Effectively managing the work that comes into your business can dramatically reduce the stress and strain of the working day. If you take on too much work, you are likely to find unnecessary overtime being worked and staff making mistakes.

In many businesses a formal approach to doing this is the best way forward. Accept the orders into your business at the same time every day. Create a standard agenda, involve the right people and then only let work in once you have run through your checklist.

Businesses still play this down as something that they don’t have time for. They also don’t have time for the re-work, subcontracting, and arrears that they have in their business. A little bit of time letting the work into your business in the right way can make all the difference. It is the difference between managing a backlog and winning new business due to your reliability and on time delivery performance.

Top Tips

  • Implement a ‘contract review’ process to make sure that you let work enter your business in the right way.
  • Tie in your capacity tools with your sales force so that they don’t over commit the production / service delivery aspect of your business.
  • Don’t leave accepting orders to only one person if a multi disciplinary approach is required.
  • Make sure that the information in your computer systems matches what you state when you accept the orders.
  • Don’t just accept a stated lead time if you cannot deliver on time. Be honest with your customers and work together at optimising the entire process.


I can help you define how your business operates best, in light of customer demands and show you how to work with your customers to provide the best service for them, in a way that works for you. Admin workloads drop when you and your customers work to the same set of rules (or plan). Once a way of working has been agreed, this change can happen overnight.

I have seen the level of chaos in many businesses ‘die’ in a couple of days due to the clarity of this partnership.

Giles Johnston

Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who consults with businesses to improve their on time delivery performance, ERP system performance and deploy Kaizen / Lean production methods. Giles is also the author of 'What Does Good Look Like?'.