Managing business organizations has always been a challenge to man since it became scientific. The earliest known accounts of business management in man’s existence tended to be crude, brutish and short. Anything, and anyone, found to be an impediment to any growth in entrepreneurship was either pilloried or guillotined off for ‘progress’ to be made. Then came the industrial revolution. Welcome to machines and goodbye to servitude. Slavery became abolished as people had causes to be more ‘humane’ in business. Man’s overuse had become juxtaposed with gears and belts of machines. Welcome to mass production. Things became manufactured at the touch of a button. Materials were optimally utilised. Time became shorter and physical exertion of force required to create utility became a thing of the past.
Since man became victorious in the industrial revolution, every business has been using these five M’s: man, materials, machines, minutes and money; to operate with, or without, success. To create any venture without any one of these M’s is simply embarking on a journey to Erehwon. It is sheer entrepreneurial harakiri to even attempt to cut corners. No one should even contemplate doing that. Failure awaits such business. It will also be disastrous for organizations not to properly and effectively organise the M’s for business success. That, in itself is a different kettle of fish. None of the M’s is useless no matter the perspective it is viewed from. A meta-analysis of organizations that have survived over time showed that careless regard to any of the five resulted in economic fiascos, with some even affecting global business. When man took time off work to fight two major wars, there was economic downturns as precious time was expended to right perceived wrongs.
Man, the first of the five M’s is the most important. The right personnel for the right position is a sure bet for organizational effectiveness and efficiency. No two ways about that. Thus, lateness and absenteeism, unsafe acts, alcoholism, poor training, incompetence are just some of the attributes of man at work that could upturn the apple cart of business ventures. Human resources determine the workings of the other four basic business resources. People make sure materials, machines, minutes and money are utilised in a productive manner to achieve goals or aims and objectives of organizations and enterprises. Poor employment practices are inimical to the sustenance of such ventures. With the right man in the right job, a large portion of effective business management will have been achieved. No doubts about that.
Without materials, human resource is made redundant. Thus every right thinking and right planning organization knows that materials needed for any business or service must be in place before ‘man’ can be of use in any business activity. Supply chain departments grew out of this thinking and has been a very useful and effective aspect of business management. A group of cement factory workers waiting for supply of limestone may have nothing much to do for as long as the supply does not arrive. Even if it arrives, but in poor quality, the production is certainly doomed for a loss. Quality compromised is business pauperized. Poor quality of materials potentially ruins entrepreneurship. This is an indisputable fact.
The metal contraptions called machines have made man fulfill almost effortlessly various dreams of creating things that make our existence more worthwhile. Machines have replaced man in tilling, planting, and harvesting. Man has been replaced with looms in cotton and fabric processing. Countless other ventures requiring physical exertions of force has been taken over by things fixed with gears, bolts and nuts and conveyor belts. Recently, computers joined in the fray of increasing production and reduction in time spent by man for manufacturing and general production of goods and services. However, without man and materials, machines will be useless. They need to be operated by man and fed with materials. That again is a doubtless fact.
Time management is one contemporary aspect of business that has been employed in use by effective and successful business ventures to optimize delivery. As earlier noted, lateness and absenteeism of man at work is a large chunk of time off production. Poor time management is as ineffectual as a broken down machine, an indisposed employee or lack of adequate materials for production of goods or services. Various schemes have been used by successful enterprises to ensure proper and efficient use of time by man and machine, including timely delivery of materials, to ensure business sustainability. Compromising time is tantamount to a business venture shooting itself in the foot. There are umpteen instances to ascertain this truism.
Without money, no venture or enterprise can motivate workers, get quality and sufficient materials, get the right machines and maintain them or even ensure that time is properly managed. Money management, when not properly organized has been the most known factor involved in collapse of enterprises in history. The quantity and quality of money expended in ventures have a direct bearing on the fruitfulness of same over time.
Accounts departments have been revolutionized over the years, by man, to ensure maximum operations of surviving business organizations. Where there is not enough money, no good workers, materials, or machines can be employed or purchased or acquired. In other words, such a venture will be wasting its time existing in the first place.
Bottomline: Successful management means making optimal and responsible use of man, materials, machines, minutes and money for the advancement of mankind.