Monday, January 22, 2007

Lead Time

Tom says:
Managing any project start-to-finish requires that you prioritize. Ideally, you want to complete the project on time and under budget; if you complete it on time and on budget, well, that's good too (definitely better than being late or over budget or both). The project plan needs to be flexible and by extension, so do you. Whatever challenges arise, whether known possibilities or complete surprises, you need not only to meet them head on, but meet them with fair, reasonable and unemotional solutions.

There is a possibility that we may have to push the opening back one week, which doesn't sound like a lot until you consider the revenue projections. Interestingly enough, the factors contributing to a possible one-week delay are things I could only learn by doing. In two words: lead time.

More interesting to me is that the areas where lead time might hurt us don't, per se, lie in the dining room. From demo to decor, the dining room will be ready. What we'll be waiting on are the small wares (2-4 weeks lead time), the point-of-service system (4-6 weeks lead time) and exterior signage (4-6 weeks lead time).

So why, with all of this taking up space in my head, was I experiencing a mild panic about staffing? The short answer is, I have no idea.

And then today turned out to be one of those days where Maureen says the universe was listening.

Even before we moved to California I hadn't really lived in Manchester for about five years. Add to that the time we spent in Carmel and I was essentially gone for seven. But the friendships and business relationships I established when I did live here full time? Still going strong.

I've already mentioned, though it will always be worth mentioning again, the counsel and support I've received from Tim, Ed and Pam. But this morning, an old friend from my days at Cafe Pavone and Villa Banca stopped by the restaurant to have a look-see. Joan and her husband also recently returned to Manchester, having lived the last three years in Colorado. We reminisced some, caught up on where we are in our lives now and then she offered up her help in every which way I might need it. Have I mentioned just how very good Joan is? To have the help of yet another person I trust completely goes a long way to keeping me sane. If this were a Ma$tercard commercial, Joan would be the priceless part.

Then, shortly after Joan left, Joe, who's the Assistant GM at Villa Banca dropped in for the 25-cent tour. With a lead for a server/bartender. And when Mike arrived with his tools in the afternoon, he brought a friend with him who's looking to add another part-time position to the one she's already got. Lastly, the ads we've got out there started getting quality responses.

Lead taketh away (small wares, POS, signage) and lead time giveth (thanks Joan, Joe and Mike!).

Maybe the universe was listening. So how about we generate profits by the end of the year? Shut up. It could happen.

No comments: