Skip to main content

Are you planning for a Happy New Year?


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.




Giles Johnston

Smartspeed Consulting Limited
Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.

Popular posts from this blog

Kamishibai Boards

Available to purchase here. Some tools are incredibly simple to use, and also deliver some amazing results. Kamishibai boards are a great example and are superb when you want some visual control over routine tasks. By the way Kamishibai is pronounced "come-e-she-bye" in case you were wondering! As simple as you could want it, a Kamishibai board is a T-card system that has red cards glued to green cards (so that each T-card has a red side and a green side). The red cards are for the incomplete tasks, where as the green cards symbolise that the work has been done. See the photo below of a board in use. On the red side of the card you write the name of the task that needs to be completed, and if appropriate you can include details of how the task is to be completed. This is not expected to replace standard operating procedures, but can be a good opportunity for an aide memoire. The boards can be organised for daily, weekly and even monthly cycles. They are g

Kamishibai Boards: A Visual Management Tool to Improve Discipline and Workplace Habits

If you need to increase your effectiveness in the workplace and need a visual tool to help with day to day task management then this short guide is for you. Giles Johnston, a business improvement consultant for small to medium sized businesses, takes you through the steps needed to implement a low / no cost solution to your day to day management problems - a 'Kamishibai' board.  A Kamishibai board can help to improve discipline within the workplace and ensure that the working days / weeks / months are more effective. Common within businesses that use 'lean' methods to improve efficiency and performance (and very effective to use when implementing 5S), a Kamishibai board can be used in its own right, in any kind of business, whether you are going through a lean transformation or not.  Click here to view on Amazon.com. Smartspeed Consulting Limited Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.

What is 5S and how does it help to improve the performance of my business?

Many businesses have heard of 5S; it is a simple workplace organisation system that is designed to make workplaces more effective and more efficient, as well as safer. Many businesses also try and fail at implementing 5S . It might be simple, but as you will know, anything that involves changing the behaviours of your staff isn’t always straightforward. If you haven’t heard of 5S before there are five basic steps, all beginning with ‘S’. They are: Sort – clearing out the clutter and re-distributing other people’s belongings. Set in order – optimising the workplace so that everything you need frequently is close at hand. Shine – cleaning the workplace to an appropriate level. Standards – defining what good looks like and how you will keep it that way. Sustain – forming the habits to retain the benefits of an organised and disciplined workplace. So, how does 5S improve the performance of your business? From a safety perspective, fewer accidents means less downtime.