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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Another Kind Of Feng Shui Audit
You may be
surprised that some Feng Shui audit ended up at the desk of an industrial and
layout planner. For many problems a business or factory facing are purely
management and planning issues. It is perhaps appropriate to list down a real
life example instead of going into theories and lectures.
Finn is a German
who has chosen to settle in KL as he has married a local wife. About two years
ago Finn was working as a manager in a new breed of furniture store house as
other than selling all types of imported furniture; the store also sells exquisite
kind of ambitious as he wanted to capture Malaysian furniture and electrical
appliance market. KL is just his first try. So, he persuaded his German
investors to pump in money to fund his advertising and grand opening campaign. The
store was planned to open on Christmas Eve as the demand was expected to be
peak during year end and the coming Chinese New Year.
happened as planned, the opening was fantastic and that has indeed attracted
many visitors to Finn’s new store. However, Finn’s enthusiasm quickly faded
over time as though the number of visitors were great, people only flocked to
his store for window shopping and enjoy the ‘free’ air-cond.
profit margin cannot cover store operating costs, Finn started to have
sleepless nights as he need to answer to his investors. Well, people don’t just
throw money to you for one thing. A problem is a problem and it need to be
solved by hook, by crook or by spook. Fortunately, Finn’s father- in-law knew
some Feng Shui and Taoist masters. So, the in-law suggested perhaps Finn was a
victim of black magic of his envied competitors.
Finn has no
choice as he couldn’t understand why his business didn’t perform as he has
expected with quality merchandizes and fair prices. He started to be taken in
by the mumbo jumbo of his in-laws.
first person to come to Finn’s aid was a Taoist master. On entering to Finn’s
store, the Taoist master was possessed by the ‘monkey god’. He flipped, turned
and rolled in Finn’s store as if searching for something. The drama went on for
about 30 minutes and finally the ‘monkey god’ said to Finn:
“I saw many good brothers in your store. They
are sent by your business competitors to destroy your business. I would like to
help but I cannot sit here forever. So you need to ask two golden Buddha to
watch over them. That will be $20,000 for two. Thank you.”
Finn had to
comply with the request.
business still didn’t improve after 6 months. His investors started to make
noise. Now as his father-in-law has suggested, he hired a renowned Feng Shui
master to come to his rescue.
Shui master came and after walking around the store; he gave the below comments:
“Your store has very bad aura or ‘sha’. This
aura has prevented people from buying your merchandize. What you need to do it
to purchase 4 golden elephants specially empowered to ‘suck’ in all the wealth.
My service is ‘free’ but the golden elephants will cost $40,000 per set. Oh,
you must take down the two golden Buddha statues as they conflict with the
complied with request and crossed his fingers.
months passed and the business seemed going down the hill still.
store investors have set up a board of enquiry where Finn, I and my associates
were called in to assess the damage and troubleshooting. So, we were charged to
form a committee to look into Finn’s operational issues.
spending around two weeks or so, we came out with the below conclusions:
were too many similar products with different brands causing internal
competition: customers don’t know which to choose from.
were no proper product display and categorizations. Items were intermixed:
bedroom fittings found in kitchen section etc.
was no proper item logistics: things jumbled up blocking customer’s passage
ways causing dead corners.
store management: rejected items, incoming and outgoing items mixed together
causing items difficult to be traced or missing.
store manning ratio was too high causing redundancy and waste money.
presented our finding to the board of investors and proposed plans to
restructure the furniture store were accepted. As far as I know that the store
is now breaking even and there is a plan to build another furniture store
Who am I? I
am just your humble industrial and infrastructure engineer.