Happy New Year, I hope that this message finds you rejuvenated and ready to take on 2013’s challenges. As with every year January is a good time to review last year’s performance, and to identify opportunities to improve the level of service you offer to your customers as well as the level of profit you can achieve from doing so.
For some businesses this can seem an overwhelming challenge, as you can end up with a long list of improvements you could undertake. If you find that you have too many to deal with at this moment in time then it might be worth your while prioritising and scheduling the improvements based on their relative impact, cost and ease of implementation.
If you are struggling to come up with a list of improvements then reflecting against the standard metrics of Quality, Cost and Delivery can be helpful. Any other measures that you use in your business can also be considered, it is all about finding something tangible for you to reflect upon and generate ideas against.
Whereas New Year’s resolutions often fade, we can help ourselves by choosing a quick win from our list of improvements, something to get people inspired and something that has a real impact on their day to day working. As making continuous improvements is all about undertaking deliberate changes, helping the team around you to get more involved is essential. The common name for this ‘tiny step’ approach is Kaizen and giving small pieces of work to people is a good way to help them gain confidence in making changes and also to let them develop at their own pace (the only pace that works long term).
Business improvement is often about finding ways to get the right conversations happening (and following these up with action), so I hope that 2013 is a year for great conversations about your business.
P.S. If you are looking for a simple framework for your business improvement conversations and were treated to a Kindle for Christmas then please check out our book on ‘Business Process Improvement’ via Amazon.
Smartspeed Consulting Limited
Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.