Pulling the string is a very simple analogy that refers to unraveling a question or problem. It is based on the pulling of a loose string on any piece of clothing and the clothing falls apart. When you unravel a question or problem in your company, you get to the root cause of the situation which allows you to fix it.
On a recent store audit, I noticed that a segment of our offerings were not as full as they should be for that time of day. After noticing this I decided to “pull the string.” I started with the associate that was working in the area and found out that she was behind due to a special order. After speaking to her I knew that more follow up was needed because for a special order of that size she should have received more help but didn’t.
I found the manager of the department and proceeded to ask many questions about why that area and others were in disarray. I learned that they had just lost one of their leads the day before. I learned that out of six lead spots in her department four of them were open. I found out that this had been ongoing for over a month and that she had no good leads on anyone to even fill a single spot. I learned what our HR team has been doing to try and fill the positions and finally I learned that the manager of the department didn’t understand that if she doesn’t do something drastic to change her situation soon it is going come crashing down on her.
Due to pulling on the string, I was able to advise the manager on what steps to take with her Store Director and the HR department. I was able to send her help from other areas of the company to get her past the holiday weekend we were facing. And lastly, I was able to give direction to the supervisory staff that oversees her area of our company.
Due to our department experts putting the right questions into Taskle, our audit software, I was able to uncover a much bigger and more complex problem that otherwise wouldn’t have gotten the attention that it desperately needed.
Taskle helped me find the string to pull on. I was able to get to the bottom of the problem so we could still provide our shoppers with the best customer service experience.
Troy Vosburgh is the VP of Perishables
for Skogen’s Festival Foods