In most companies, at one time or another you hear someone say “Act like you own it”.  What they are really saying is that you should make decisions like you are running the company.  This is even more prevalent in an Employee Owned company such as Acuity Healthcare where we really do own it!

The thing is, not many of us have experience running a company.   We have never had to manage inventory levels, balance a budget, make capital purchases, worry about waste or make general business decisions.

So how are we supposed to “Act like We Own It”?

While it may be true that many of us don’t have experience running a company; many of us do have experience running something even more important…..A FAMILY!  If you really stop and think about it, there are a lot of parallels between running a company and running a household.

  • Managing Inventory Levels– Before you go shopping, you take inventory (make a shopping list) and buy only what you need. You don’t buy 100 rolls of paper towels if you know that you will normally only use 4 rolls before you go shopping again.
  • Balance a Budget This is an easy one. You can only spend what you make and you have to decide what you are going to spend it on each month.  You decide how much am I going to spend on food, how much am I going to spend on rent, how much am I going to spend on utilities, how much am I going to spend on transportation and how much am I going to spend on incidentals (daycare, entertainment, etc.).
  • Capital (Equipment) Purchases We all make Capital Purchases at home and have to decide what is the right equipment to buy. Even though most of us would prefer to be driving a Lamborghini, we decided that driving a Nissan Sentra makes more fiscal sense.  The Sentra will still get us from point A to point B and makes much more sense when we need to balance our budget.  Do we really need to spend $2500 on an LG front loading, stainless steel washing machine that steams and folds your clothes; or does it make more sense to buy a regular, white enamel, top loading Kenmore washing machine?  We can iron and fold our own clothes.
  • Managing Waste When we make dinner, we only cook what we think we are going to eat because we don’t want to waste food. If we are making a home improvement, like painting, we only buy and use the amount of paint that we need for the job.  At the end of the job there is a gallon of paint left over, we don’t waste it.  We return it to the store or save it for another job.
  • General Business Decisions– Any decision that has an impact on our families is a family business decision. This includes everything from where we are going to send our kids to school, are we going to install a pool in the back yard, are we going to take a vacation this year or just take day trips, etc.  We weigh the Pros and Cons of every family business decision and make the choice that we think is going to most benefit our family.

So the next time you hear “act like you own it”…. Remember that at Acuity you really do! 

Chuck Meyer is the Director of Materials Management at Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey