In this episode, Jordan sits down with Phil Dubois of Workplace Screening Intelligence to discuss what employers and small businesses should do about drug use in the workplace. They discuss enacting policies for your company and sticking to them regardless of the situation, what types of drug screening is available, and what their costs are.
If you’re an employer or business owner then making sure you have a policy and the correct procedures in place are important. Phil is even sharing his template for you to consider using in your employment contracts.
Philip J. Dubois is the Founder and CEO of Workplace Screening Intelligence. He has provided 25 years of excellence in service and support to thousands of employers, hospitals, clinics and other stakeholders in the industry.
Previously, Mr. Dubois was Executive Vice President and an owner of DSI MEDICAL SERVICES where he served customers such as FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, XPO Logistics and many other private and public employers. He was also Executive Vice President and an owner of DrugScan, A SAMHSA Certified and CAP Accredited Laboratory, where he served customers such as City of Philadelphia, Third Party Administrators and many hospital and clinics. He joined DSI Medical Services and DrugScan in November of 2008. Prior to his employment with DSI Medical Services and DrugScan, Mr. Dubois held various management positions at Quest Diagnostics including Regional Sales Manager and Director of Channel Partnerships. He was also Vice-President of American Medical Laboratories from 1994-2002. Prior to this he was a sales representative for both Allied Clinical Laboratory and Doctor’s and Physician Laboratory. Mr. Dubois is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.
Mr. Dubois has worked in the drug and alcohol testing industry since 1992. He is an expert in the field of drug testing, the various means of testing, federal and state testing laws, company policy development, risk remediation as well as all aspects of alcohol testing. Mr Dubois is a Former Chairman and Executive Board Member of Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association, Inc. (DATIA). As Chairman of DATIA , a 1,600 member Washington D.C. based group, he championed the effort for the employer’s rights to a safe and drug free workplace.
Episode 4: Phil Dubois of Workplace Screening Intelligence – Full Transcript
Picture a world where costs are down, profits are up, and customers are clamoring at your door. You’re listening to. Let’s get up to business from Jordan Law. Our interviews with business owners, service providers and area experts can teach you how to create a world of success and profitability. If you’re looking for an attorney to assist in your business formation, employment agreements, or other legal business needs, contact Jordan law at 407-906-5529. You can also reach us on the web at Jordanlawfl.com.
Jordan law we protect you and your business
Jordan Ostroff 0:59
Hello and welcome to the Jordan law. Let’s get up to business podcast. Joining me today is Phil Dubois. Phil, can you introduce yourself?
Phil Dubois 1:05
Sure. I’m CEO and founder of workplace screening intelligence. It’s an employment drug testing firm as well as parent drug testing.com, which is a tool for parents that have children that they’re concerned about with drugs and alcohol abuse.
Jordan Ostroff 1:22
So tell us a little bit how you got into that profession.
Phil Dubois 1:25
Well, about 25 years ago, I graduated from the great UCF
Jordan Ostroff 1:29
Phil Dubois 1:30
Yes. And jobs weren’t plentiful. It was during the Bush recession. And I saw a advertisement for an account executive for a small laboratory out of Leesburg, Florida called Doctors and Physicians Lab. And part of the requirements were you had to have five years of laboratory sales experience. I was desperate. I tried anyways, and called them and they said, tell me about your sales experience. I said I have a lifetime of sales experience. They didn’t hire me for an account executive, but they created an account manager position. And in the 30 days, I got promoted at account executive, so it worked out just fine.
Jordan Ostroff 2:10
Okay, so I guess you’re able to do the five years of experience in those 30 days.
Phil Dubois 2:15
That’s exactly, exactly.
Jordan Ostroff 2:18
So going through our podcasts, you know, it’s going to be targeted towards small to medium sized business owners, if any of them want to utilize your services, what what’s the best contact info for you?
Phil Dubois 2:27
800-338-5515 or email@example.com.
Jordan Ostroff 2:35
And so it’s workplacescreening.com, would be the website?
Phil Dubois 2:38
That is correct.
Jordan Ostroff 2:39
Phil Dubois 2:40
Jordan Ostroff 2:41
Okay. So if I’m sitting here as a business owner, what sort of situations would I be faced with where I would need somebody like you?
Phil Dubois 2:52
Well, um, you know, let’s just take like a transportation company. They’re in the business of moving goods, transport and from one place to another, that’s what they’re good at. That’s what their expertise is, drug testing is an afterthought. The last thing they want to do is be an expert in drug testing, understanding the laws, understanding that they have to have policies procedures in place, and they can call Workplace Screening Intelligence to get that taken care of for them. And you know, we’re available to them, you know, we just don’t provide good service, we also provide great support. And, you know, that means eight o’clock in the morning, eight o’clock at night, or three o’clock in the morning, if, if, God forbid, you need that taken care of. So it’s just really where the extension where they don’t have to be a drug test expert.
Jordan Ostroff 3:41
So what sort of companies do you work with most?
Phil Dubois 3:45
Manufacturing, transportation, and, you know, General, employers, you know, of hospitals, health healthcare organizations, and then just businesses in general.
Jordan Ostroff 4:04
And so I’m guessing that you’re not really sitting down with any business owners before they start their business, it’s going to be after
Phil Dubois 4:09
it’s normally when they start hiring.
Jordan Ostroff 4:11
Okay, so when they’ve got employees tested,
Phil Dubois 4:13
have employees or they had an incident with an employee that caused them some type of damage, or some type of risk that they weren’t adequately forecasting?
Jordan Ostroff 4:27
So walk me through the process, if you can, I’m an employer, you know, I want to start putting in a drug testing policy and procedure, I had an employee with an incident, you know, what, what do I need to do? Or what should the process look like for my employer?
Phil Dubois 4:41
So for the employer to begin with, you know, yeah, just with everything you do, as an employer, you kind of have policies and procedures. So the most important part is creating your policy. We have a template, should a customer or customer choose a user, we have a template that walks them through asked all types of questions, I get a simple question that people don’t think about until it’s too late, is, what do I do? If someone’s positive for drugs? Do I want to fire them immediately? Or do I want to get them help? Or do I want to give second chances, but the way that we create the policies for them, they can do all three, but they need to think about it ahead of time. Because you know, you don’t want to have discrimination where you did something for one employee, and you didn’t do it for another employee.
Jordan Ostroff 5:27
So if you send that, can you send that template to us? And then we’ll put it on the show notes for this podcast?
Phil Dubois 5:31
Jordan Ostroff 5:34
And once we get that updated, will update this spot with the URL to find the template on our website?
Phil Dubois 5:41
Jordan Ostroff 5:44
Okay, so have a policy and procedure in place, you all can assist with that. And then as they start implementing that policy and procedure, what is the interaction between the their business and your business.
Phil Dubois 5:56
So you know, everybody’s a little bit different, some people need to have their hands held more than others and others have done this before. And they have the experience, it really depends on where they’re at. And using our firm allows them to have as much as that hold hand in hand holding that they need, or as little and so whatever they need in our platform was set up that it allows them to electronically order, track, and result on the system. So sometimes we have some customers where we signed them up on day one, and they never call us again, until something big happens. And then we have other customers that they’re calling us every day, and we’re there to take care.
Jordan Ostroff 6:38
So from a business owner, who would need some sort of drug screening in place, the actual interaction can be as much or as little as they want.
Phil Dubois 6:45
Jordan Ostroff 6:48
So once they get to the point where you know, employee a it’s their time for drug screening, what’s what does employee have to do?
Phil Dubois 6:55
So the employer goes on the site and has to put in five pieces of effort mention their name, their social security number, or whatever ID they choose to use their phone number, in case it’s positive, and the medical doctor needs to talk to them about it to find out if it’s legally or illegally positive, as well as if they’re federally regulated or not. And if they are, whether it’s going to happen deserved collection or not. So those are the five things that you need. Once you do that, you’re ready to go
Jordan Ostroff 7:24
When you say federally regulated, what do you mean?
Phil Dubois 7:26
So like the Department of Transportation, and other federal organizations require that they have to have a drug test. So you know, like your pilots, your truck drivers, and many others require a drug test and to have it as a pre employment as well as to be randomly selected, which keeps our roads a little safer than it not.
Jordan Ostroff 7:52
So not only are there federal regulations requiring some drug testing, but for certain professions is going to be previous to the employment and during a well, that is correct. And so I’m assuming that most drug testing places will do both the pre employment and the post employment screenings.
Phil Dubois 8:06
That is correct.
Jordan Ostroff 8:07
Alright, so the employers gone on, they put in the info, whether they’re federally regulated the information. Now what does that trigger something to the employee?
Phil Dubois 8:16
Yeah. So once they do that, then the next step in that process is, you know, you either pick a place that’s convenient to you put it in your zip code of your headquarters, of where the person is working at, or that person’s home address, and then it gives them a choice. Like, for example, here in Central Florida, we have 85 locations that they can go to 8500 on a nationwide basis, you pick the place that’s most convenient. And then it prints up a passport tells them the hours of collection, where they’re going, and to bring up ID with them federally or state recognized ID.
Jordan Ostroff 8:49
So 85 locations Justin Southside Florida at 500. Across consternation,
Phil Dubois 8:54
that is correct.
Jordan Ostroff 8:54
Wow. So can make it much easier.
Phil Dubois 8:56
Oh, that’s what we think that’s for sure.
Jordan Ostroff 8:59
And so then obviously, I’m guessing the employee goes and provides the urine sample. That is correct.
Phil Dubois 9:03
And then of course, if they choose to do oral fluids or hair testing, we have that available as well. Okay, so what sort of different testing methods can be done, okay, so we have, you obviously can do blood, but that’s considered invasive, and most employers don’t do it, unless it’s a post accident situation, they may choose to do that. Because it’s, you know, the the best way to show impairment, so, but there’s urine, that’s laboratory based. There’s also urine pOcT, which is a instant results. So if you need the result, the same day, you can have that done as well. There’s also oral fluids, which is a way of absorbing a drug test without having to do the indecent observing of a urine test.
Jordan Ostroff 9:50
So when you say oral fluid, they’re going to like swab their mouth?
Phil Dubois 9:52
Swab their mouth, that’s correct for two minutes. And then that’s kind of give them an end of the positivity rate on that is very close to urine. which is surprising, because most people, most people metabolize drugs much quicker in oral fluids than they do in urine. So it’s just not there collection does it. And then lastly, the hair testing, it’s a 90 day test. So it’s more like a video instead of a snapshot of drug use and abuse over time.
Jordan Ostroff 10:22
When you say the hair test is a 90 day test. It’s looking back for 90 days, or it takes 90 days.
Phil Dubois 10:26
Yeah, it’s looking back 90 days.
Jordan Ostroff 10:28
Phil Dubois 10:29
And I’ll just add that it takes 10 days for drugs to grow into there. So it’s not a good test for for post accident. But it’s a great test to find out what the employees drug use or abuses.
Jordan Ostroff 10:42
Well, it sounds like the hair would be best for that pre employment to see.
Phil Dubois 10:46
That is the best test is a little bit more expensive. So some people choose not to do it. But it definitely is the best test as a pre employment test.
Jordan Ostroff 10:53
And then what? So what happens after the test, the results are presented?
Phil Dubois 10:57
Yeah. So if the employees negative gets a review, and then it goes up on the system, and then the employer can choose to have it emailed, or they can and or they can get it via the website, secure electronic website. If it’s positive, it goes to the medical review officer, he will call the employee interview them to find out there is a reasonable explanation as to why they have a positive and then they’ll communicate that to the employer. So if it’s if the employee has a prescription for, say, benzodiazepines and they’re a secretary, and they have the prescription, they’ll say is negative. But if it’s a truck driver, and it’s for oxicodode on the last time, you wanted to 26,000 pound missile driving down the highway, with the guide taken oxycodone so they’ll say it’s negative, however, we have a safety concern, and you need to address this. And then so the medical doctor will get with the employer to teach them how to handle that.
Jordan Ostroff 12:00
So when you’re talking for that reasonable explanation, I mean, that’s not somebody saying they had a bunch of poppy seed muffins the day before.
Phil Dubois 12:06
Now it’s not. It’s not, but that is a valid excuse for some opiates. Oh, so that is an it is an actual excuse that is an actual excuse for some opiates. But at the lower limit like so for the state of Florida is a free workplace, it wouldn’t pop but under the DoT it could.
Jordan Ostroff 12:27
So just because you can only get to like a certain threshold.
Phil Dubois 12:30
Correct. But it’s really just for certain certain opiates. So most people think and believe me, I’ve heard every excuse was smoke positive marijuana. I had poppy seed bagels.
It only worked for certain opiates. Right? And
Jordan Ostroff 12:46
what other crazy explanations? Have you heard along those lines? Because I didn’t realize that was a real thing. I thought that was one of those old wives tales?
Phil Dubois 12:52
No, no. Yeah, absolutely. So that’s the biggest one, for sure. That always comes up. And the other one has some kind of sexual connotation with how the drugs got in their system. You know, and it’s, you know, not possible. So, you know,
Jordan Ostroff 13:08
I did actually a prosecutor to a guy who had an ankle monitor for alcohol and said that he was slept sleeping with a woman who was drunk. And that’s why the monitor hit. It didn’t go well for him.
Phil Dubois 13:18
I get imagine!
Jordan Ostroff 13:20
But you know, you hear it every I guess it but
Phil Dubois 13:22
You look on the internet, under drug test, you know, the first 10,000 lines, you’re going to be how to be the drug test. I wish that it was workplace screen intelligence on top. But it’s not the case. It’s how to be a drug test and then just give you excuse after excuse after excuse.
Jordan Ostroff 13:34
Have you ever had a situation where somebody provided like someone else’s urine sample or something? Agreed? It’s like that?
Phil Dubois 13:40
Yes. So we’ve had cats, dogs, and the real question is, where do they…. How do they get a cat or a dog to urinate into a cup? That’s the most incredible one. But also, we’ve had people that have said, I can’t be positive because that’s my sister’s urine. And we’re like, Well, wait, hate the tell you this Be Your sister is positive as well.
Jordan Ostroff 14:06
Interesting. Yeah. every profession has has great stories.
Phil Dubois 14:10
Yes they do. We do.
Jordan Ostroff 14:12
So from the employer’s perspective, I mean, I’m assuming the employee has to sign like a HIPAA release or something along those
Phil Dubois 14:20
Drug testing, employment drug testing is not under the HIPAA guidelines. However, we do have to follow confidentiality. So it’s along the same lines, I just do this don’t have the same protection as people that in the healthcare round the to the to the limit, like you know, for example, if somebody weren’t keeping the results confidential, it would take an attorney to come in to sue and but you know, under HIPAA, if you don’t keep something confidential, and you break the breach, then you have to report to the federal government and things happen. So it’s just a different, different and you wouldn’t be in business very long this industry if you didn’t keep things confidential,
Jordan Ostroff 15:01
Right, of course. Yeah. So, um, alright. So I don’t have to worry about HIPAA as the business owner, what are some of the other concerns that I need to have implementing some sort of drug testing? procedure?
Phil Dubois 15:11
Oh, really, the biggest concern is the policy. And there’s a lot of employers out there that are drug testing, they don’t have a policy and the policy really is the roadmap, it tells them we do this, if this happens, and we do that, if that happens, and, you know, like, what, what happens if a forget a negative dilute? And you know, some people think immediately, that’s cheating, you know, and so a guy like me, I drink a gallon of water a day, and I’m going to show up as a negative, dilute, okay, because I drink a gallon of water, I’m not trying to submerge, but it happens. Then there are people who if you go to how to be the drug test, that, like I said, the first 10,000 lines, they all say the same thing, buy this product and drink a gallon of water. It does flush it down the system. So for drug abusers, it doesn’t normally affect it, like a drug user, a drug user, or someone that uses it. Sometimes, maybe on a Friday night, a drug abuser is considered someone that does it every day, it’s not going to wash their system, but the drug user who might be at a 52, marijuana will come down to 48. And they’ll be negative. So and you know, some people think that’s crazy that the drug users are are not are found are not found, like the drug abusers, but it’s set up to protect the innocent.
Jordan Ostroff 16:34
When you say that 52, 48 that’s going to be what, like parts per
Phil Dubois 16:37
Yeah, that’s a nanograms per mL.
Jordan Ostroff 16:39
Okay, gotcha. Alright, so I so I guess as the business owner, my biggest concern is just having that policy in place.
Phil Dubois 16:46
Jordan Ostroff 16:47
Is it something where you recommend, obviously, you’ve got the template, but are you recommending the check with a lawyer to
Phil Dubois 16:52
Oh, absolutely. Every policy that we put, we provide that we’re drug testing experts, but we’re not a legal expert. So you, you need to make sure your lawyer review this. And and make sure that, that you’re following the the local and other HR rules as well.
Jordan Ostroff 17:11
So what, I guess what are the biggest mistakes that you see employers making when it comes to these drug testing issues?
Phil Dubois 17:20
biggest mistake and I hate to keep coming back this because it’s, it’s so it’s so Elementary, but the biggest mistake is not having the policy. Number one, number two is not following the policy sitting there and saying that we’d Hey, we give no chances. And then well, this guy here has been working here for 25 years, he’s a rock star, he’s the best. So we give him a second chance. And then another guy, or young lady comes along, she’s been working here for or he’s been working here for a year or two. And like, we’re not going to let them have a second chance. And that’s just as you know, as an attorney, that’s a discrimination lawsuit with how many zeros on the end? Not if, but how many?
Jordan Ostroff 17:56
Well, also, I think I see the same issue if you don’t have a policy in place, and you just magically picked the same employee to go four and five times in a row.
Phil Dubois 18:03
Jordan Ostroff 18:05
So the biggest so one of the big things in the policy that you’re looking for is, I guess a sufficiency of how they’re picking who’s going to go as well as consistent ramifications of bias.
Phil Dubois 18:16
Yes, absolutely. And so, you know, most employers are going to test every employee for pre-employment. So they want to make sure that they get the best employees, and I’ll make sure that they’re drug free, they may or may not choose to do a background check, you know, that’s up to them. And then a lot of employers not all do random testing. And so it’s, if they do it through us, which we we can provide that service. It’s done through a, you know, do t approved type of method that allows that allows the employee to be selected randomly, truly, randomly do t department transportation, transportation. So again, we use the same thing for the non God employees that right any other employees not do too. And because, you know, it’s it’s been blessed, and it’s the gold standard.
Jordan Ostroff 19:05
Gotcha. So from, from an employer’s perspective, doing those pre employment screenings, what’s my approximate cost? And what’s my approximate turnaround time?
Phil Dubois 19:15
So I’m dependent upon volume. It’s, you know, in the $30 to $40 range, and
Per test. Yeah, and includes the collection, the drug test at the laboratory, and the medical review officer shouldn’t need to be reviewed. So there’s no surprise charges, oh, this guy’s positive, we’re going to charge $80 bucks for that for the doctors time. It’s just it’s one fee inclusive for everyone.
Jordan Ostroff 19:23
And that’s $30 – $40 for a urine test for urine test. Okay, and then what and then what’s the turnaround time?
Phil Dubois 19:48
Next day, for normal negatives, positives may take another day, depending if the employee does does or does not communicate with the doctor. As you might guess, someone calling up to Hey, I need to talk to you about your drug test. If you’ve been smoking marijuana, you may not want to call them back. So we have the 24 hours we enlist the employee or to help us get a hold of the employee or the donor.
Jordan Ostroff 20:12
Gotcha. Yeah, my my father-in-law, you just retired used to do safety stuff for courts countertop place up in Savannah, Georgia. So I always funny to talk about some of those circumstances where where people magically don’t show up, or don’t want to go after.
Phil Dubois 20:27
Jordan Ostroff 20:29
Are there any other so other than not having the policy not following the policy, any other mistakes that you see these business owners making when it comes to the drug screening stuff?
Phil Dubois 20:40
No. Not really just, that’s really the and just favoritism is and that’s, you know, it’s all in the policy. You know, it’s just like, we it’s a point, but you don’t understand he’s been here 25 years, I understand. But, you know, a court of law is not going to understand when you, you know, do it differently.
Jordan Ostroff 20:59
Phil Dubois 21:00
It’ s gotta be in the policy. And what, um,
Jordan Ostroff 21:04
What benefits do you see this providing to business owners? Well,
Phil Dubois 21:08
We’re fortunate here in the state of Florida, if you have a Florida drug free workplace program, they will say 5% off of their workers comp premiums. So in most cases, the workers comp premium discount will pay for the drug testing. So they’re really getting this benefit at no cost to them. And
Jordan Ostroff 21:31
Oh, that’s excellent.
Phil Dubois 21:32
Yeah. And it’s it really is, it’s really great. But I mean, other than then that, you know, drug abusers are three times more likely to call in sick, two times more likely to have accidents. And you can find all these statistics on the Department of Labor, or on our website as well. You know, if you’re a drug user, a drug abusers, not a drug user. And just like, drugs affect every person differently. Just like you have friends that you go to a party, and they can have three cocktails and stop, and then you have that friend that can’t stop and they have 10 cocktails, and you know, it’s the same thing with drugs, it happens. And drug abusers, you know, starting off with marijuana, they move up the chain, they have to have to supplement that income from somewhere, okay. And normally, it’s the family, the community, or the employer, and the employer is the easiest person to steal from. So you know, you’re going to see theft, as well as productivity problems, if someone’s, you know, having accidents and everything else that they have to do to address that.
Jordan Ostroff 22:37
Well, I also think that, you know, those are the more obvious ones, but I would imagine, if your workplace that’s known for having people you know, on drugs, or alcohol or whatever, and somebody gets injured, or they get into a fight, you’re talking about a lot more liability from the business owner, because then you allowed this .
Phil Dubois 22:53
You allowed Exactly, so whatever you do, I mean, when it comes to drug testing, there’s liability with the liability without, so if you don’t have a drug free workplace, and someone gets injured, because you have a drug user on there, obviously, we know anyone can be sued for anything, you just have a much better limited risk if you have the drug testing program. And you know, you mentioned about employers that don’t drug test. I mean, you can go Google, find an employer that doesn’t drug test in Orlando, a list will show up. It’s crazy.
Jordan Ostroff 23:28
And I guess the the biggest downside is you’re missing out on some employees, but most of them are going to be the ones that would fail the drug tests. And that’s why they don’t want to do.
Phil Dubois 23:37
And, you know, going back to that what you said, the biggest mistake that employers make, I mean, I’ve heard I’ve heard employees and I want I’m, you know, trying to convince them to do drug testing. So we have to be very nice to how we talk about it. But a lot of them will say, well, you just don’t understand. If I, if I didn’t hire drug users, I wouldn’t have a employees. So at the end of the day, you know, you’re saying really, you’re going to have someone that you know, is going to be an additional risk just doesn’t seem to make sense.
Jordan Ostroff 24:04
Well, then maybe there’s a screening for certain drugs like it’s they just take a marijuana, it’s okay. We don’t want anybody
Phil Dubois 24:09
A lot of employers say that.
Jordan Ostroff 24:10
That’s true. You know, so this is a creative ad agency. We’re okay with low level.
Phil Dubois 24:15
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And you know, what, and that’s okay. For non-safety sensitive, you just don’t want to have a guy driving a forklift, or semi, having those issues?
Jordan Ostroff 24:26
Yeah, I can only imagine what the liability would be for a trucking company, that they’ve got somebody who knowingly has been on some sort of hallucinogen or
Phil Dubois 24:34
Jordan Ostroff 24:35
alcohol, and they end up t bone and ball. Yeah, it’s all over.
Phil Dubois 24:38
It’s all over. So,
Jordan Ostroff 24:40
Alright, so we’re getting towards the end of our talk about the drug place stuff. So can you give us your contact info again, so sure. Back
Phil Dubois 24:47
Workplacescreening.com, parentdrugtesting.com, or 800-335-8815. And then also firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jordan Ostroff 25:04
Alright, so give me a little bit more about, you know, your your business in particular, I mean, what sets you all apart from your competitors?
Phil Dubois 25:11
Well, it all comes down to service and support, you know, some of the bigger companies just don’t have time to provide any support? And are you paid for it? You know, so what system you know, every customer that we have, we treat them with the best service and the best support. That can be we have 25 years of experience, this isn’t something that we just started doing yesterday. And our customers can ask us all kinds of questions. And you know, what, I have access, I was a former Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association Chairman, have access to Drug Czars, two the Drug Czars of former presidents, as well as I’m on the political action committee for the National Drug and Alcohol screen Association. So if somebody needs help, and support from something that is above and beyond our expertise, we can get that information for them.
Jordan Ostroff 26:12
All right. And for you, inparticular, what’s your greatest flaw or mistake that you made? And how did it help you get to where you are now?
Phil Dubois 26:19
Well, I found out when I was a little younger, and a little more immature, that I thought that perfection was possible. And you know, up until the time I graduated from college perfection was possible, I managed it and I made it happen and everything else. But when you start to manage other people, and other processes, and anything to do with business, people make mistakes. And you know, that was the toughest lesson for me to learn when someone would say, hey, something’s not right. And I’m like, What do you mean, something’s not right, I’m perfect. You know, I strive to be perfect. And I found out quickly that you can’t. So I learned that you know, customers understand mistakes. But what they don’t want you to do is to be accountable, they want you to, to take care of the problem, make sure it doesn’t happen, put fixes in places, that doesn’t happen again, and communicate with them early and often.
Jordan Ostroff 27:10
So it’s interesting, because I’m there, right there with you. And then you hear the expression that you know, anything you can delegate that somebody else will do 80% as well as you should delegate, and I was like, all right, so we’re building it about a 20% gap to everything. So along those lines, what are some of the steps questions, tips you have on helping other business owners kind of figure out what to delegate or how to be okay, with those issues, or how to address errors correctly,
Phil Dubois 27:37
I think he just said it perfectly a minute ago about the 80%. I mean, you know, 80% can be delegated, there’s at 20%. That, you know, you just can’t you just can’t You can’t trust somebody with it. And maybe over time you learn to trust them with it. But you have to the things that you need to do need to be done by you. But as much as that you can delegate you should, so that you have more time to be able to to expertly handle those 20% of the issues.
Jordan Ostroff 28:03
And so you talked about one of the things being, you know, mistakes will happen, can you walk us through a little bit your process of when an employee is the one that makes that apology, or tries to fix it when it needs to be escalated to the next level or escalated to you?
Phil Dubois 28:17
Well, you know, if it’s simple, and they’re talking to the employee, and if you have, like we have at our organization, a, we have an organization of accountability. And you know, it doesn’t it really it stops with me, I’m the CEO and founder. So no matter what, it stops with me, so if a customer wants to talk to me about it, I’m more than certainly open. If it’s something that’s, I feel that I need to talk to him about it, I do. But if it’s something simple, like for an example, an employee was supposed to send over an email, and they forgot is probably more important, coming from the employee themselves. And it makes builds a relationship between the customer and that front end person. But if it’s something like, you know, we were supposed to send a result over, they requested they were getting ready to go to court and it didn’t happen. You know, that’s I need to get involved and make sure that they understand that what the how it happened and how it won’t happen again. And you know, every single customer I’ve ever dealt with, that’s had a problem, whether it was that quest diagnostics, drug scan, or the smallest labs, I always give myself a number and I say, Listen, I don’t want this to ever happen again, call me, text me, email me, I’m going to take care of you.
Jordan Ostroff 29:23
I like the other thing you talked about using the employee making the apology themselves to help foster that connection between them and the and the business owner. In that can be very powerful. Because a lot of times I think we lose sight that we are, we are a business more than just ourselves. And so every time if we wouldn’t want to rush to be the face to be the apology, they don’t have that same relationship with everybody else. I wholeheartedly agree. Alright, so as we get here towards the end, I’ve got the the burning question, the number one the saving the best for last, what is that one piece of professional advice you wish you can give to every business owner?
Phil Dubois 29:58
This is I can tell you so it was part of a an equity group, I was a minor minority owner, the 20% minority owner, not myself only 20%, I was a part owner of the 20%. And all businesses does, there’s three things I think that that if you do this, right, you’re going to be fine. The first problem is to make sure you have adequate cash flow, okay, as and then to be prudent with cash. And as you as a business owner, with multiple locations. You know, that businesses eat cash for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. cash is king. And if you don’t have a plan that you can follow and execute upon with your cash flow, you’re going to be in trouble. Lastly, I think marketing, everybody thinks they’re working in experts. And believe me, there’s a lot of people out there that label themselves as marketing gurus, you better find you better hire someone or find consultant and you can hire consultants for a great fee for the value that they provide that will position your company appropriately.
Jordan Ostroff 31:10
Alright, so have the cash use the cash and market correctly?
Phil Dubois 31:14
Jordan Ostroff 31:17
Seems to be pretty good. Alright, so thank you so much for joining us. To all of our listeners is still a relatively new podcast. So we’re hoping you enjoy it on whatever platform you’re listening to us. We’d ask you to leave a review. Hopefully it’s going to be five stars and we’ll see you at the next one.
Phil Dubois 31:32
Thank you, Jordan.
You’ve been listening to Let’s Get Up To Business from Jordan law. We hope you’ve enjoyed the podcast and would consider sharing the show. We would also love an honest five star review through iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever podcatcher you use. If you are interested in being a guest on the podcast, please contact producer, Mark through email that email@example.com. Use this subject line “Podcast Guest” in your email. Thank you. We look forward to speaking to you again soon.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Want to be on the podcast?
We’re looking for guests to interview. Please fill out the form below and let us know what you can provide to our listeners.