Business Operations Improvement
It is oftentimes difficult to get a grasp on root causes for declining operational performance – such as declining customer service, lower fill rates, and not meeting commitments to customers. Root causes, of course, lie in a myriad of areas – poor business processes, inadequate measurement, misaligned incentives, and poor information technology are key ones.
Companies tend to have a difficult time weeding through the myths and cultural walls to identify the true root causes – much less put the right action plan together.
Or perhaps you have identified that a change needs to be made, but determining what exactly to change – and the root causes of inefficiency – can require a lot of time and money if you’re not familiar with the best practices in business or IT.
So how do you begin to review your business operations? One of the most basic ways to begin to uncover or to investigate is to examine your business processes. If you do not have one, a first step is to create a flow chart of the business or operational process that is troubling you.
Once this is created then walk through the processes several times to see if there is anything you have missed, or if there are deviations to the process. . Discuss the process with your staff who are involved in the process? Often someone is not following the process or adding or ignoring steps that are causing issues. Perhaps the reason they have added a step is that one was missing or the process needs a careful review. Each step needs to be understood. Why do you do this step? How should it operate? Depending upon the process – it can be simple or very complex.
If you have never performed these actions, then it will truly be eye opening. Often a process has been hijacked to run a ‘similarly perceived’ process. Others may just be broken. For example you decide to sell a new service, whilst this may seem easy, there are differences between selling a service versus a product. They may appear similar yet have different audiences. Take a baker who traditionally sells cookies, he may want to be in the wedding cake service, yet his target audience is different. The product is different, both costs and labor are greater. Cookies are inexpensive, can be consumed any day and traditionally are not seasonal, whereas a wedding cake is for weddings, are expensive and involve more labor, not to mention a very specific audience. Yet your process has not been defined or reviewed for this new service, including understanding the sales and marketing process for selling wedding cakes. Understanding the strategy, and being able to refine the process is critical.
Performing this task may be daunting. This is just one of the services we can help you with at ASG Strategies.
At ASG Strategies, we partner with you so that together, we discover the real story – and create and work an actionable road map to migrate to an improved world, balancing all of the change components – rather than the big, ubiquitous project, a massive business process redesign, or programs of similar and isolated nature.
With careers steeped in business analysis and change management ASG Strategies takes on the responsibility for you to determine what processes and procedures can be updated, implemented, or removed to make your business race ahead of the pack. From the creation of an improvement plan to the execution and measurement of results, we will give you quantifiable business improvements.