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Process Improvement

The JetCo team is a tad obsessed with process improvement lately.

We have a lot of confidence in how we manage the entire bid life cycle, from capture through proposal submission.  Based on our conversion rate, our system works.

We think that a stagnant system eventually fails.  For this reason, we worked with an outside expert to evaluate our “as is” and develop a new “to be.”  Yesterday, Nancy Boese of the MI-SBTDC walked us through a loooooong review of our process to identify additional tools, communication or decision points, and task ownership changes.  Our team was free of electronic devices during the session, leaving focused minds contributing to the discussion.  It was incredibly successful and we left the session excited, caffeinated and grateful for Nancy’s efforts.

One thing that Nancy mentioned during the session resonated for me.  She mentioned that in order for this process to work with MI-SBTDC clients, their audience must be coachable.

The reason this hit home?  We have the same philosophy with clients, but we don’t word it as nicely as Nancy did.  JetCo clients are not whiners.  This is intentional.  We weed out whiners in the prospecting cycle, leaving us with clients that listen to our recommendations and remain focused on ROI of government sales.  We learned this from experience.  Some of our early clients had ideological rants about what government should or should not spend money on, and about bids being handled inappropriately.

Nancy said it nicer.  “The client must be coachable” for their efforts to be successful.  I still like the “No Whiners” sign hanging in our office.  (Seriously.  It’s there.)

If you are a small business owner in Michigan and are interested in the free consulting services available through the MI-SBTDC, visit www.misbtdc.org and make contact.  They help companies in all stage of the business cycle, including both start-ups and growth companies like ours.

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