Max Osmond – CEO MSA Manufacturing Ltd
We were growing fast, almost too fast. New customers, new products, new market sectors, additional premises, additional equipment, more people. Planned but not at the rate it was happening. We weren’t prepared. It was exciting and fun – and chaos! We had all the pains that kind of accelerated growth brings and were exhausted. Old systems were failing, breaking, and we’d started to let customers down in a way we’d never done before. We’d started spending too much time looking at ourselves to cope with the growth and not at our customers, the very people who’d got us this far to begin with, and indeed the very reason the business was set up in the first place – to service. If you’ve been through rapid growth, you’ll recognise these things. We needed help. We paused for breath and sought that help in many areas of the business, from experts who’ve had real experience of these situations and of solving them.
Jenny helped us re-focus the business on the customer, re-organise our structure, review and re-align processes, clarify roles and responsibilities, and engage new people who could help us move forward in the right roles. She helped us manage our time better (some of us still need to do much better!), micro manage less, delegate more, train and develop people more and faster, to build the skills we needed quicker, and communicate differently.
People are now happier (a bit of fun at work is important I think) and they know what they should be doing and how to do it. Meetings and day to day operations are more productive, and we communicate better at all levels from everyday tasks right through to the business vision and roadmap. We engage better quality people and in turn they develop their teams better than we have done in the past. It’s still manic, there still isn’t quite enough time, but we’re getting better at that. It’s not chaotic and it’s exciting in a different way. We have the basis and platform to keep growing and we’ve learned the ways to do ensure we cope better as we grow. Most importantly, we’re more profitable because our customers are happy.