Volume 86: 2019 In Review

Somehow, we’re back in December.20191021_143917

2019 has flown by, as the years seem to now, but what a year it has been.

Within Oberg and Associates, it’s been a great year of growth, evolution and success. We’re within striking distance of 2019 being our most successful year to date.

And even with that being the case, Oberg and Associates failed to meet several of its goals this year. I failed to reach several of MY goals this year.

So, as I sit and review 2019 with my team, and look forward to project and plan for 2020 this month, I’m stuck with a strange balance of pride in what we’ve accomplished, and disappointment in what we did not.

We named Mitchell Benkufsky, an employee who joined just back in September 2018, as our 2019 Recruiter of the Year. He has come in and made a noticeable impact on our Paper Recruiting effort, and we’re excited to see what he can accomplish in 2020.

Our Senior Consultant, Teresa Hundt, continued to kill it recruiting for Corrugated, and our Director of Operations, Kalman Kreitman, had his role evolve as he helps us soothe the necessary growing pains for a company like ours.

We’ve had other wonderful employees, that we thought were going to be with us for a long time, leave our company for a variety of reasons. But, in their place, new magnificent people have come in and given us renewed vigor and hope for the future. As the calendar turns, we’re working to hire at least one more to help us as we continue to grow.

Long-time clients and candidates that we’ve worked with for years have retired or are in positions they can’t utilize our services anymore, but many new clients and candidates have come on board to keep us plenty busy.

We’ve been slowly shifting our effort from contingency work to a Shared-Risk platform with much success, but this transition has obviously come with its hiccups, and has been a slow process too.

It has been an interesting and exciting year at Oberg and Associates since I wrote last December’s newsletter telling you that 2018 was a bit of a disappointment. But, at the end of the day, when we look at 2019, what it comes down to is that we’ve hit some of our KPI’s, but not others.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this end of year conundrum. I’m not sure that it’s even really a conundrum.

Many of your facilities out there are in similar situations. You turned certain areas of your facility around, or have hit your metrics in some areas, but in others, you’re still struggling. You’ve upped production, but you haven’t gotten the new customers to fill the newly created capacity. Or you’ve worked on housekeeping, but you’re still high on waste. Perhaps you raised the bar on expectations and have seen this result in increased turnover in your staff.

On some level, I think this is part of life. There’s always going to be some area or another that needs our attention. Even in the best of times, there are going to be things we can do better. New heights we can reach.

So, how do we approach this, especially as it comes to mapping out a new year?

Well, I think you must start by figuring out what you want. What’s the goal? Personally, professionally, what do you want your life, your facility, your family, to look like 12 months from now. That’s not an easy question for everyone, but it’s a crucial one. You can’t plan your 2020 road map without a destination.

And then you have to look back at what you’ve done to figure out what you need to do.

If you’re someone that is happy with what your company is doing, (which isn’t my wiring, but to each their own,) then you have to look back at how you sustained or created that level of success this year. What systems did you use? What personnel did you have? Were there market forces at play, and how can you compensate for them?

If your personal goal is to retire, or at least work your way into a diminished role this year, you probably need a succession plan. What do you do on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis? Once you’ve got the specific actions down, what can you delegate? And to whom? Do you have the right person to step into the void that you’re going to create?

If your goal is to increase revenue, production, or any other area of your business, that requires the same level of planning. What did you do this year, and what will it take to get to whatever your heightened goal is? Do you and your team have the tools (both literal and figurative) to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be? I would suggest that often the biggest tool that is needed is not money or some physical aid to work, it’s the true commitment of leadership to do whatever the team needs in order to reach the goal.

For our team, we’re constantly reviewing our procedures and systems to make sure they give us the best chances of success. We’re constantly checking our metrics against our short- and longer-term goals. In 2020, we’ve got new ideas and plans for how we can continue to grow and be a better resource for the corrugated and paper industries.

And of course, once those plans are in place, you have to execute and stick to them. You have to be able to adjust when things go awry.

So, as we wrap up 2019, I’d encourage everyone to sit down and really think about what they want from 2020, review what you’ve done, and create your plan to achieve your goals.

I want to finish up by wishing everyone a Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year everyone, and as always…

Stay Strong.

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