We in the middle of a large remodeling project at the company where I work. We are in the process of converting on of our plastic injection molding bays into a Class 7 and a Class 8 clean room for molding and assembling drug delivery devices for the medical industry. A lot of work has been done already moving equipment, removing existing infrastructure such as HVAC, plumbing and electrical hook ups for the equipment that was there.
Not only are we building clean rooms in the existing structure of the production bay, but the outside hallway is getting a face lift too. More windows are being installed to allow staff and guests to view the activities within the new clean rooms without the need to scrub down and dress up in the "bunny suits" that will be required to enter the rooms. Also the cinder block exterior wall of the bay is being covered by sheet rock.
The building of a wall to cover a wall has many here shaking their heads. To them, understandably, it seems like a waste of the company's resources. But I see the reasoning. Remember the Cannon camera commercials from the early 1990's? The ones where tennis star Andre Agassi would say the tag line "image is everything." There is some truth to that premise. Well, a lot of truth.
Having a potential customer looking into a pristine clean room where a team of workers are completing complicated tasks using complected equipment to produce complicated product should be impressive enough. But there is a difference between viewing that scene from a hallway with clean lines, and a hallway of painted cinder blocks with support I-Beam protruding out a few inches every so often. The sheet rock wall simply looks better, cleaner, more thought out. Intentional.
Whether we are willing to admit it or not, appearances do play a factor on how we available things. We shouldn't judge books by their covers, yet book publishing put a lot of time and effort into creating their book covers. This goes for us as individuals too, and not just books or hallways.
But let's not get overboard into appearances and image. Perhaps a better slogan would be "Image is everything for a good first impression." Back to the hallway example, our company could have the nicest looking, cleanest and will organize facilities and equipment in the world; and those things would beyond a doubt help bring our desired customers in the door. But the customers we seek won't stay if we cannot deliver superior goods and services on time and on budget.
Anyone can clean up and look good. Many have the hard skills to meet or exceed what a customer or employer expects. The few that do both effortlessly are the ones are have a major advantage.
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