10 Commitments: #3 – On Time and Quick Start

Today we look at Commitment #3:  


  1. No Shortcuts 

    We will teach you the safe way, provide you safe equipment, fix it when it breaks. Do it right and safe.

  1. Safety Freeze 

    Watch out for others, guide and teach “rookies,” hold others accountable for safe practices.

  1. On Time and Quick Start 

    Be there, start timely.This commitment particularly reminds me of demanding excellence from our team.When I was a rookie human resources person entering the pallet business, I worked with a plant manager who frequently complained about the habits of his employees.  He would blow through the office, especially on Mondays, complaining about the attendance habits of his team.

    He suffered frequently from ineffective starts because people weren’t on time.  He experienced poor Monday production because members of his team frequently were not prepared for a good start on Monday after celebrating the weekend too much.

    As a rookie, I just accepted the status quo for what it was.

    Fast forward a couple of years.  We hired a young manager to come in and work in a section of the plant where he controlled the personnel issues in his area.  After a little while, I noticed that he didn’t experience the same attendance problems and start-up issues that were so frequent in the other areas.

    Always seeking best practices, I asked him why he didn’t have the same problems with attendance his counterparts had elsewhere in the plant.

    He said, “It’s pretty easy.  If you are going to work for me, you’re going to come to work when you’re supposed to. If not, I can do without you.”

    As I travel around, here’s what I notice:  The plants that organize to have a flawless start in the morning get the best results.  When the whistle blows, everyone is at their stations, raw material and schedules are available, everyone is clear on what is expected and momentum for production is established from the first minute.

    The contract with the team member is this:  Show up, suited up, ready to play.  The company will make sure that all the things you need to be successful are in place when you get here.

  1. Work Smart – Technique and Consistency 

    Learn the right techniques and work at a consistent pace.

  1. Work Hard – Strength and Speed 

    Build endurance and push for faster production.

  1. Teamwork 

    Teammates support, cooperate, encourage and motivate each others. Be a good team member.

  1. “Customer Quality” 

    Know your customer and exceed their expectations.

  1. 100% Uptime 

    Learn to understand your tools and machines. Maintain them. Report little things before they become big.

  1. Lean and Clean 

    To run lean, we must have good housekeeping. Keep your area clean.

  1. Better or Worse? 

    If you are not moving toward excellence, you are drifting toward mediocrity.