Lucy and the “Chicken” Factory
– February 6, 2018 –
I have to laugh whenever I’m reminded of this story…
When Cheryl and I met decades ago, she was living in Elizabethtown (E-town), PA. She was a teacher but like most teachers…needed to supplement her income during the summer with part-time work.
She tried to get a job packing candy in the Mars plant…but found out there was a waiting list LOL
So plan “B” is was…working in a chicken factory!
Her job was to stand at a certain spot on one side of a conveyor belt…and as the chicks arrived in front of her, quickly scoop one up and spread its wings to see if it was a male or female.
After determining the sex, quickly send the chick in one direction or another for whatever happens next.
I kid you not!
Well, evidently they all looked the same to Cheryl. So after a week of too many pile ups (picture the “Lucille Ball and the Chocolate Factory” episode but with baby chicks) and inaccurate routing and lots of eye rolls from the other women on the line…
She was put on the injection line in another area of the factory.
On this line, women were spaced out on both sides of a conveyor belt and as the chicks reached them…they grabbed a chick and jammed it against a needle that injected it with probably antibiotics.
Over and over. And no messing about. These women were fast!
Well, Cheryl was afraid it would hurt the chicks so instead of just giving them a quick jab against the needle, she took her time and tried to be careful…
More pile ups…live chicks she couldn’t get to were mixed up with dead chicks that she didn’t inject properly…more eye rolls.
Can you even begin to picture this? haha
You can’t make this stuff up, people!
Oh, and the seasoned factory women had been giving her the evil eye not only for slowing up production…
But because after standing on concrete for 8 hours a day, she developed shin splits and had to ask for a chair LOL
So…finally she was taken off the injection line and relegated to a corner where for the rest of the summer she folded boxes!
No wonder she’s been called Lucy 🙂
What’s the business lesson in this?
Systems and processes work as long as humans don’t get involved and mess things up…
I love simple, repeatable systems – who doesn’t? Something that can easily be plugged into an existing process to improve it.
It’s why we focus all our energy on creating the very best funnels that solve a problem and work time and time again without fail.
But real people are involved and that’s where creative thinking is needed.
Take this scenario for example…a cart abandon process that tracks when someone clicks on an email link to an order form but doesn’t make the purchase.
So we incorporate an email that is sent between 25 and 30 minutes after they visit the order form only if they haven’t bought.
And you know what the subject line of that email is? “I hate technology!”
It works. It gets opened…the email copy puts the blame of a “failed” transaction on those dratted technology snafus and gives the prospect the opportunity to call with any questions they might have.
It doesn’t blame the buyer.
If the purchase still isn’t made, a second email is sent the next day to try once again to close the deal they left open…
Systems and processes (in this case to promote a product and collect a credit card to facilitate the transaction) are great, but the human element needs to be factored in.
So how are you doing with automating systems and processes in your business like a simple cart abandon feature?
Schedule a free consult to talk with Lucy…I mean Cheryl.