You may remember the old Burma Shave signs, lined up one after another along a two-lane highway. Now, that was a great marketing campaign!

These simple red signs with white lettering were spaced about 100 feet apart. Each sign had part of a fun-to-read message or rhyme that kept you interested as you rode by. You found yourself anticipating each sign, until you understood the entire message. The last sign was always the Burma Shave logo that stuck in your mind, along with the fun message.

That marketing system turned a struggling company around then. It also changed the lives of the owners and their employees. The brainchild of the owner’s son, when his idea was first presented, it met with some resistance.

That should sound familiar to those accustomed to hearing why something “won’t” work.

I say, don’t be that type of owner or manager that pooh-poohs new ideas. Keep an open mind and give every idea, whether from employees or family, a real listen and consideration. In our business, we actually have a system for doing just that! It’s an online digital system that allows employees to submit ideas to management. Management then holds a meeting to consider all ideas, and reports back to the persons submitting them.

From our experience, we’ve found that most owners need a close shave for their business!  No, not a near accident, or a near miss—but a smooth-running operation. They need one that is continually maintained, to keep the stubble-of-chaos from growing. The closer the shave the smoother the operations.

In other words, the “leaner” a business becomes in their operational processes, the more profit will be made. A more peaceful company-wide culture is then able to emerge.

Did You KnowDid You Know

There are many good books out there, written and audio, for bringing order to a business through systemization. The books we recommend for a LEAN business are: “The E-myth”… “The Goal”… “Two (2) Second Lean”… and, of course, our popular book, “System Busters.”

These 4 books can change your life, not to mention the lives of your employees and family. However, you must keep an open mind to new ideas, and be willing to improve.

SubTitles Good SystemsGood Systems

Good systems work to bring order to any company through SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures). A collection of processes and procedures makes up a company’s Operations Manual. This is a very valuable, intangible asset for a business. Lean operations is an investment that returns more than money. Some of the returns are, peace-of-mind, a feeling of accomplishment, happy employees, satisfied customers, and loyal vendors. A great reputation for quality and service is another perk. Plus, you’ll find you have more time to do the things you’ve always dreamed of doing. A win-win!

Michael Gerber, author of “The E-myth” says, “Every frustration in business is due to a lack of a system!”

How many frustrations do YOU have?

Clean-upClean Up

To see how good systems, clean up a company, take a Tour of Lean in a printing company. Then take another Tour of Lean in a cabinet parts company.

You can see that LEAN systems really do clean up. The subheading of our book, “System Busters: How to Stop Them In Your Business,” is:  “…And clean up the messes to make your business run like a super-clean, well-oiled machine, every single day from now until the end of time—whether you’re there or not!”

Now, that should get you interested in a close shave!

Big ResultsAnd Big Results

Envision your company using the 100% System of Cleanliness or the 5’s Lean System. Can you visualize every desk, work area and administration offices in your business completely free of clutter? Can you picture every item in your business having a place, and every item IN its place—labeled and easily accessible? Imagine what impact these lean cleaning systems would have on your employees and customers?  Let me testify, we’ve had big positive results with our cleaning system! My “Busters” book goes into detail about how we did this, step-by-step.


A piece of equipment, whether for office or manufacturing a product, should only be purchased if, it makes you money. That is, it should have a positive return on your investment.

Implementing a lean-cleaning, close-shave-system in a company is a very low cost investment.

It costs peanuts, in comparison to the results you will get immediately. Believe me, it is the most visible system people notice, and it will also have you beaming with pride.

Now, put that in your razor and shave it!

Oh, did I mention? Great systems work!