This morning at the gym, while I was doing elliptical as I often do, there was a lady on the rowing machine. She had a prosthetic leg, so she was rowing with 1 leg in the strap/slide thing, and the other on the floor. I would guess she was 30-ish, though my women-age-guessing is truly awful, so likely between 25 and 45. She was very fit, workout gear, looked pretty hardcore. But what stuck me is that she likely could not do other machines, running, elliptical, stair master, etc as they are so leg-centric. So she was rowing.
Now, I didn’t talk to her, don’t know anything about her, don’t know her story or even her name. Just seeing her on a workout machine for about 40 minutes put the thought in my head about what excuses we all use every day for whatever we can not do, achieve, accomplish.
(If you are reading this expecting inspiring things, please don’t confuse me for Ghandi- I am taller. You should go read Nelson Mandela, MLK, The Dali Lama, not That Planning Guy. I am just a guy with an opinion)
The Merch Planning system we use does not suit what we need. Yeah, I said it. We stopped using it, and have gone offline into Excel sheets of varying difficulty and complexity. Some are simple 5-line OTB (BOP-Sales-MD+Rec=EOP) Some are incredibly complex using formulas that combine a ISERROR() with IF() with GetPIvot”” – and external references, and of course build in a forward-forecast engine that re-projects and re-trends.
I would rather we had a system that did this for us, and all levels & sheets rolled up, allocate down, forward forecast, re-project, auto calc, and we could plan at Div/Dept/Class/Vendor/Location/Region interchangeably and all at once. But we don’t have it, so should we do a bad job of giving the actionable data to the users? (in this case, Buyers/DMM)
Not having a tool is not a reason to not do a job. The 19th century Pioneers built houses from trees without a Makita cordless drill/driver, or without a Sawzall. Not even a Poulan chainsaw! Couldn’t even swing by the Home Depot for a box of nails. (you can do it! We can help! Not so much in 1850) Was it hard? I would assume so. But option 2 of living outdoors was pretty bad as well. Rain, cold, and a chance of being eaten by bears would make me build fast.
We (my company) are actively seeking out and doing due diligence for several planning systems. JustEnough, ANT, TXT, Logility-we will research and review them, and one will be implemented this year (I hope)
Can we make excuses why we cant do? Sure. And no one would really question it much. We could say “We’ll do after we get tools” and that would likely fly.
I bet the lady at the gym could not work out and no one would lose respect- After all, it has to be difficult to do. Wouldn’t blame someone for not working out at 6:30 AM, least of all a lady with a prosthetic leg.
“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” -D.H.Lawrence
So whats your excuse why you cant get something done? Too busy? Too Tired? Too short of a deadline? Not enough tools? Sorry, I am throwing the BS flag on that one.
Not sure which quote to end with- Nike Just DO IT? I prefer Larry the Cable Guy- GET ER DONE.
After you achieve what cant be done, then you can go back and complain about it.
-THAT Planning Guy
PS- The pioneers probably didn’t whine about stress or workloads either. Can you imagine? Sitting around with the other Pioneer guys, all in flannel, cold, windy, eating jerked meat. “Oh I am so stressed about the harvest, I just don’t know how I will ever harvest all the crops in order to feed my family. Its just too much work” Huh?