There is a huge grocery store in Ohio called Jungle Jim’s International Market. From what I hear, this is the most interesting grocery store in the world! And that store has the best restrooms in the world. They pride themselves on their clean restrooms.
So, let’s talk about restrooms. Reading about Jungle Jim’s in Tom Peters’ new book, The Excellence Dividend, got me thinking about what you can learn from a company’s restrooms. Let’s face it: Whether your company is an OEM, a CEM or a PCB shop, the one thing you have in common is your public restrooms. And all visiting customers will eventually need to visit the restroom.
Which leads me to your company's restroom. What does your public restroom look like? I'm challenging you. Stop right now and go check out your restroom.
What is your restroom like? Are you proud of what you see, or are you disgusted and embarrassed? If it’s the latter, you’d better do something about it right now. If you shudder every time a customer asks to use the restroom, it’s time to do something about it! Here is what your restrooms say about you and your company—and I’ll only use positive examples because the negative ones are just, well, disgusting.
If your restroom is spotless: It tells the customers that you care, that you are a well-organized company, and that you have pride in what you do. It could be the most impressive thing that your customer notices about your company. And this applies not only to customers; what does it say to your associates when your restroom is spotless? A beautifully maintained restroom is a great lesson in and of itself.
If all the right supplies are in the right place: It means that you pay attention to detail. That if you can keep track of the soap and TP and all the other restroom accoutrements, you most likely have a pretty good system to take care of your inventory in the shop as well.
If you have extra supplies: That is even better! It indicates a well-run company that most likely has a great MRP system. Think about that. If even the restroom’s essentials are well-stocked, then the shop will certainly be as well.
If it smells good: Ah, yes! No olfactory nightmares, please! If you have taken the time and effort and money to add not only a great ventilation system, but also a wonderful spa-like aroma as well, then you will not only impress your customers, you will wow them! And as far as your associates? Well, you could have a hard time getting them to get back to work.
If your restroom looks spectacular when the visiting customer uses it, then you have probably already won over that customer. Seriously, for the most part, many of your visitors are non-technical people from purchasing, accounting, or program management who don’t know much about your business. They can take the most intense tour you have to offer, but they will not be able to tell a 20-year-old outdated piece of equipment from a brand new one. They will not be able to tell one plating line from another…but what they will notice is how clean your shop is, starting with your restroom. Seriously.
If you care at all about your customers, if you care at all about your employees, if you care at all about your company, you will take care of the most important thing in the shop. The restroom is the one thing that everyone has an opinion about, and you’ll make sure your that your company, not Jungle Jim’s, have the best restrooms in the world.
It’s only common sense.