One of Our Submarines is Missing

One of our container lids is missing

Lids and socks.  The bane of every household.  Like many families, we have a drawer in the kitchen where we keep the world’s supply of containers and lids.

Rubbermaid, Hefty, and Glad figured out the marketing model for lost socks and applied it to their business.  They know that, inevitably, your average person will cry out in frustration because they have three containers, two lids, and none match.  That customer will march out to BJ’s and purchase the largest set of containers and lids and swear they will remain forever paired.  At least until the next holiday.

I expect that one of the episodes of Storage Wars will have Big Dave yelling “Yuuuup” as he opens a storage locker filled with the world’s missing lids, containers, and socks.

Imagine how your employees feel, or worse, your customers, when they cannot find what they are looking for.

You have some of the documentation for your project, but you are missing critical information.  Or the documentation is out-of-date, rendering it virtually worthless.

This puts your company at risk.

What if an employee refers to older manuals to make configuration changes that are no longer valid?  What if your customer reads your online help files and realizes that the screen shots are from two versions ago?  At a minimum, you have a frustrated customer who now has to call your Help Desk, or perhaps she decides to look at a competitor’s product.  There goes your Net Promoter Score.

You should have a systematic process in place that validates your documentation and retires or removes obsolete manuals, diagrams, test plans, even videos.  Make sure your employees know exactly where the latest, current information resides so they can help themselves and your customers.

By maintaining a library of accurate documents and information, you reduce your risk. Your employees and customers will be as satisfied as you are when you open the dryer and all the socks still match.  Until the next load.


3 responses to “One of our container lids is missing”

  1. Elaine Bennett Avatar

    Love the headline—who doesn’t know The Frustration of the Missing Lid (TM)?

    And it’s so true. If processes and documentation don’t match, that’s more than frustration for businesses; it’s risk.

    1. Harold Waisel Avatar

      Thanks Elaine. Interesting point you make that if a customer is frustrated, there’s a good chance you have an operational risk element somewhere that you need to address. Thanks for reading.

  2. […] Review and update your documentation. You should do this at least annually. If you upgrade the product or service you provide, make sure the documentation is accurate prior to rollout. […]

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