Guest Blog: Falling Back on Time

November 14, 2016

On November 6 we fell back in time once again and gained a precious hour extra to sleep longer, play longer, and yes for some, even work longer. When I reflect on time, it seems to me there is never enough time in a day, week, month or year to get everything done. Have you ever heard the saying….That my Time may not be your Time and your Time may not be my Time. Maybe not, but it stands true with a lot of our day to day activities.

Wouldn’t it be perfect if we could all pull a Harry Potter and just wave that magic wand when we need to get things done? Unfortunately, this isn’t the way things are. Like the other day, I had a customer who wanted a showcase. They were setting up their store and they had an ambitious goal of being ready in a few weeks. However, as I listened to their needs I could feel my heart sink. They needed a special size, some extra pieces, and as I’m listening the timeline is getting tighter and tighter as I add up the time for design, custom glass cutting and extra assembly. I knew then that we became that customer, the “I needed it yesterday” customer. I knew I had an awkward call to my vendor in the near future.

We have all been caught with the hour glass running out of sand, and forgetting that just because we want something now doesn’t mean we can get it now. When you are dealing with putting together a new store layout you cannot shop the catalogue and be a designer at the same time.  It will create chaos and cost you more before the project is finished.

It would be nice if everything was waiting in a box on a shelf. However, this seems to be part of Murphy’s Law –“ What can go wrong will go wrong.” “ What’s in stock will not be what you want.” “ You want black, we have white.”  “ Your wall is 5’; our stock is 6’ .“  Unfortunately the more specific your need the less likely it is to be available. There is a big difference between needing a shelf, and needing a shelf 2’ x 23” x 7’6” with wheels and an antique finish. So be careful when moving from catalogue shopping to full designer mode because you are looking at longer lead times the more specific you are in details.

When planning your next project, I would advise calling everyone who will be involved from start to finish and ask the question, “How much Time do I need to make sure the product is ready, the labor is ready, and the building is done?” Then listen to the answer and plan accordingly. It has been my experience over the years that when a timeline is given it can rarely be moved without repercussions of some manner, whether it is delivery of product, or loss of labor or financial retribution.

It seems like common sense, but it’s an everyday tragedy that people aren’t able to completely fulfil their visions and goals for their businesses. So many compromises on good ideas could be avoided with just a bit more time.

My Time is your Time …My Time can meet your Time if a reasonable amount of Time is given…

Sandra Rendle

Over 10 years with Westmount and a background in merchandising in the retail industry.

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