What is this thing called 9Stucks?
9Stucks is a dynamic business diagnostic tool. It identifies nine distinct yet interrelated business challenges that cause a company to underperform.

Stuck in The Rough: Systems, Processes, Fixed Assets

The organization has high blood pressure.

Corporate high blood pressure results from one or more of the following conditions.

One: Being Really Disorganized

The business practices, methods, work processes and outdated systems have a negative impact on daily operations.  Product or service quality and/or overall customer service can be negatively impacted.

Two:  Having Lots of Junk Around

Inferior equipment and facilities either exacerbate the weak operational processes above or prevent the organization from making lasting improvements.

In other words, the tools and things you use to get the product or service out the door are:

  1. old, creaky and broken…a maintenance nightmare
  2. possibly unsafe
  3. quality’s worst enemy
  4. slow
  5. labor intensive
  6. costly

You get the idea — add more to the list as needed!

There are two other major circumstances that can intensify the Rough conditions even more…Seasonality and Unions.


If a business is struggling with systems and processes under normal workloads, the heightened volumes of the seasonal, peak time of the year can put enormous strains and pressures on an already overloaded operation.

Seasonality generally will not go away if that is the nature of the business, but the impact can be mitigated. For example, if production has to be ramped up to satisfy fall retail demand, possibly the company can work with its customers to manufacture earlier in the year and spread deliveries over a number of months.


Unions can complicate an organization and create obstacles. Obviously, the topic of Labor Relations has been studied and written about for decades.  It doesn’t make sense to get into a pro/con argument about Unions in this discussion.

The major point to be made here is, at times, a union’s actions, artificial organizational structures and work rules can be in conflict with normal systems and processes – sort of like inserting a wrench into moving gears.