On one of my emergency response deployments, I was the Logistics Section Chief. My job was to order and track resources that the Operations Section needed to complete their missions. One of the resources I was tracking were mattresses. I knew where all of the available mattresses were in the nearly 200 acre facility.

Operations realized that they needed a large quantity of mattresses. The usual process would be for that operator to contact his section chief and that chief would ask me if we had any mattresses. That may seem cumbersome. The process exists for a reason. Let’s consider what he did instead, something you may consider doing yourself.

He didn’t ask his chief or even me, Instead, he made multiple phone calls to areas of the facility and asked a dozen or so staff to break off their duties and start tracking down mattresses.

This went on a full ten minutes before one of the operations staff decided to call me. Of all the places this operator was looking for mattresses, he had not looked in the one place where the greatest number of mattresses were stored. By chance, the exact quantity he needed.

It had been ten minutes, but all told the number of man hours wasted looking was over an hour.If he can called me, he could have had all of his mattresses within 10 minutes.

On top of that, if he had acquired mattresses from any of the areas where they were stored, it would have thrown off my counts. When I needed them, they would not have been available.

You must know the process and follow the process because the impacts of not doing so are much bigger than you are aware of.