Speaking of Precision Blog

Speaking of Precision

Speaking of Precision is a knowledge preservation and thought leadership blog covering the precision machining industry, its materials and services. With over 36 years of hands on experience in steelmaking, manufacturing, quality, and management, Miles Free (Milo) Director of Industry Research and Technology at PMPA helps answer "How?" "With what?" and occasionally "Really?"

Previous in Blog: How to Clean Up Mercury Spill From Fluorescent Light-OSHA   Next in Blog: FAA Begins Reconsideration of Electronic Device Policy
Close
Close
Close
23 comments

What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

Posted September 21, 2012 9:00 AM by Milo

This post inspired by a comment from John at HyTek Manufacturing in the Chicago suburbs who commented on our post The Most Important Tool.

What is the most important job in a company? In any organization?

What is absolutely the one thing that truly determines organizational success?

(Ford says Quality is Job 1…)

Is it Supervision? Operations? Accounting? Purchasing?

Each of these are core competencies without which a company can struggle and ultimately fail.

But what is the most important Job for the organization? Let me quote John:

"The strongest department or skill a company can have is the hiring department. Getting the right person for the job is the majority of the task. The most successful companies always hire the best people for the job. Ones that think and contribute, not just punch in and punch out thinking."

I think John has this right. Having the right people is key for any organization. After all the organization is those people and their attitudes, knowledge and abilities as demonstrated by their performance.

Thanks John, for leading this conversation.

But I would expand it just a bit.

The most important job in a company is the selection of employees, suppliers, and customers.

A failure at any of these spells trouble in operations, production, and sales.

What do you think about this?

What is the most important job at your company?

Photo credit

Register to Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 999
Good Answers: 23
#1

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/21/2012 1:41 PM

Upon heading the headline, I came into this blog ready to put in my vote for "Customer Care" since maintaining good terms with the clients / consumers that are giving your company revenue, but John brings up a really great point.

If the hiring team is good, then the customer care representative will have a higher probability of being good, the personnel responsible for creating the good / service will be better equipped to perform their job function, and (in general) everyone in the company will at the very least have a set of skill points suited for their position.

__________________
The first law of thermodynamics is you do NOT talk about thermodynamics.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22696
Good Answers: 410
#2
In reply to #1

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/21/2012 2:43 PM

Initially hiring a good team reduces the work load on customer care.

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South of Minot North Dakota
Posts: 8378
Good Answers: 774
#3

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/21/2012 5:48 PM

I have always looked at a businesses hiring tactics as a solid sign of what they really are.

If they have openings for positions that never get filled because they continually turn down anyone and everyone that shows up that has actual experience and applied skills and knows what they are worth for being 'Over qualified' that tells me exactly what type of person or people run the company and that's not the type I want to work for.

The best try to find the best whereas the marginal try to find ways around the laws that are in place that are keeping them from going any lower.

Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Evolution - New Member Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member

Join Date: May 2006
Location: The 'Space Coast', USA
Posts: 11112
Good Answers: 918
#4

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/21/2012 6:49 PM

"What Is Company's Most Important Job?"

Quite simply, they all are!

However, what sets a company part from its competitors is it teamwork and the ability for everyone to work together seamlessly.

Register to Reply
Guru
Panama - Member - New Member Hobbies - CNC - New Member Engineering Fields - Marine Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Retired Engineers / Mentors - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Panama
Posts: 4274
Good Answers: 213
#5

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/21/2012 10:42 PM

The most important job in any organization is the Boss's secretary...The one who filters the calls, sets the priorities, maintains the meetings calendar, etc...

PS. I never met a Human Resources type that really, really understood the needs of the business. That's not to say I believe they don't exist- just, I have never met one...

Register to Reply
3
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Phnom Penh
Posts: 4019
Good Answers: 102
#6

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/22/2012 4:57 AM

That's a little like asking which organ in the human body is most important.

A company is a system. If all the components are optimised then the total will be optimised.

But if I had to choose I'd say it was marketing. No sales no business. No business no company. Of course you need to have something to sell in the first place and intelligent feedback from marketing can have that sorted out too.

Then there's the question of money...you need investors, then customers that have money to spend....

Start with a need and fill that gap.

A bit of a chicken and egg thing.

__________________
Difficulty is not an obstacle it is merely an attribute.
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Guru
Hobbies - Musician - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 523
Good Answers: 17
#17
In reply to #6

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/24/2012 3:14 PM

I gave you a GA because you are systems oriented in your answer. However, there is much to discuss regarding whether optimising components will optimise the system.

To me, as a customer, the most important position is the one held by the guy who brings me my correct order at the time I wanted it and thanks me for my business. I don't care about your system. You could magic it all up with elves as far as I'm concerned.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4942
Good Answers: 243
#18
In reply to #17

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/25/2012 1:28 PM

I like your thinking on this.

Milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 719
Good Answers: 25
#7

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/22/2012 5:48 AM

Unfortunately I have to agree with Wal. Unfortunately, because as engineers I think
we would like to see ourselves as indispensable? Without a good product they would
have nothing to sell? However the reality is a lot of so-so products are sold, and the
companies survive - because of the sales staff.

For a company to survive it must sell, period. No matter how good the management,
the accounting, the engineers, the best product in the world without sales, means the
company is dead. Even a gold brick is "a paperweight" unless sold.

Some (most) times sales can have it relatively easy. With set regular orders, under
priced products, world shortages, etc. then these are not sales persons, just "order takers."
i.e. anyone could do it. Salespersons are staff when, in a competitive market, your products
are purchased and not the competitors. Without these sales, there is no company.
Sorry, the vote has to go with Wal - sales persons are the critical job.

jt.

My wife and I walked past a swanky new restaurant last night.
Did you smell that food, she said. It smelt fantastic!

Being the nice guy I am, I thought. Sod it, I'll treat her. So we walked past it again.

One for the road.....

Money can't buy you happiness, but it's definitely more comfortable
to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Phnom Penh
Posts: 4019
Good Answers: 102
#8

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/22/2012 6:14 AM

I'll add this, choking on my slide rule....

We all work for the marketing department in the end. Maybe not directly but if you follow the trail up to where the customer hands over the money that's the way it is.

Marketing decides what is produced, how much is produced, , when it is produced, how long it should take to be produced, the target cost.......it's up to the rest of the team to get it done, or tell them why it can't be done.

Of course an unrealistic marketing team is another issue and if that happens you want to be looking for somebody else to work for before the decision is made for you.

__________________
Difficulty is not an obstacle it is merely an attribute.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1985
Good Answers: 25
#9

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/22/2012 6:24 AM

I would say final decision maker that is CEO. After all all decisions taken by him, let it be marketing, design, production etc are responsible for growth of the company.

__________________
"Engineers should not look for jobs but should create jobs for others" by Dr.Radhakrishnan Ex President of India during my college graduation day
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Phnom Penh
Posts: 4019
Good Answers: 102
#10
In reply to #9

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/22/2012 6:39 AM

Suresh, the CEO does what ever needs to be done on the advice of the marketing department via the board of directors who have control of the money to satisfy the market and its stake holders.

Any enterprise, whether it be commercial, not for profit, governmental, research....all bow down to the customer.

__________________
Difficulty is not an obstacle it is merely an attribute.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22696
Good Answers: 410
#11

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/22/2012 7:29 AM

What is the company's most impotant jobs and what people think is what is the company's most important job.

Some may think its the person that comes up with the most pithy and catchy slogan!

Where quality is job 1

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Register to Reply
2
Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: OZ, otherwise known as Oklahoma were the wind comes sweeping down the plains.
Posts: 159
Good Answers: 4
#12

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/22/2012 8:12 AM

To make a profit for its investors.

Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Netherlands - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - Commodore 64 - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 2703
Good Answers: 38
#13
In reply to #12

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/24/2012 3:31 AM

that was the first thing i was thinking of making money!

__________________
From the Movie "The Big Lebowski" Don't pee on the carpet man!
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Don't Know What Made The Old Title Attractive... Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - 60 Year Member

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Yellowstone Valley, in Big Sky Country
Posts: 6954
Good Answers: 282
#14

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/24/2012 10:14 AM

From the blog:
"The most important job in a company is the selection of employees, suppliers, and customers."

Milo, I wish there were a voting button on your blog for 'Terrific Statement'.

__________________
When you come to a fork in the road, take it. (Yogiism)
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4942
Good Answers: 243
#19
In reply to #14

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/25/2012 1:32 PM

Thanks Doorman!

Appreciate your following my content.

Milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Don't Know What Made The Old Title Attractive... Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - 60 Year Member

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Yellowstone Valley, in Big Sky Country
Posts: 6954
Good Answers: 282
#21
In reply to #19

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/25/2012 1:55 PM

Your blogs are always interesting Milo. Love to read them.

I had started sort of a sidetrack response, along the line of "Where do you place your least competent employee?", but decided I would wait to see if something like that might be a follow up to this discussion.

__________________
When you come to a fork in the road, take it. (Yogiism)
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4942
Good Answers: 243
#22
In reply to #21

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/25/2012 2:41 PM

The Peter Principle suggest that the least competent employees get promoted up to the level of their least competence, where they stay directing others who are more competent then them.

Milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Don't Know What Made The Old Title Attractive... Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - 60 Year Member

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Yellowstone Valley, in Big Sky Country
Posts: 6954
Good Answers: 282
#23
In reply to #22

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/25/2012 3:34 PM

Say... could we sew a poka-yoke tag to his shirt pocket?

__________________
When you come to a fork in the road, take it. (Yogiism)
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Kansas, USA
Posts: 748
Good Answers: 64
#15

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/24/2012 10:42 AM

Along the line of what AH and Wal said all jobs are highly important. If any of them are lacking none of the rest of them can operate properly and make money for those who have started the business.

Having said that, a prerequsite to all the rest of them is the person/s who have and are continuing to establish the vision for the business, the process or system whereby all the rest of the components operate within. Ray Kroc, Walt Disney and Sam Walton are three very good examples of this principle. They each had a vision for what could be accomplished, they were willing to risk everything they had, had the proper thinking of how a business could operate most effectively and then put the process into place with all the other components, i.e. hiring, marketing, R & D, sales, production, distribution, etc. They were then willing to make adjustments to the Systems they had put into place as the need for change came about.

Leadership is the most critical area in family, business, church, government, sports, etc. Once you have an idea you next need to have as Jim Collins says, "the right people on the bus, in the right seats". People have to be suited to the positions according to their skills, interests, physical capabilities, etc. in order for the organization to work effectively and efficiently.

__________________
One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do. Ford, Henry
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 511
Good Answers: 46
#16

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/24/2012 11:55 AM

My first thought was:

Which leg of a tripod is most important?

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4942
Good Answers: 243
#20

Re: What Is Company’s Most Important Job?

09/25/2012 1:35 PM

Thanks to all for the thoughtful and well reasoned answers.

I hate forced choice / presumptive questions myself. But sometimes they are needed to help focus our thinking.

I appreciate everyone's well considered input.

Milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Register to Reply 23 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Hero (1); cwarner7_11 (1); Doorman (3); Epke (1); facilitiesmgr (1); Grand Poobah (1); jt (1); Milo (4); Mizuti (1); phoenix911 (2); reward54 (1); RufusVS (1); suresh sharma (1); tcmtech (1); Wal (3)

Previous in Blog: How to Clean Up Mercury Spill From Fluorescent Light-OSHA   Next in Blog: FAA Begins Reconsideration of Electronic Device Policy

Advertisement