I try to streamline all processes associated with domestic business air travel. It helps to reserve my energy for more important things during the day. Pre-booking airport parking is one of those activities. I normally take a printout of the booking (yes, still a bit old-fashioned with certain things) and save the booking into my calendar.
On a particular trip, after handing over the car, I headed to the reception area. I was asked for either the QR code or the reference number, but I had none of those with me that day. I had left the printout in the car and hadn’t saved the booking to my phone (calendar). I asked the person if my booking could be found with my name, car registration number, or the credit card used to finalise the payment, but unfortunately, none of those worked! How could that be?
We have technology that captures copious amounts of data, however, when we want to leverage these systems to our advantage, it is too hard. We have to adapt to what the system wants. The system is supposed to work for us, not the other way around.
I remember working with a bakery client a few years ago and they printed daily production papers to be distributed to the various departments in the factory. I watched in amazement how two team leaders spent nearly half an hour sorting through pages, discarding what’s irrelevant and re-sequencing it in the order that was practical for the workers. After some system changes, they managed to save 100’s of pages and nearly all that sorting time for team leaders.
While businesses explore tackling the bigger topics such as Industry4.0, de-carbonising, blockchain, ethical sourcing etc, I still see a lot of wasted opportunities, where existing systems that aren’t leveraged to their full potential. It is like driving in the 3rd gear on highway in your V8 car!
Here’s food for thought – observe a process and follow each step to see what they do. Ask your team what frustrates them and see what comes up. I’ll be surprised if you’re not amazed with what you might find. Leverage what you have.
Can you spot the diamonds under your feet?