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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sure that most of you consider your smart phone to be an over-all useful tool for your business.

you may want to pay attention to HOW you use it- because in some cases it may be losing you business.

I offer the following cautionary tale:

This past Oct. my company was very busy-as it usually is in October --------as customers are anxious to have their roofs in good shape before winter.

In Sept. I had Emailed our printer letting him know we were going to want to send out more than our usual amount of mailings in Oct.

Our first mailing went out as usual-----and as usual we got our predicted rate of response . I sent the printer an Email in Oct. instructing him to send out our next mailing in 3 groups- 2100 cards on date X, the next group of 2100 cards to a different area 7 days later on date Y and the next group of cards to a separate area 14 days after the date y mailing on date Z.

a few hours after sending that Email I got a reply email----------very short-------acknowledging he understood the plan.

I went back to handling my very busy oct.

Oct. wound down, November began and our work load began to peter off as it usually does-------------- As I wound up our season I began to wonder about those last mailings.

A day or so later I received an Email from the printer asking about those mailings.

turns out-even though dates X and Y have passed and Date Z was fast approaching- the printer hand not printed or mailed anything.

I printed out the email he had sent me acknowledging my instructions back in Oct. regarding these mailings and took it in to his office. I left it with his receptionist because he was out of the office making sales calls.

2 hours later I get an Email reading "oops, Sorry!-that's what I get for reading your emails on my smart phone"

As of today-------------the final mailings STILL are not out

Needless to say we will be dealing with a different printer in 2014.

Unless I tell the first printer- he will never know WHY I stopped doing business with him. I figure I am not his largest account by anymeans--- but we were still several thousands of dollars per month x 8 months a year for the forseeable future.

the reason I mention this here on this forum is that almost every day I see some sort of mis-communication in one or more threads where one of the parties fess's up to having botched reading a thread on a smart phone.

so- if it happens here- it may well be happening to some degree within some of your businesses-and you may never know it.

Most contractors pride themselves on being the sort of guys who think well on their feet

the reality is, many are not as adept at thinking on their feet as they would like to believe.

BTW-- in hindsight I believe I could have handled the situation much better.- I make no excuses about this------ there is a simple reason I was not on top of the situation- but that is still no excuse.

The reason is- that for 25 plus years I was primarily a "one man band"-assisted by a few subs and I was easily able to stay on top of all situations

But the past few years I have consistently grown past "one man band status" ,investing in employee training, benefits, equipment etc. and the last year or so preparing to put down my tools.

Very simply we are past the point where I can effectively lead hour to hour operations on site- while also effectively managing everything else.

The situation with the printer is indicative of this. If I had dropped tools sooner I would have caught the situation earlier. It was my responsibility to do so.

Growing pains, right ?

luckily I have a younger man I have been grooming for several years to step into the on-site lead role-and another man ready to step into the leads former role..........

Best wishes, all-and watch those smart phones, LOL
Stephen
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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I don't understand how you are blaming it on your smart phone. If anything you trusted the people around you to do something you needed done and they didn't do it. You should always follow up on something you deem as important as getting your mailings out on time.

The phone is only a tool. And to blame the tool makes you a fool. The only time you can blame the tool is if it totally malfunctions and destroys the job, which of course does happen. But you can always blame lack of maintenance too.
 

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So far, because I have put some of my accounting on my phone, it has saved me lots of headaches. No more 3 hours paperwork fests when the quarterlies are due. Just click and print. I keep my contracts on the phone too. So if there is a question I can just reach down and pull it up instead of going to the truck or having to start up the computer.
 

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I keep my email cleaned up. Nothing get's deleted unless the task is completed.

So if I'm out and I get an email from a customer needing a color chart. I don't delete that email until the customer has the color chart in there hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't understand how you are blaming it on your smart phone. If anything you trusted the people around you to do something you needed done and they didn't do it. You should always follow up on something you deem as important as getting your mailings out on time.

The phone is only a tool. And to blame the tool makes you a fool. The only time you can blame the tool is if it totally malfunctions and destroys the job, which of course does happen. But you can always blame lack of maintenance too.
thanks for your input Leo.

in fact I am NOT blaming my smartphone- I don't even have one.

Rather- It is the use the printer made of HIS smart phone that is more of the issue. the printer emailed me from HIS smart phone aknowleding that he had recieved and understood my message- but as he later realized- he had not read the entire message( a mistake I think is easy to make on a small screen.)


As you point out in your post-and as I had ALREADY pointed out in my original post- I do have some responsibility here.

I absolutely SHOULD have caught the situation earlier- for example I COULD have contacted him a couple days before "Date X" and reminded him "just to confirm our mailing of 2100 scheduled for date X as acknowledged by you on oct. 17. that would have caught his mistake earlier- but it would not have prevented him from missing mailing Date X and Mailing Date Y- just un-covered the mistake sooner.

Stephen
 

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I just can't understand how one can blame the snafu on the smart phone.

Smart phones are a handy tool for work while in the field (I guess), or on the road. But, shouldn't the email that you are referring to, have been read over at the shop's computer?

I hate when somebody blames a snafu on technology, or the "the help". Just take care of the matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I keep my email cleaned up. Nothing get's deleted unless the task is completed.

So if I'm out and I get an email from a customer needing a color chart. I don't delete that email until the customer has the color chart in there hand.
I think that is a good policy
however- in my printers case----- since he was not aware that he had not read the entire message- he could very easily delete it, thinking he had accomplished the task..........

I guess the point I am trying to make is--be VERY sure you have read the entire message. In my case it was probably a $32,000 mistake. If I had been more on top of it and caught it quicker it would have still been at least a $8000-$12000 mistake. If I was on top of it-really the best I could have done was limmited the mistake to $8000-$12,000- I caould have limmited it, but I could not have prevented it.

what bothers me( besides my own role in this)- is the printers "oops, sorry !"- no discussion of how we could eliminate this problem in the future- no discussion of how to mitigate the impact now.

Best wishes,all
stephen
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just can't understand how one can blame the snafu on the smart phone.

Smart phones are a handy tool for work while in the field (I guess), or on the road. But, shouldn't the email that you are referring to, have been read over at the shop's computer?

I hate when somebody blames a snafu on technology, or the "the help". Just take care of the matter.
Excellent point- I read ALL my emails on my computer-- I guess the printer doesn't.

Now, I know.
Stephen
 

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Sorry Stephen, I think you're just trying to make a bigger issue out if this than it should be.

I almost exclusively deal with emails, etc on my phone. I don't have any issues with reading the content in its entirety.

Where I sometimes have issues is when someone sends me a large text, it sometimes gets broken into smaller chunks and is out of order. But that would happen if it was a dumb phone too.

Let's just call it what it is. Your printer dropped the ball & so did you. You both lost revenue. Lesson learned. Next......
 

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Stephan has a good point. I understand what he means.

I now run my entire business off my phone and trying to do that on a screen with no windows that's the size of a deck of cards can cause a situation where mistakes happen.

These apps are not always perfect either.

When I was using my computer I would have multiple screens open with pads of paper on a desk etc but with my phone everything is quick and small and I have made mistakes before.

Totally understand this. Sure, it's not the tool but some tools need to be handled carefully.

Thanks for the reminder.

Mike
 

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Sorry Mike. It doesn't happen often, but this is one time where I disagree and don't see the value to the suggestion....but again, that's just me! :laughing:
 

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Sorry Mike. It doesn't happen often, but this is one time where I disagree and don't see the value to the suggestion....but again, that's just me! :laughing:
Just be sure to check the pressure, use a flow meter and gosh damitt man don't use your frickn nose!!!!!!!

Sorry BC. Lol
 

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If one is proficient with their phone, to the point that they can enter whatever data is necessary, without any clumsy mistakes, cool. But, too many snafus happen, when it isn't necessary.

In this case, why would printer x read that invoice from the phone? Not being privy to Stephens correspondence, I'm guessing it wasn't titled "Dude, you gotta see this!!" Emails for formal parts of the business, texts for the "small stuff", and calls for immediate.
 
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