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MNC Consulting Group Newsletter
October 2012
The Efficient Organization

 

OrganizedExtra! Extra!

 

Are you the kind of person that cleans your house before the cleaning company arrives? Do you review a binder before (or after) giving it to your colleague for review? And, heck, who doesn't want to check three times to make sure the alarm system is on/off? In the real world, all of this probably happens, but it shouldn't; especially in the work place.

 

If you or others in your organization spend time on "perfecting" or "ensuring" that services or products are delivered efficiently, you are being inefficient. Think about all the things that you accomplish in a day (either at work or at home). How much more could you accomplish if you eliminated redundant steps in processing, multiple inspections, re-work, duplication, unnecessary reports, inadequate technology, multiple different spreadsheets across the organization used to record the same information, and other extra-processing that adds no value to either the customer or to the organization (or to you, for that matter)? Many organizations get stuck with processes that are layered with individual preferences instead of effectiveness. This not only takes extra time, but it costs more, too. While it is sometimes a hard thing to correct, it is not impossible.

 

If you're dealing with extra-processing (i.e., doing more than the customer needs or requires), here's how to get back on the efficiency track: PUT IT IN WRITING. Clear standards, policies, procedures, and specifications will help staff to perform their work in the most efficient way possible. Written instructions provide detail and clarity and where there's detail and clarity, there's efficiency.

 

Another way to eliminate extra-processing is to spend money on improving processes and/or automating processes. In this way, you will be able to run your operations with fewer resources. For instance, think about the multiple different spreadsheets across the organization used to record the same information. Why not invest money to consolidate the information in a central database? By doing this, you are saving time and money in the long run.

 

If there is a more efficient method of getting the same or better results for your customers, then it is worth an initial investment for long term gain. This type of "extra" is good value for money rather than the extra steps built into processes that are adding no value. 

  

Pursuit of Profit
Money Money Money    
Money, Money, Money

 

"...Money, money, money

Must be funny

In the rich man's world

Money, money, money

Always sunny

In the rich man's world

Aha-ahaaa

All the things I could do

If I had a little money

It's a rich man's world..."

(Lyrics by Abba)

 

When the economy seems to be plummeting, it gets harder to maintain (or build) a profit no matter if you're a big corporation, a small business owner, or an employee. Goods and services cost more and taxes never cease; yet you need to keep moving forward on that food chain. So what do savvy leaders do? They look at their internal processes for cost savings.

 

In any given process, an average 30 to 50 steps are waste. Think about your accounting process as an example. How many forms, transactions, signatures, approvals, batch reviews, etc. is your company producing or processing? Of these, how many steps add value to your customer? If you're honest with yourself, you will see that this one function alone, once improved, could save your organization thousands of dollars with only minor changes.

 

Re-kindle your organization's productivity by involving staff in a Kaizen event where you will be able to identify several savings throughout your organization. Typical results of Kaizen events can include immediate productivity gains between 10 to 20 percent. The event is based on "bursts" of education followed by immediate application of learning. Here are guidelines to conduct your own Kaizen event:

 

  • Select an area for improvement that will provide a high impact/low risk learning experience
  • Obtain management buy-in and support
  • Day 1 - Train the team in Lean Six Sigma
  • Day 2 - Gather and analyze baseline data information, e.g., use value stream mapping, problem solving, error proofing, waste walks, spaghetti charts, etc.
  • Day 3 - Brainstorm; set goals, and develop implementation plans
  • Day 4 - Implement your plan and collect data again (to compare before and after)
  • Day 5 - Prepare and do a dry run of the presentation that the team will make to management (post-Kaizen event results)

 

Kaizen events help your organization to create flow, eliminate waste, and create a sense of urgency among participants. Since a single event can improve productivity by as much as 20 percent, expanding the event to every area of your organization will also expand your productivity gains. And with improved productivity comes more money in the bottom line.

 

The beauty of Kaizen events is that since staff are actively involved in implementing changes, the changes are sustainable. And where there is sustainability, there is profit. 

 
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

What happens in many organizations when change is suggested? First, there's confusion (changing? Why are they changing this? What's wrong with it?), then there's fear (OMG, I'm going to lose my job), followed by resistance (I'm not going down without a fight), then resentment (I've given 30 years of my life to this company and this is the way they treat me?), sprinkled with some interest (okay, this looks like it may work), followed by enthusiasm (yes, I think this is really good; it'll make my job a whole lot easier) and finally, excitement (wow! I love this new approach. Why didn't someone think of it sooner?). People are their own worst enemy when it comes to change. IMHO. 

 

"He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery."

Harold Wilson

 

About MNC Consulting Group
Our goal is to help you to dramatically increase efficiencies that immediately boost your profit margins.

 

ISSN 1925-8941   

Extreme Profits is a monthly electronic newsletter discussing how leaders can be more efficient and areas where organizations can save more money. 

 

MNC Consulting Group Ltd. - All Rights Reserved.

mary@mncconsultinggroup.com | MNC Consulting Group | 5536A Hamsterly Road | Victoria, B.C., Canada  V8Y 1S5 | 250-658-4873

   

In This Issue
The Efficient Organization
Pursuit of Profit
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

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