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Archive for the ‘Process Owners’ Category

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

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A few years ago, the environmentalist – Daryl Hannah, wrote an article entitled;  “If Food Waste Were a Country, It Would Rank No. 3 for Greenhouse Gas Emissions”.  In that article, she suggested that maximizing regional self-sufficiency with prudent agricultural practices and energy production conservation methods will strengthen local economies, make them more resilient  … and ease the sense of scarcity and the economic burden increasingly felt by the majority. To my chagrin, I have to agree with Ms. Hanah. Food is a critical Sustainability issue and will continue to be so for the next four decades, especially if we don’t begin addressing it today.

In 1980, just as the Green Revolution began being implemented in much of the world, 47 percent of all children in the developing world had stunted growth, a good measure of their nutrition level. By the year 2000, it had dropped to 33 percent. The Green Revolution laid the cornerstone for adequate nourishment by increasing the available calories and protein of the developing world’s people. Statistician Amy Pearce estimates that Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution resulted in over 245 million lives being saved due to improved nutrition.

As Borlaug continued his efforts to expand agricultural success, he found himself fighting off some environmentalists who denounced his methods of using large amounts of fertilizer and pesticide. Borlaug responded, “Some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They’ve never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. They have never produced a ton of food. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for 60 years, they’d be crying out for fertilizer, herbicides, irrigation canals and tractors and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things.”

Borlaug notes that without modern farming technology, an additional area the size of the contiguous United States would have to be farmed to feed today’s world population. Thus, a side benefit of Borlaug’s Green Revolution may be that it saved more land for wilderness than any other single environmental initiative.[1]

Thirty two years later, the EPA quantifies the magnitude of food waste in the United States. “More food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste (MSW). In 2012 alone, more than 36 million tons of food waste was generated, with only five percent diverted from landfills and incinerators for composting.”

The US EPA suggests six ways of utilizing food more efficiently. “How Can I Divert Food From Landfills?” If you go to that web page will read kore details (http://www.epa.gov/waste/conserve/foodwaste/), but the generally focus are on these six points:

•    Source Reduction/Prevention – Preventing food waste before it is created
•    Feeding People – Donating fresh, wholesome food to those in need
•    Feeding Animals – Feeding safe, fresh food scraps to animals like pig farms
•    Industrial Uses – Rendering fats, oils, and grease and turning it into products or biofuel
•    Composting – Turning food waste into a valuable soil amendment
•    Anaerobic Digestion – Turning food waste into renewable energy and a valuable soil amendment

This problem is on the mind of Ken Botts who is the special projects manager of the University of North Texas Food Department. Ken and I had lunch the other day and he shared that he firmly believed in Sustainability and one of the tenants is to eliminate waste, in his case – food waste. He shared that the food department is trying to do a better job of communicating the issue of food waste and plans an awareness campaign to launch UNT’s food waste recovery program. This is an extension of his efforts from last year: http://ntdaily.com/unt-to-launch-food-waste-recovery-program-in-fall/

What are the environmental benefits from reducing or eliminating food waste?
•    It reduces methane generated by decomposition in landfills
•    It reduces natural resource (land and water) use associated with food production
•    It creatives a valuable soil amendment (nutrients are returned to the soil)
•    It improves sanitation, Public Safety, and Health at your facility

What are the economic benefits from reducing or eliminating food waste?
•    It lowers overall disposal costs
•    It reduces over purchasing and labor costs
•    It receives tax benefits by donating food

What are the social benefits from reducing or eliminating food waste?
•    It feeds people, not landfills

As Ray Anderson, the first Sustainability pioneer, said;  “I also believe that it doesn’t happen quickly (e.g. Sustainability) … it happens one mind at a time, one organization at a time, one building, one company, one community, one region, one new, clean technology, one industry, one supply chain at a time … until the entire industrial system has been transformed into a sustainable system, existing ethically in balance with Earth’s natural systems, upon which every living thing is utterly dependent.”

If we listen to what Mr. Anderson urged, that identifying waste is not only a part of the solution, it is the action we must be take to eliminate the waste. We quantify success by results measured. So, we can finally see that it is indeed “transformed into a sustainable system, existing ethically in balance with Earth’s natural systems, upon which every living thing is utterly dependent.” To divert food waste from landfills would be testament to Mr. Anderson’s insight. In this case, benefits for American citizens dependent on food stamps and those countries, globally, that do no have enough food today. Reclaiming 36 million tons of food could be the largest gift to the world.

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[1] Wilson, Chuck, “Father of the Green Revolution – He Helped Feed the World!”,ScienceHeros.com, Retrieved: 18 Sep 2012

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Building a bridge to benefits thumbnail

Owners, Executive and other Leaders are investigating a global world concerned about Sustainability, that type of understanding can be difficult to obtain. In early December 2013, I published my second book entitled “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. If you are interested in reading about the book or want to purchase copies today, here is the link to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, go to: https://www.createspace.com/4532590
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Contact information and Services
A Certified Sustainability and Quality consultancy
•    Sustainability and Quality Consulting
•    Sustainability and Quality Workshops
•    Sustainability and Quality Speaking Engagements

Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC

Toll Free: (888) 743-3128
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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 “Usually, if you’re greening an industrial process, it means you’re turning waste into profit.”
~ Amory Lovins
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William McDonough, one the co-authors of Cradle-to-Cradle that is widely acknowledged a one of the most important environmental manifestos of our time, once said; “You don’t filter smokestacks or water. Instead, you put the filter in your head and design the problem out of existence.” Whether you are designing a new LEED building, designing an end-of-life process or simply integrating CSR into your Strategic Planning framework, the idea is the same; “you put the filter in your head and design the problem out of existence.”

The percentage of companies reporting a profit from their Sustainability efforts rose 23 percent last year, to 37 percent, according to the most recent global study by the MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG[1]).

The extent to which a company incorporates Sustainability concerns into its business model often correlates with its increase in profit, the survey found. For example, 50 percent of respondents said they profited by changing three or four business model elements to reflect more sustainable practices, while 60 percent said they profited by including Sustainability as a permanent fixture in their management agenda[2].

This is an excerpt of my new book “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. Publication date is scheduled for November 2013 and is planned to be available on Amazon. More to come …
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Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC
Contact Information
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Blog: http://horizons.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/corporatesocialresponsibility/

Lead Smart, Endless Opportunities when Sustainability is driven by Lean Six Sigma
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Footnotes
[1] Kiron, David; Kruschwitz, Nina; Haanaes, Knut; Reeves, Martin and Goh, Eugene; Companies Profit From Embracing Sustainability; MIT Sloan Management Review; March 12, 2013
[2] Kiron, David; Kruschwitz, Nina; Haanaes, Knut; Reeves, Martin and Goh, Eugene; Ibid.

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“Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.”  ~  Richard Buckminster Fuller (US engineer and architect)
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As a methodology that pursued to improve an enterprise, Sustainability has been available for about two decades. Its savings come from reducing wastes, conserving energy and water; while ensuring compliance. On the other hand, Quality has been applied and institutionalized in corporations around the globe for over a century. Its savings come from removing waste of time, eliminating defects, identifying where the issues are, and fixing it one time to eliminate “fire fighting”. Why wouldn’t any executive want to consider Sustainability with Qaulity as the spine for expanding that functionality? A survey from the UN Global Compact and Accenture found what contemporary CEOs are thinking:
•    96% of CEOs believe that Sustainability issues should be fully integrated into the strategy and operations of a company.
•    93% of CEOs believe that Sustainability issues will be critical to the future success of their business.
•    91% of CEOs report that their company will employ new technologies to address Sustainability issues over the next five years.
•    88% of CEOs believe that they should be integrating through their supply chain.
•    86% of CEOs believe see “accurate valuation by investors of Sustainability in long-term investments” as important to reaching the tipping point in Sustainability[1].

From a Sustainability viewpoint, your organization must recognize how it may be detrimental to the environment and society, but more importantly how those behaviors and practices are costly to your enterprise. The acknowledgement of this waste may be surprising. That means looking at a variety of Sustainability considerations (waste, carbon footprint, water, energy, etc.) that are present in your organization and aware to those living in the community.

Now, let us look at the Quality perspective (e.g., Lean and Six Sigma). These methodologies remove other wastes from your organization and compliments your efforts with eliminating Sustainability wastes. In a business context, it is removing other unwanted wastes, unwanted logistics, improving Customer relations, etc. and often times compliment certifications, whether ongoing or planned.

It also ensures that changes are not adrift, but secured and retain gains already identified. Peter Drucker is remembered by this famous quote; “You can only manage what you can measure.” By measuring refinements changes, by your projects that are effectively implemented, your true gains will hit your bottom line. Remember this simple equation for each project:

Optimizing Profitability = Sustainable Development + Quality +Continuous Improvement + Secured Gains

The results address current CEOs beliefs, as well as, uncovering new opportunities that had not been anticipated. Strategies will be better integrated, establish a common understanding of how Sustainability and Qaulity will be critical to their success in the future, leverage new technology, integrate methodologies into supply chain processes, and favorably impact the financial investment image of your corporation. As Drucker also said; “What’s measured improves.”

Sustainability indicators have proliferated globally. More than 3,500 organizations in more than 60 countries, for example, use the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) voluntary Sustainability standards report on their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. Sustainability and related certification standards have met important needs. They have heightened corporations’ awareness of their impact on society and triggered meaningful improvements in social and environmental performance.[2]

This is an excerpt of my new book “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. Publication date is scheduled for November 2013 and is planned to be available on Amazon. More to come …
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Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC
Contact Information
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Blog: http://horizons.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/corporatesocialresponsibility/

Lead Smart, Endless Opportunities when Sustainability is driven by Lean Six Sigma
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Footnotes
[1] A New Era of Sustainability, UN Global Compact – Accenture CEO Study 2010
[2] Porter, Michael E.; Hills, Greg; Pfitzer, Marc; Patscheke, Sonja and Hawkins, Elizabeth; Measuring Shared Value
How to Unlock Value by Linking Social and Business Results; June 2011, p. 9

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“People only see what they are prepared to see.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Business needs a model to integrate strategies with objectives, both business and sustainability, to collaborate internally, listen to external publics, effectively apply effort and resources that produce products and services fulfilling expectations of the customer. It promotes continuous improvement while recognizing stewardship for the environment, while benefiting the corporation.

“In a typical large change program, it is not a matter of sending out the new organization chart or the new budget or the new strategy with a few projects. It is about changing people’s behavior, often a lot of people, and this is not trivial.”           ~ Professor John P Kotter, Harvard Business School

Interesting enough, research shows there are at least two paths to Sustainability. Sustainability can be a voluntary, directed and focused initiative designed to transform the mindset and culture within your organization. Often times this is a culmination of a series of transformations that has brought your organization to realize that the next step should be long-term and more stable over time. Sustainability can also be an obligation from the central government to ensure environmental control of emissions that encourages best practices or driven by market or internal forces to survive the changing market landscape.

However, there is another perspective that acknowledges that Sustainability is the evolutionary “next step” of investigating internal and external opportunities. Not every company understands Sustainability, nor embraces CSR to implement it correctly.  Understanding starts with recognizing threats and accepting why change is necessary. Here are seven possible explanations of why a company would choose to be socially responsible:

Reason #1: Urgently Needed Fixes.  Often times, Owners and Executives will want to transform their organization, with a since of urgency, for immediate reasons. Many times this is triggered by a crisis or event that forces the need for change.  It may be a vacuum in the succession of the business leadership, market valuations, illegal business practices or environmental catastrophes. Owners and Executives, who are forward thinking, will recognize potential impact of their crisis and foresee the consequences and recognize the potential exposure from past practices.

Reason #2: It’s just the way it has always been[1]. Succession of leadership is an opportunity for change. This is especially true when the original founders of the Corporation past leadership roles to trusted personnel and family. Taking this transition creates an opportunity for change that could outline a number of reasons why executives would consider Sustainability as the next logical organizational change. The organizational mantra “it’s always been this way” should be a signal for leadership to look at areas of waste and applying Sustainability and Quality principles.

Reason #3: CEO interest[2]. A CEO may have a number of interests around Sustainability, but the two most important are based on tangible benefits in mitigation of external risks. Today, more often than not CEOs will rely upon their CFOs expertise and understanding of tangible benefits from Sustainability. From a risk point of view, CEOs must play the leadership role when confronted by NGOs. As Steve Fludder, VP of Ecomagination, GE said; “Let’s figure out how to take the world in a different direction and let’s all go there together.”

Reason #4: Reducing Costs To Stay Competitive. Good leadership will have costs as targets for business success. Would these cost savings have happened anyway without Sustainability?  Perhaps. Looking through Sustainability lens, identification and elimination of costs will be seen differently. Here are some examples of how costs could increase performance and profitability in an organization:

  •    Cut mileage out of transportation routes
  •    Reduce energy consumption
  •    Reduce water consumption
  •    Telecommuting to reduce employee carbon footprint and increase productivity
  •    Eliminate a variety of waste, internally and externally

Reason #5: Legislation Uncertainty. CSR is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Astute executives are CEOs are wary of looming “anti-business” rhetoric and possible legislation that will increase government involvement in environmental processes and procedures. In this context, CSR is a mitigation tool against government over regulation of an industry. Further, CSR policy functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international regulations.

Whether through court decisions, regulations, or legislation, companies and industries can be forced into social and environmentally responsible practices. They are also worried about possible legislation that would penalize previous behavior and increase future litigation and risk to business. Current EPA regulations monitor impact from air, water and land emissions.

Reason #6: Overzealous Marketers[3]. “Greenwashing” is recognized as the “yellow journalism” of marketing. It makes claims about a product or company that cannot be substantiated by actual business or environmental actions or records involving the protection of community, habitat or the entire planet. Overzealous marketers are essentially disingenuous storytellers who are not practicing social responsibility and not transparent. However, prudent leadership caught in “liar, liar, pants on fire” scenario may be compelled to rectify that behavior and improve their brand image through active Sustainability practices.

Reason #7: Third Party Intervention. A financial institution that has supported the business may seek improvements in the business performance to reduce a potential risk to their investment. This may prompt the business leaders to take improvement actions that were previously alien to satisfy the institution and reduce the risk to their own assets that may be held as a guarantee against the investment[4].

Reason #8:  Sales Decline. There may be a serious decline in sales. Competition, new technologies, a failure to meet the customer needs and expectations, a history of poor product development and introduction or poor marketing may all be contributory factors in reduced sales and be the catalyst for the business owner to change the approach to the business development[5].

Reason #9: Takeover. The business is acquired and the policies and practices of the acquiring business are adopted and introduce a proactive approach to the business. This may follow the appointment of new executive directors[6].

Reason #10: Lack of Internal Skills. The dearth of management skills within the business may trigger the appointment of an external senior executive who brings new methodologies, planning and enterprise to the business[7].

Reason #11:  Family Business ‘Turmoil’. The autocratic control of an owner may at times only be changed through the realization that permanent family divisions are undesirable. It may well be the opportunity for perhaps the ‘university educated next generation of family’ to demonstrate their abilities in setting and achieving sustainable growth strategies and managing the culture change[8].

Reason #12: Where’s The Beef? This a true “loss of face” predicament when your executives have promoted that the company meets or exceeds compliance to Sustainability principles and standards, but either have not fully implemented checks and balance, not completely institutionalized all employees, have not tethered executive incentives to behavior or do not hold Suppliers to the same standards. The most obvious example is British Petroleum [BP]. BP had engage its entire enterprise and committed to Sustainability for years. It was often highlighted as an example of making a carbon based industry leader into a paragon of Sustainability virtue. However, in 2010, that lofty status was dethroned when BP created the worst environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sustainability is the holistic business model for the 21st century. From a business perspective, it is a long-term strategy that eliminates waste, both externally and internally, while supporting the survivability and transformation of the enterprise. The future is our’s to create now.

Footnotes:
[1] Epstein-Reeves, James; The Six Reasons Why Companies Actually Wind Up Embracing CSR,  Forbes,  The CSR Blog – Corporate Social Responsibility  10/17/2012
[2] Epstein-Reeves, James; Ibid.
[3] Epstein-Reeves, James; Op. cit.
[4] Willetts, David; DAW Consulting, UK; Retrieved; 12 Aug 2012
[5] Willetts, David; Ibid.
[6] Willetts, David; Op. cit.
[7] Willetts, David; Op. cit.
[8] Willetts, David; Op. cit.

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“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”~ Stephen F. Covey
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a framework and encompasses not only what companies do with their profits, but also how they make them, effectively. It does not replace your Strategic Planning system, rather it should be integrated into your existing one to address new business opportunities. It goes beyond philanthropy and compliance and addresses how companies manage their economic, social, and environmental ramifications. CSR also addresses relationships in all key spheres of influence: corporate values, the workplace, the marketplace, the supply chain, the community, and the public policy realm.

CSR is a coordinated and structured approach for business, government and non-profit transformation. It is not a marketing campaign on a “green” product. It is not only a facility’s managers duty, process or procedure. It is not only a Public Relations, Human Resource or Procurement job. It is not only about philanthropy for non-profit organizations. It is not only about community involvement like building a playground for your local park. Rather it is a framework that focuses a lens on the tangible benefits that can be garnered from Sustainability and how company’s work within the sphere of the community. Businesses responsibilities and their roles, throughout the industrialized world, have seen a sharp escalation in the social roles corporations are expected to play.

CSR is also a long-term commitment based on an honest strategic effort, results, best practices and driven by transparency to the public. It is interwoven with business strategies and engages with external organizations. It is about measurable transformation, internally and externally, that extracts tangible benefits. Sustainability is more than platitudes and recycling efforts, for recycling is a beginning. It should be able to show financial benefits directly relating to waste reduction, conservation, improvement of internal processes and engagement with externalities (i.e., NGOs, Governments, Customers, Suppliers, etc.).

This is an excerpt of my new book “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. Publication date is scheduled for November 2013 and is planned to be available on Amazon. More to come …
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Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC
Contact Information
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Blog: http://horizons.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/corporatesocialresponsibility/

Lead Smart, Endless Opportunities when Sustainability is driven by Lean Six Sigma
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The following article was published by ReliablePlant and written by Herb Lichtenberg. This is a well written article that provides good information regarding the value of “lean”, “lean thinking”, “lean manufacturing” and “lean enterprise” concepts.  Several themes reverberate throughout: over-production, inventory, transportation, waiting, movement, defects and over-processing. I hope this article proves helpful, and please feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below.

Lean” has assailed our vocabulary the same way that it has attacked waste within a plant or process. From “lean thinking” to “lean enterprise” and “lean manufacturing,” the word has created many catchphrases. But what does it mean to be “lean”? It entails shedding waste in order to reduce costs and increase competitiveness.

The two most popular process improvement methodologies in use today, lean manufacturing and Six Sigma, originated at Toyota and Motorola, respectively. These pioneering companies are discrete manufacturers. Not surprisingly, the subsequent evolution and development of these two methodologies has focused mostly on improvements in discrete manufacturing. Each methodology has a central focus that has been the basis for its structure and tools. For lean, it’s the delivery of value to the customer through the elimination of waste – anything that is non-value added from the customer’s perspective. For Six Sigma, the central focus is the elimination of defects – products or services that do not conform to the customer’s specifications. Read more …

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The following article was published by Forbes and written by Bob Evans. Several themes reverberate throughout: analytics, breaking down silos, social, the cloud, and particularly customers, opportunities, growth, and innovation. I hope these prove helpful, and please share your feedback in the comments section below or on Twitter at @bobevansIT.Please check out recent additions to our coverage of the strategic CIO: Career Suicide and the CIO: 4 Deadly New Threats  and The Surge of the Strategic CIO.

And the turbulent forces shaping businesses in today’s always-on global marketplace promise to accelerate that ongoing evolution. In that context, I’ve put together a list of what I believe will be the top priorities for strategic CIOs in the coming year.

As you’ll see, each of these 10 is rooted in change, and calls for the CIO to be a leader instead of a follower; a disrupter instead of a go-alonger; and a business-driven executive instead of a tech-focused manager.

  1. Simplify IT and Transform Your Spending: Kick the 80/20 Budget Habit.
  2. Lead the Social Revolution: Drive the Social-Enabled Enterprise.
  3. Unleash Your Company’s Intelligence: Create the Enterprise-Wide Opportunity Chain.
  4. Embrace the Engagement Economy: Merge the Back Office and the Front Office into the Customer Office.
  5. Future-Proof Your IT Architecture.
  6. Upgrade “Cloud Strategy” to “Business Transformation Enabled by the Cloud.”
  7. Transform Big Data into Big Insights, Big Vision, and Big Opportunities.
  8. Preside over a Shotgun Wedding: Systems of Record Marry Systems of Engagement.
  9. Lead with Speed: CIO as Chief Acceleration Officer.
  10. Bend the Value Curve: More Innovation, Less Integration.

 

Read more: The Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues For 2013 …

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For over 90 years, Quality has been the mantra for top executives and owners who recognize the need for excellence. Consumers often associate quality with innovation and progress, too. Lean Six Sigma is the preferred methodology and is based on almost 90 years of continual improvement in the reduction of process variations, removal of defects and waste. The impact can be significant. Growth can be achieved by the improvement of the quality of your products and services. Performance can be increased by “fine tuning” the internal and external processes that support your portfolio. Last, but not least is the potential savings you could garner with a quality program such as Lean Six Sigma.

Lean Six Sigma is currently the quality methodology of choice and considered best in class. It is based on a progression of enrichment, innovation, open-minded conceptualization and a lineage of successful quality methodologies. The following quality methodologies began his in the early 1900s, with the advent of quality management theories and concepts. The following quality areas or building blocks to today’s Lean Six Sigma:

•    Quality Management
•    Just In Time
•    Lean Manufacturing
•    Total Quality Management
•    Six Sigma

From today’s perspective, quality is not an add-on option to business processes. Rather, it is the very fabric of the modern corporate culture. Quality Management is a long-term objective, not a valued added tool, for serious business. Quality focused organizations choose the best-in-class methodology, Lean Six Sigma. It is a business expectation, today. More importantly, it produces results recognized by the Customer. It helps satisfy the Customer’s Satisfaction and expectations. Isn’t that the goal of every business?

Source: Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC, © 2011, For services: www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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What’s next? Change Now and Reap Rewards – Part 3 of 3
As mentioned in the previous article, your internal processes are key to identifying your target market to consider and promote sustainability:

1. Every customer is a diamond in the rough, potentially precious. Take GOOD care of each of them, especially the repeat customer.

2. Reevaluate your entire pricing structure. Maintain your margins by market testing increase or decrease pricing strategies.

3. Don’t rely solely on the web. Be proactive and meet the people loyal to your products and services.

4. Evaluate your core business needs. Assess and increase its value. Don’t loose your focus.

5. Managing resources are important and employees are usually the key resource often overlooked. Keep your employees in the communication loop regarding change and how the change process will be implemented.

6. Know your strategic value to the market. Do you provide products and services on cost, quality, flexibility, service timeliness, partner relationship or other areas?

7. A recession is an opportunity to increase the quality of your human resources. Hire quality people for open requirements. Be methodical. Take you time in assessing the candidates. Make the best decision for your company. Remember, change can be a catalyst to improve your organization and morale.

8. Refinement and prototyping extend your knowledge on how your business can be improved. During a recession, your efforts can quickly pay-off when the market opens up, when cost reductions are replaced with productivity, or when new product or service introductions have been postponed.

9. Cash flow is the life beat of your company. Monitor it. Keep you accounts receivable, timely, current and limit bad debts.

10. Cost reduction is important in a recession, but understand the consequences. Know where to reduce. Look for efficiencies in processes. Increase your productivity through reduced costs.

11. Look for strategic investments for they may get a price break during a recession. Focus on new processes, equipment or technology that produces efficiencies, productivity, quality and cost reduction. Most importantly, recognize the project implementation’s lead-time and plan accordingly.

Source: Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC, © 2009, For services: www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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