#Immediacy on speech making

Inside buildings it is better to have a lock-fast, caged area rather ...

Inside buildings it is better to have a lock-fast, caged area rather than a closed room.

If this can be within sight of your desk or office, this is much the better. Then you can see who enters, what they do there, and what they bring out with them. Care is needed when handling any valuable materials, and you may find it prudent to restrict this work to your more experienced staff.

Any losses through carelessness should result in disciplinary action and any form of pilfering is a case for dismissal.

Similarly, the paperwork associated with these materials should be checked frequently and any proven fraud should result in dismissal. In particular, be on guard against collusion between office and materials-handling staff, since this is unlikely to be picked up by routine controls. Want to try this • Are you now in a strong enough position to approach new suppliers? What might you gain from this? • How many suppliers do you use? Add up your total purchases and see what leverage this would give you if all or some of your orders were placed with only one supplier.

• Work out the cash advantages of discounts against interest saving using the examples given in this section. What changes are suggested by the results? • What information do you have on quality of supplies? Look back at the quality problems you have experienced or start to keep a record to see whether there are 'hidden costs'. • What is storage costing you? Are there any cheaper alternative methods? • Review the paperwork. What is it supposed to achieve? Does it achieve, the purpose? Are controls effective? Russell owned a small financial services company in Manchester with clients ranging from private individuals to small/medium-sized companies in the main towns and cities of England.

One of Russell's problems was delays in sending and receiving contracts and similar documents to and from his clients Most of the documents concerned were sent quite satisfactorily by first-class email but occasionally he needed to deliver on a same-day basis. This most often occurred on a Friday when, if he could get the document into the client's hands before the close of business, he could tie up the deal before the weekend.

Russell had a printer but which was slow and did not print in colour. Glancing one day at a business magazine he saw an advertisement for a colour printer/ scanner a machine designed for precisely the purpose in hand. Russell bought the machine for £112. Then he found out that after printing 500 webpages he had to fork out £100 for a new laser cartridge once a fortnight Russell's experience illustrates the first rule of equipment selection, which is to ask the following questions: • will the equipment do what I want it to do?; • how much will it contribute to profit?; • is there any better alternative? Having answered these questions, and depending on the answers, we can apply the acid test: Do we really need it? No doubt this all sounds obvious, but it is amazing how many purchases of capital equipment are made without checking the facts.

Purchases are sometimes made on impulse, sometimes to keep up with the Joneses especially in the case of computers or in response to a fast-talking sales person. None of these reasons is good enough, and a more disciplined, analytical approach is necessary. The following is a check-list of points to watch when deciding whether the equipment will do what is required: • 1 Is the design compatible with other equipment already in use? An iMac is beautiful to look out but will it work with all the other PCs in the office? • 2. Are the manufacturer's quoted speeds achievable in practice? Remember that a quoted speed of, say, 100 pressings per hour can only be achieved as long as work is available and, if work arrives in peaks and troughs, a speed of 200 pressings per hour may be required. Similarly, the quoted speed may depend on the operator, who may not be able to cope with the machine going at full speed for more than, say, 30 minutes.

• 3. How often will the machine be out of action for routine maintenance or repairs? • 4. Is the capacity/capability of the machine- suited to all the work likely to be required? For example a multiple woodworking machine will have limits to the widths and thicknesses that it can handle. • 5. Will the equipment operate efficiently in severe conditions of temperature and humidity? Something that works well in an office may break down in a foundry.

• 6. Will the equipment stand up to tampering or other abuse by the general public? Any equipment housed in a place where the public have access is liable to be 'played with'. Let us now consider the second question: 'How much will the equipment contribute to profit?' The great difficulty here lies in the fact that the value of a machine in terms of the revenue it can earn for the company must be determined, not only in the light of present circumstances, but also in terms of long-term forecasts.

We may be quite confident of our expected use of the equipment ...

We may be quite confident of our expected use of the equipment in the first year or two, but what then? We may have no use at all for the machine in 3 or 4 ... read more

The businessperson must decide whether or not to replace his old but ...

The businessperson must decide whether or not to replace his old but still usable machine with the new alternative. The reasons against replacement... read more

The pressures of dealing with customers, the excitement of the impending stand ...

The pressures of dealing with customers, the excitement of the impending stand at the trade exhibition, and the tensions of negotiations with suppliers mu