Why do People Hoard?
Hoarding is the result of people not trusting they will get what they need when they need it. They hoard test equipment, knowledge about tests, or services required to keep a test environment up and running and compliant…like calibration, repair, maintenance services. They do this because they feel if they don’t the program or project will be in jeopardy. Hoarding produces a vicious circle of delays, added costs and increased distrust accelerating more delays, added costs etc.
The funny thing is that given all other options hoarding IS the right thing to do in the short term. People have been burned many times by lending equipment to others, not being able to get it back, and then having to explain to their manager or customer why the test wasn’t performed on time causing delays to product development schedules or missed revenue targets caused by bottlenecks in manufacturing.
One of the examples we see all the time is customers dissatisfied with their calibration solution. They aren’t satisfied they’ll get the equipment they need when they need it and so many calibrations are submitted with requests for calibration ASAP. This is how hoarding happens in a calibration lab. In addition, the lab’s customers spend wasted time “bird-dogging” their calibrations requiring lab personnel to spending time giving status updates instead of working down their backlog. ASAP service requests leads to more bird-dogging leads to less time focused performing necessary calibrations which leads to delays and then more request for ASAP requests and the cycle continues.
We’ve Tried Everything That Doesn’t Work!
There are various strategies that companies have employed over the years to deal with this issue but none solve the problem of distrust that – when solved – unleashes the potential of the team. They create band-aids with equipment cribs, rented assets, priority calibration processes, and asset databases. They give you the feeling of control but don’t get results because they are not wired to break the bad habits that produce distrust in the first place. When done properly, solving the trust issue solves all of the hoarding issues. No more hoarding assets. No more hoarding knowledge and no more hoarding people’s time. The result: teams go faster, innovate more and cost less. They get competitive. It gets meaningful and fun. That’s where Sente comes in.
What Works to Stop Hoarding?
We’ve been around the block helping thousands of engineers get what they need when they need it. The solution requires a technical component and a cultural/behavioral component. The technical component is the software for managing commitments and the cultural component are the narratives and incentives for behavior change. These components have to be designed to work with each other, not as separate stand-alone components.
The “Technical Solution”
With our state-of-the-art software, we’re able to develop a custom plan that distributes your assets, knowledge and support resources to the departments that need them, allowing everyone to do their job effectively and with high levels of visibility. We use our software not only to track information and commitments about assets — like when, where, why and how they’ll be used in the future — but also to establish incentives and track performance and behaviors important for building trust and enabling test process acceleration and cost competitiveness. That means that not only will your equipment be distributed evenly and fairly, but you’ll have real-time information on the status of your equipment, projects and support teams, and a constantly updating plan that maps out the most efficient solution to your team’s equipment needs.
The Cultural Solution
The technical solution enables you to execute our Culture Change Algorithm which you can read about by going to the link.
The level of visibility enabled by our technical solution, executed with our Culture Change Algorithm and combined with our catalog of core-solutions narratives – that we use to tailor specific narratives – targeted at the concerns of specific roles begin to shift the moods of distrust first to moods of prudence then of trust. When people have this visibility and the narratives they hear about the project are complete and address their concerns for how to get their job done more effectively they jump on board. Usually, the biggest proponents of hoarding become the biggest fans of the new way of operating because it works better for them and, in the end, they are all just trying to do the best job possible for their company and their colleagues. The vicious cycle of distrust-causing delays becomes a virtuous cycle of trust-building and acceleration. People and teams start to Work Together, Better and have more fun in the process getting tests done faster and contributing to the success of their company.
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“People often talk about change – Paul and his team demonstrated accomplishments in really producing a lasting cultural change in our organization. The ROI (200%+) we produced with The Sente Group led to our team being recognized by the company with an enterprise-level best practice award. Over time the program went on to produce a 4X improvement to utilization and continued ongoing capital and expense savings.”
Director of Engineering, Fortune 75 Aerospace Company