love these because it’s a chance for all of us to reflect for a few moments – to spend time together, and enjoy some special moments like watching Michael Flatley and his team of Riverdancers on YouTube. And, of course, listening to Enya’s ‘Orinoco Flow’.

‘Sail Away… Sail Away… Sail Away…’

Sometimes I worry wonder just how much torture my team can take.

But sometimes you have to laugh. Even the Dev guys have to laugh. And if the accountants plan well enough ahead – they find the time and room in their calendars to laugh as well. And it’s almost spontaneous.

They book an appointment that says,

Spontaneous Laughing Session – 2:30 -3:30

Today I wore a pair of dark and light green checkered socks with the slogan that said

‘This Meeting is BS’

The socks were given to me by my sister-in-law and her family at Christmas, and I waited for just the right moment to make their debut.

It made it a bit difficult at the meeting because I had called it, I had set the agenda, organized the theme, and made the rule that no one could get in if they weren’t wearing green.

So, when I showed off my socks, everyone laughed. And I think one person tried to laugh especially loud at my socks to drive home a point. Grrrr.

We then went on to celebrate the 100th build of our web-based TMS application.

We celebrated with St. Patrick’s Day Green cream-topped cupcakes! Yum!

We wanted to let the Dev team know that we really appreciate the great work they are doing.

And these ‘Done Well – Do Better’ sessions are the stuff – the oil if you will – of the continuous improvement engine that runs our software business. I get to take a temperature check of how my team is feeling, and then tap into to their collective insight into how to run the business better.

Our chief programmer suggested that we could improve the business more if we got a Nintendo Switch for the office.

Everyone laughed. I didn’t hear what he said – and when it was repeated to me, I didn’t really know what the heck it was.

After the meeting I gathered up everyone’s sheets with their comments and suggestions, and was about to put them in my file when…

‘Who cares about this paper but me?’ I thought.

I headed right across the street to a game store in the local mall and bought the Nintendo Switch, a Super-Mario game, and a ‘console protector’, thing-a-ma-jiggy’ that the guy said I should buy.  I brought it back and hid it on their desks so that they will see it when they get in on Monday.

It cost $562.75.

We are building the best transportation management software application in the logistics game. These guys have worked brilliantly in that effort. They will do great things. Yes, cash is tight, it’s always tight but…

You gotta do, what you gotta do!

And now – I am outta here!

 

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