Now that I’m in the world of manufacturing (eek!), I’m learning the lingo pretty quickly. And there’s a phrase that keeps popping up – mostly in regard to my suppliers:
Overpromise and underdeliver
Now don’t get me wrong – my suppliers have been fabulous. My materials have, for the most part, all arrived when they said they would, and most of them, thank goodness, have arrived in the manner in which they said they would. But with more than a dozen “parts” coming from more than a dozen companies, it’s been a little tough to achieve that 100% perfect rating.
And the worst thing is to have a supplier overpromise, and then underdeliver.
If a part is supposed to arrive on a certain day, and then it arrives three days late, that’s underdelivering.
If a part is supposed to arrive in a batch of 500 (yards, units, what have you), and they arrive in a batch of half that amount, that’s underdelivering.
Of course, the best thing I can do to prevent that from happening is to check, double check, and then check again after the order is processed. But even that isn’t foolproof.
So I’ve realized I just have to manage my expectations. Which brings me back to how I find it best to work with lupus.
The worst thing for me – one of the things that frustrated me the most about lupus – was overpromising on what I could do, and then under delivering on that promise. And it usually wasn’t with other people – it was usually just a standard or expectation I’d set for myself. But the underdelivering part – ugh! That felt awful! I felt like a failure, and it made me hate the limitations of lupus even more.
So now, I’ve realized that managing my expectations is the best way to manage my disease. I know I have to take a nap everyday, I know I can’t stay up until after midnight night after night. I know that I can only handle so many tasks in one day before I just implode. So if I plan for those things – and give myself the leeway I need to stay healthy, mentally and physically, I’m not going underdeliver…because I haven’t overpromised.
Now applying this to my manufacturing woes has been hard. After all – when you ask for something, you expect it to happen. And even the most diligent follow-up regimen hasn’t produced perfect results. But I guess if I learn to factor in time, money and energy to allow for the mistakes…then when those mistakes happen, I’ll be better prepared to deal with them. Thus, making me a happier, calmer, more easy going customer.
Hmmm. Wonder what my suppliers would say about that?