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Organizations evolve and change with their business environment, much like living organisms do with nature. The business owner should always be aware of that change, understand its impact, and be proactive in managing change to improve performance and extract tangible benefits for his company. Most companies are not fully optimized and retain inefficiencies in day-to-day operations of doing business. Combining Sustainability and Lean Six Sigma in a synergistic approach to promote sustainable practices, reduce your corporate imprint on the environment, improve efficiency and performance, and promote brand differentiation in your marketplace. From one focused initiative, crossover benefits would almost assuredly provide significant Tangible Benefits by understanding how to retain your improvements that are measured by your bottom line. This is easier to achieve if change is planned, well managed, and aligned to the goals of the organization. Organizations often go through growth stages. Here are a couple of scenarios for change: Unknown Future for the Enterprise, Actions and Decisions without recognizing Outsourcing consequences, and Future Sustainability & Quality Enterprise Growth

Copyright by Jarvis Business Solutions - Organizatinal Evolution

No Vision | No Change Control | Unknown Future for the Enterprise

Many corporations are faced with a dilemma. In many cases, the founder of a company may not recognize the need for an organizational vision as business changes. Leadership often tolerates inefficiencies, especially when “fire drills” are often case. Often, leadership they understand the history, inception and evolution of the organization since its founding, to may not have a clear understanding regarding its next steps.

The typical “fork in the road” provides management with three alternatives: do nothing, elect to transform through outsourcing, or most effectively, efficient transformation that includes sustainability and quality. In this scenario, although management is aware – it does nothing. By ignoring unseen costs and tolerates inefficiencies, this leadership fosters bureaucracy that leads to eventual organizational stagnation. Here is why:

  1.  Inception & Evolution: This is the period when an idea is transformed into business. It may be a very small organization of one person or expanded to include larger groups to meet the business needs. An organization could vary from “vague” to a clear hierarchy with a “command and control” structure. Oftentimes, organizational evolution develops in the decentralized model.
  2.  Congeal Phase: This phase is the “critical mass” of the organizational when issues become recognized. 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 organization.
  3.  Bureaucratization: The autocratic control of an owner may at times only be changed through the realization that bureaucracy is undesirable and can be a barrier. The policies, procedures and practices of the business may be restrictive and hinder growth, communication or efficiency. The term “bureaucratization” evolves from growing hierarchy and functional differentiation.
  4.  Differentiation Phase: Promoting products and services that are unique and possess intrinsic values for your Customers are significant in attracting “niche” markets.
  5.  Stagnation: A business owner may not realize that in order to optimize business value, changes in the way the business is run will be necessary. The delegation of responsibilities, training of staff and implementation of strategic plans may be areas that are not internalized, nor control change. This organizational model, similar to Taylor’s philosophy and methodology, renders work force pathways as limited and erects obstacles for improvement.
  6. Litmus Test: Will this organizational evolution address your business needs to meet your competitive environment? Does it provide a process to eliminate waste and variation? Does it provide an alternative for improvement and performance?

No Vision | No Change Control | Actions and Decisions without recognizing Outsourcing consequences

Still, other management styles focus on expenses, only. This is a very shortsighted approach that can have substantial consequences and even jeopardize the survivability of the company. Beginning in the early 1990s, many corporations selected that option solely based on cost savings.  Often times those “savings” evaporated, in context of poor service,  poorly educated support staff, service provider’s  unrealistic service expectations, cultural and language differences that also hindered business and organizational needs. For the past 5-10 years, those poorly thought out decisions have have been reversed and aligned to marketplace needs.

Sustainability & Quality Vision | Continuous Improvement | Future Sustainability & Quality Enterprise

If your Leadership style is based on facts and broadly views all costs in your organization landscape, then focusing on how to deliver products and services in an efficient manner will reap short-term gains and lay the foundation for long-term efficiencies. Here are some potential changes in behavior:

  1.  Inception & Evolution: This is the period when an idea is transformed into business.
  2.  Congeal Phase: This phase is the “critical mass” of the organizational when issues become recognized. .
  3.  External & Internal Transformation: External leadership who bring new methodologies and enterprise planning to the business can visualize end-to-end organizational improvements, from Suppliers to Customers,  provide strategies that sensitive to the environment, enrich brand image, engage with the business community and reap tangible benefits.
  4.  Differentiation Phase: Promoting products and services that are unique and possess intrinsic values for your Customers are significant in attracting “niche” markets.
  5.  Innovation: Innovation is assembled from creativity, ideas, strategies, processes, and most important the right human elements and a spirit of entrepreneurship. Innovation can be applied to your existing business environment to increase customer satisfaction, increase profitability, decrease waste and become more in tune with the marketplace.
  6. Integration: After Transformation initiatives are executed and implemented, a leader recognizes that seamlessness may not be apparent in the controlled change. So, integration links groups in organizations, based on your new business paradigm and avoiding relapses to “old ways”, to apply their new knowledge in the “new” system with support to its stakeholders and the vision.
  7.  Sustainability & Quality: Transformation is modeled with foundations for better leadership, based on these two lessons: The leanest will be more competitive [Lean Six Sigma]. The leanest will be better stewards and create a better chance of making the future a success [Sustainability]. All resources are finite, but the journey to pursue excellence is based on optimizing profitability: Sustainability + Quality + Continuous Improvement = Optimizing Profitability
  8.  Litmus Test: Will transformation create opportunities for increased performance, reduced costs, provide for growth of brand and attract quality employees? The results indicate it will provide your organization with those opportunities and establish a Continuous Improvement process to refine and meet your future competitive landscape.

Opt For Managed Change
Competitive advantages come from Continuous Improvement. It begins with a study of the market landscape, urgent application of lessons learned, improved quality and innovation of Products and Services to gain market leadership and customer allegiance. We facilitate that shedding process to help your organization transform by investigating quality, scrutinizing costs and providing expertise in performance areas. Lean Six Sigma provides tools to integrate and improve a vast array of elements and corporate resources to align with your company’s efforts and direction. Here are a few areas:

  1.  Sustainability strategies
  2.  Corporate Social Responsibilities
  3.  Customer engagement
  4.  Employee engagement
  5.  Change management
  6.  Strategic planning
  7.  Operational efficiency
  8.  Operational redesign
  9.  Outsourcing
  10.  Strengths development
  11.  Innovation
  12.  Management evaluation tools
  13.  Leadership development
  14.  Supplier relationships and alignment
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Here are the 10 key issues that typically lead a CEO or business owner to decide to exit the business, usually through a sale, at less than desirable financial results.

•    The company is overly dependent on short-term debt. No cash reserves have been established to meet short-term cash situations. Also, cash shortages preclude funding essential business growth strategies. Serious cash needs can cause short-sighted actions.
•    Management structure is too thin. The CEO is so tied to the business that there are no resources for the CEO to share management responsibilities. Thus decision-making, sales, marketing, operations and growth are restricted to the CEO’s abilities and available time.
•    There is no succession planning. There is no training and grooming of a potential trusted successor. And, there is no active plan or resources to recruit from the outside if an internal candidate is not available.
•    Managers have no “ownership” in the business. Senior managers are vulnerable to outside offers when they have no real economic ties to the business. Equity incentives or bonus plans can support vested interest in business performance or solid, committed succession.
•    A specific business strategy is lacking. There is no strategic business plan to focus resources effectively toward goals and to increase profits. This is critical and rarely done consistently in small business today.
•    The CEO dies or is disabled. Being prepared for the calamities that can ruin a business is a responsibility a lot of business owners do not take seriously enough. Insufficient financial and management preparation for the death or disability of the CEO can create chaos for those left to sort out the issues.
•    There is disproportionate risk through personal guarantees. Because of personal financial guarantees required for the business, a major crisis could ruin the business owner. Overlooked are the opportunities to share the responsibility and liabilities of the business.
•    Family and other ownership issues exist. Family succession, majority shareholder issues including divorce, the death or departure of a shareholder, or even conflict between shareholders often precipitate non-economic exit decisions. More often than not, decisions are made with more emotion than reason. The opportunity most often neglected is to engage a business advisor to assist in sorting out the varied interests and prepare viable alternatives in advance.
•    The business is no longer enjoyable or CEO fatigue sets in. Many CEOs and business owners reach a point where they no longer wish to endure the pressures of the business. They have lost their enthusiasm and commitment. This condition is not only an impediment to growth, it often creates a lull that puts the business in a vulnerable position. An interim, part-time CEO/business advisor may be the alternative that works best outside of a sale of the
business.
•    The assets of the CEO or business owner are unbalanced. Most personal assets are in the value of the business. Little independent retirement savings have been established for the CEO/major shareholders in the event of a business downturn. In the absence of a strategic exit, the sale of the business is required as a retirement alternative.

Source: CEO Advisor Blog, This entry was posted on October 6, 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Retrieved: 30 November 2010

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

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Date Line: 28 February 09

Change Now and Reap Rewards – Part 1 of 3

PRINCIPLE’S NOTE: In today’s business climate, the emphasis is on survival. Change is sourced from internal innovation, processes and procedures or from external influencers such as interest rates, competition or limited resources. As a leader, you have lemons in your enterprise and you need to make lemonade from them. In other words, you have an opportunity to take the next step in optimizing your organization and produce tangible rewards. JBS provides transformation solutions for business, IT and government arenas, from concept to reality, through people, ideas and technology.

Note that additional collateral is available for free download from the web site. Please feel free to pass along this information, to colleagues, you feel could benefit from our services and solutions. We also have over 50 free links of specialized web sites that provide policy direction from think tanks, sustainability issues, US and international initiatives, and various out-of-the-box thinking. Please browse these repositories and feel free to bookmark those of importance.

In today’s climate, very few news stories provide the consumer good information as to how one can act to minimize expenses and adapt their lifestyle. I believe we have choices, we are not helpless and we need to share information in order to evaluate our own personal needs and be proactive and adapt to our changing economic environment.

Part 1: The Approach During a Recession
Especially in today’s business environment, adaptability is a key characteristic of any successful business. That adaptability is also a reflection of the leadership of the company to be flexible during difficult times.

“In my view, adaptability is about managing your portfolio of businesses effectively, scanning the horizon for opportunities that may arise, and making decisions on a continuous basis about which of your businesses is best suited for carrying out a given activity.”
Source: Ralph Norris, CEO, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

External recession strategies for business: Simply think strategically, but execute tactically and adjust to the government, market and industry signals. Now is the perfect time to consider when that adaptability injects change it then can create opportunities for improvement, efficiency and productivity by refining your strategic thinking. Consider these external strategies:

1. Work with your investors [bankers, VCs, family, etc.] and share your recession strategies. Look for their endorsement and elicit their suggestions. Recognize that their buy-in may provide a bridge for future funds.

2. Investment and acquisition opportunities are more prevalent in a recession. Competitors may want to shed portfolios or product lines that would enhance and boost your core business.

3. Find out what are key satisfiers for your customers. Go out meet with your key customers, send out surveys, build relationships that provide insight.

4. What are existing competitive substitutions for your products and services? What are the startups that provide new approach that is faster, better, cheaper?

5. Look for business values that refine your product and service value. Look across industries where more value for less is apparent. Copy their success, but don’t sacrifice yours.

6. Look for alternatives to enhance your product or service lines by providing cheaper, less complex solutions.

7. Create new opportunities through networking your partners, suppliers, competitors and investors.

8. Go beyond the contract and handshake. Go beyond what you promise, build relationships and beat out the competition.

Internal recession strategies for business: Don’t be myopic and overlook opportunities internally. This is a time to pursue internal transformations, as well. Also, some of these seem they should be external points, but the defining characteristic is that those points originate within the company culture and internal mindset. Here are internal strategies 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 to take advantage of the uptick.

9. Cash flow is the heart 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, but recognize the downsides.

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. More importantly, recognize the project implementation’s lead-time and plan accordingly. Don’t rush into a quick fix or cause stress your organization cannot handle.

Next Blog: Let’s focus on your customer’s perspective. They are key to your survival and success. Survivability, in part, is due to your market presence and the value your products and services provide to your customer.

Source: Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC, © 2009, For services: http://www.jarvisbusinesssolutions.com

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