Organization development consulting is the way I earn enough to pay my mortgage and indulge the 'Finer recliner' experiment. If you're at all curious, my website, www.stevesussman-otc.com has loads of information about my practice.
I've been thinking a lot about what I tell my clients regarding change, and what I wrote here in an earlier post...
"Change doesn't happen because you simply find a better way. Change happens when the present way becomes intolerable."
Even though I've made some serious changes since we started, till recently I've had a pretty high threshold for what's tolerable.
Oh there have been some major changes - no more hallucinogenic glue, introducing the CURVE (which has become about 95% of all orders,) using memory foam fill exclusively, making full kits (stem, "L" tube towers and neck rest) for Catrikes with no neck rest hardware, offering some custom kits for Sun trikes, modifying the mounting brackets to make them simpler and smaller, and offering all sorts of embroidery option.
But it's clear that the critical next changes would be big ones, not just simple refinements:
- Being able to cut way down on the time it takes to fill orders. This demands major manufacturing changes, not just me working faster.
- Offer simple hardware that'd allow the neck rests to fit a wider range of recumbent trikes and 2-wheelers. This would mean having access to parts as a manufacturer or wholesaler rather than continuing to buy them over the counter at my local bike shop. Note: I do want to give my local shop a plug however. Jeff, the owner of Vashon Island Bikes, routinely sells parts and accessories at or below on-line prices. If you want a wonderful day of rural riding...with hills, a delightful ferry ride with terrific views, great places to eat afterwards, some neat B&B's if you decide to make a weekend of it, make sure to visit Jeff's shop in the village for maps, bike rentals, advice and great deals.
- All the CURVE brackets are now being laser cut by a custom fabrication shop. The first 24 have been ordered and should be here shortly. This will save me an enormous amount of time. I'll continue to make the bases, and cut and glue the fill. But with the new brackets I should be able to fill orders in days rather than weeks. Sadly (I'm sure) the brackets will no longer look like they were nibbled by elves.
- I now have a manufacturer's account with a bike parts and accessories distributor, so now I'm able to purchase short-throw mtb stems and shims for the full kits. I have a dozen stems on the way. This means I can offer quality stems at a very good price without having to scrounge around to buy a stem or two at a time...retail. UPS just arrived! Stems are here, shims on the way.
- We'll be pre-making batches of CURVE covers. This means if you want one unadorned that will speed delivery as well. We're still doing custom embroidery but it'll take a bit longer. I don't want to discourage the personalizing with embroidery...we've been making some really nice covers for folks lately.