Miscommunication

Like many companies we occasionally drop the proverbial ball.  This morning was “Peoples Exhibit A”.  It happened at exactly 8:30 Tuesday, March 22…the power to our building was cut off – I mean immediately and completely.  Unlike a nasty winter storm or blustery summer storm we knew this was coming.  Our electric company, DTE,  communicated wonderfully and told us multiple times they were upgrading such and such power lines and that on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 8:30 am they would cut off our power for about 15 minutes.  DTE did absolutely nothing wrong.  We did.

Sitting here now, I can’t believe how badly we handled this.  Yes, we should have let our customers know they won’t be able to contact us from 8:30 until about 8:45 due to a scheduled power cut off.  But it was to our team here at Utley Brothers Printing that we really blew it.

I was in our production area the moment the power was cutoff and I saw the look of surprise in their eyes.  It was in that moment that I knew we blew it.  This wasn’t a case of miscommunication or poor communication as far as they were concernced this was a case of No Communication.   Sure, most of the folks in our company with email knew it was coming, thanks to an email sent the day before.  But the folks working with the really expensive machines, the ones who don’t have email HAD NO IDEA.  I’m embarrassed to even type that. 

If we had handled it properly, our folks working on those expensive machines (in our production area) could have worked a few hours and then brought their machines to a gentle and planned stop in preparation for the cutoff and then had a nice little mid-morning break.  Our newest expensive machine is the new DP60 digital press.  Unfortunately it wasn’t plugged into any UPS device and as a result is down and may be down for at least a day (maybe longer).

I of course apologize to our customers but I really apologize to the members of our team, especially those in our production teams, for the lack of communication.  We are better than this and will do better next time.

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About marathondrew

I am a runner (still trying to to qualify for the Boston Marathon) and I work at Utley Brothers Printing, my family's 3rd generation printing company.
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