Not Now

“Hey Boss, we’re maxed out in packaging. We need to start adding more capacity.”

“Not now. Let’s talk about it next month.”

Ever say this, Boss? It happens. We’re human and procrastination is baked into our nature. We have important problems, like capacity, and we have urgent problems like a late material delivery. The urgent problems get attention and the important ones get put off.

That is not to say that the urgent problems are not also important. No materials means no production and that is definitely important. Running out of capacity is not urgent. Not today, anyway. It is probably more important.

Material supplies are tactical. Capacity is strategic and strategy is the bosses main job. Minions can take care of the tactical stuff like materials. Sure, you can’t ignore it but it should not be driving your day. Strategy thinking must focus more on the company’s strategic vision than on the tactical mission.

If you are not going to do that now, when are you going to do it?

If you wait until you actually need the capacity, it is too late. It can’t be turned on like a faucet. It takes time to figure out where to put it, buy equipment, hire additional team members, find new suppliers or ramp up existing ones and all the other things you need to do to add capacity.

Put off getting started and you’re forever playing catch up. If you ever do catch up, it will be time to start the whole cycle over again.

“But what about excess capacity?” Well, what about it? Excess capacity costs money, true but so does insufficient capacity. Excess capacity gives your sales team something to sell. More importantly, it puts an urgency on them to sell the additional capacity. Then it is no longer “excess” and company sales and profits have taken a healthy jump.

Not now?

Yes, now. The best time to add capacity is before you need it before the pressure is on. The time to start adding capacity is when you first think you will need it.


Yes, now. Now is the time. If not now, when?

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