To cut wood, you can use an axe, a chainsaw, or maybe a mill. Each has radically differing capabilities, complexities, performance characteristics, maintenance costs, operating costs, training requirements, safety requirements; truly, the list is endless. There can be no argument that the axe is the simplest tool: it is the easiest to maintain, the easiest to service, and the most likely to work after sitting in the mud for a decade. There can also be no argument that the lumber mill will produce the most.

Can you conceive of many occasions where a person would accidentally purchase an axe when they should have purchased a mill? Probably not. If you are looking at large volume wood processing, the axe and the chainsaw are both unworthy of consideration. The reverse is also true. No one will ever accidentally say “Honey, don’t forget to throw the lumber mill into the pickup truck for our camping trip.”

The same can not be said of mismatched tools in business. I have seen some incredible mismatches in my time in business; real whoppers. I’ve seen a municipality spend more than a million dollars on mail server technology, when fifty thousand would have been excessive. I watched a parts supply company go broke because they got roped into buying a software system considered expensive for a company ten times their size. I routinely hear of multi million dollar companies that still do *everything* in excel! I mean, in a pinch, a large wrench will fill in admirably for a hammer, but on an ongoing basis, you, the nail, the wrench AND the hammer will be happier if you’d just go get a hammer.

When evaluating anything in business, ensure you’ve got your scale right. This is applicable on all levels, from equipment to people, internal policies to insurance.

Don’t try to tow a load with an economy car.

Don’t swat a fly with a missile.

Don’t hire a boy to do a man’s job.

If you give even passing thought to your operation, in this context, you’ll likely identify an area or two where you need to change the scale of your tools, or staffing, or whatever else. Do the thinking and make the changes! Work in this area tends to pay good dividends in cash, time, or morale.

Correct the balances. Tune the machine! If you need some help getting started, give us a call. We’re happy to help.