Sunday, January 20, 2008

Stretching dollars & Resources

It has been almost a month that I wrote a post.  There were quite a few things that I wanted to write about but the Xmas season turned out to be extremely busy. By the time I got home after work, I was too burned out to sit in front of the computer.  There is a constant stream of chores at work that never stops.   One thing after another keeps getting queued in my to-do list. Very often it gets so overwhelming that it is even difficult to spare 30 minutes for lunch.  Having had the experience of working with slow moving large corporations and the stressful startup environments,  I can say that my level of productivity at Heaven Fresh is significantly higher than my previous jobs.  One of the reasons for that is because I wear many different hats here.  But I am not the only one, most of the people working with Heaven Fresh are responsible for a variety of tasks.  Each person performing an array of tasks is a key characteristic of a micro-multinational as it, among other benefits, helps stretch the dollars by hiring less people and keeping the payroll smaller. Consequently,  the time resources are utilized to the maximum and every one gets used to ploughing through various tasks to keep the business going.

On the flip side,  this constant pressure and running around can wear people out as well.  Being in the situation myself, I am very conscious of that.  Although utilizing every single minute productively is a must for a micr0-multinational, at one point the system simply breaks due to the overload.  I am very lucky to be working with the most dedicated and hardworking people who never say no to any challenge.  However, during the busy Xmas season, I could see them cracking and snapping with the work load. The ultimate test came when Kamal had to leave the office for few days due to an emergency and his daily responsibilities had to be shared among others too.  It simply broke the system and we went from stretching resources to chocking the business with just one person missing from the office for few days.

In my mind, it is a perfect indication that something needs to be changed to be able to take the company to the next level from this point.  Therefore, we will be restructuring the organization and investing in acquiring excess capacity and start the cycle of pushing it to the breaking point once again.

Before we get started on the new projects for 2008, I am taking a week off from Heaven Fresh to go to Cuba. While relaxing on the sandy beaches of Cuba and sipping Piña Coladas, hopefully a few ideas with pop up in my head on how to move the business forward. Until then, Adiós.

Hasta luego