The Eastern Way: Fundamental #22 – Do it right the first time
This fundamental was written by Janet Duffy, who works at Eastern Funding’s Specialty Vehicle Division as a credit manager. Janet has been with us for over 2 years and came with many years of experience in the finance and service industries.
Do it right the first time. The goal is to get things right, not simply to get them done. While we always want to work with a sense of urgency, sometimes we need to slow down in order to speed up. Double-check your work.
Lori and I routinely refer to juggling our daily responsibilities as having “balls in the air,” while Peter prefers the term “flaming chainsaws.” We, like I imagine many of you, have become consummate jugglers for fear of dropping one of those balls personally or professionally, disappointing a child, aging parent, customer or coworker. That feeling of not having enough hours in the day can often result in rushing through a task, or worse, adopting the mindset “good enough.” Inevitably this will set off a long chain of mistakes and/or oversights impacting not only you, but everyone in that chain.
Given that errors made often have to do with time management, we should all take the time each day and throughout our day to stop and prioritize what we have before us, taking advantage of the all the technological scheduling and reminder tools that have been provided to us. There are also many times our mistakes are the product of the countless interruptions we encounter during our work day. And again, perhaps we all need to prioritize those interruptions as well, knowing there will be times that you need to stop what you are doing to help put out a fire, and that other times it is appropriate to say “give me ten minutes to finish what I am doing and then I’m all yours.”
The good news is that we work as a team, and as such, Tania will catch Jeff’s mistake, Connie will catch Danielle’s and Samantha will catch mine. And although errors such as misspelled names, incorrect CIF codes or unidentified guarantors all seem benign in the grand scheme of things, the truth is that the time that is spent sending emails back and forth, correcting fields in Vision, revising documents in Synergy or sending one-ways to customers is all time better spent in pursuit of new business.
Having spent my entire career in a service based industry, I have always understood the importance of customer service. On any given day there will always be a competitor with a better rate and a longer term that will be willing to finance a Unicorn no one else in the business will touch. Given that reality, the only way to really stand out is through the customer service we provide to both our vendors and the end user, because their time is valuable to them. The practice of Do It Right The 1st Time should be paramount to all of us as a means to that end. Be cognizant that what you do or don’t do has a direct impact on those around you – internally and externally. Be responsible for the quality of work you produce and encourage everyone on your team to do the same!