The 7 Ps

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Way back in the mists of time that my youth seem to be obscured in I had the pleasure to work in a small family business run by a lovely man who spent a good few years in one of the forces and was fond of dropping the odd military adage or two into conversations. One that I often heard but didn’t really understand was “the 7 Ps.”

Years later in a much different environment of a much much larger national business with a set of owners from a venture capital background I came across a poster on display in my new bosses office which featured “6 Ps.” Mindful that I had moved from the mid 80’s and a family business to the middle years of the Blair government and a corporate world I didn’t ask what happened to the missing P but simply said yes “The 6 Ps.”

Whether there are 6 or 7 of them I’m not sure it matters but here at the garages we believe in “proper prior plans prevent poor performance”. Pretty much as soon as the paperwork is finished and all our kit is squared away from one book fair we spend time planning our run to the next one. It’s a process of reviewing how our last run compares with the plan we wrote for it and other plans from previous trips. Tweaks or adjustments are suggested and discussions happen across the team before we write up the final plan and announce our service dates to people we know and the wider world through this site.

It all means that when we sit in a meeting with a client and talk about their deadlines we’re confident we can handle the issue that surface particularly when we’re talking with people who have long supply lines and just-in-time production processes. It’s also really handy a few days before a fair when the phone goes and we’re talking, hearing that catalogues haven’t arrived and you’ve missed your freight shipment or those dummy’s need to be reworked and your team will be working all the hours god sends.

The planning makes the last minute nature of what we do possible and without it we’d be lost, just like that missing P.