‘Business Performance Improvement’, something that all companies should strive to achieve but without the basics firmly in place, the challenge is having something stable enough to improve on!
The fragmented nature of many business structures often leads to miscommunications and misunderstandings between the various divisions. Each of them pushing to achieve their own targets, often in isolation and with a lack of knowledge of the business processes as a whole. More often than not, it is the operations team who gets it in the neck! How do we balance such concepts as delegation, empowerment and local knowledge with the necessary controls over the overall business approach, and very necessary financial controls? How do we create an integrated and flexible approach to long-term success?
If the sales team sells more than their target, surely that is a good thing, right? Of course, but only if the company’s initial strategic plan was based on that target from the outset and the correct resources were put in place to achieve the initial plan. If not, the customer will be severely disappointed by delivery failures caused by the classic failure to set realistic expectations and the company’s inventory will be too high – all this without achieving the expected payback.
It all seems pretty straightforward stuff but it is surprising how many companies fail to get it right. The question is; how do you make it work for your business? Here are three tips to consider:
1. Build a knowledgeable and co-operative team
- Education and the understanding of the interdependencies of their skills and capabilities is key.
2. Work together on making the vital business decisions
- Create an open environment about the overall business processes and goals.
- Encourage reinforcement of relationships and the delegation of the right decisions to the correctly trained individuals and teams.
3. Avoid spending unnecessary money on quick fix operations systems
- Without strategic planning, good sales and operations planning, an understanding of capacity planning and pragmatic measurement that allow operations to do their job, no integrated system will work effectively.
Once the vital business processes are understood and the basics put in place, companies then face the dual challenge of getting increased productivity from employees without putting too much emphasis on creating optimised, streamlined processes.
Successfully building an environment where creativity, ideas and energy can be fostered requires careful integration of people and processes without falling in to the trap of becoming an inflexible mechanism.
Since the nineteen fifties, the logic of running a successful business has been well understood. Unfortunately there has been a continual attack on limited business budgets from consultants, vendors and internal champions, who know a little of the story, but attribute the success of the business to their own contribution, without understanding the foundations that had to be in place first. You only need to read the discussions to see how many organizations fail to gain the benefits they expect from their spending on techniques like six sigma, lean manufacturing and other ‘flavours of the month’.
Join us in person to find out more about bridging the gap between people and process to maximise growth. Our next interactive seminar will give top tips and equip you with a toolbox of techniques. Click here to read more and register your place.
Here we discuss the vital foundational building blocks, the strategies and the way to create a successful road map that joins business strategy, through ‘Sales and Operations Planning’ to excellence in operations. With a history of success in taking businesses of all sizes along on this journey, MML is proud to offer this seminar.