We know. Your business can struggle when overhead is too high, management is too complex, it offers too many unnecessary products or simply loses focus. That’s where an operations improvement consulting firm can play a huge role in finding ways to rid it of these pain points. Such a firm can save your company millions of dollars and help it to operate smoothly. Here are four ways to manage these:
1. Creating a Focused Strategy
Too often, companies aren’t focused on their core competencies and instead try to maintain every aspect of their business operating at full force, creating excess operating costs and missed opportunities for improving corporate function. The latter doesn’t work. Trimming away the fat of your needless business ventures helps you invest only in what’s working. Strategic advisory firms recognize who your core customers are, how to appeal to those to those customers, what your strengths are, and what your next moves should be to engage with them. These entail using a strategic thinking model based on the right way to think about time. Being flexible and looking at the future based on time, uncertainty, novelty and complexity help end your turbulence and make your goals achievable and desirable.
- Pertaining to time, look at it as entropic, training your leaders to be visionary and view results in the future, forgetting the present. In other words, they should imagine where they see business headed, what its goals are and what sacrifices they must make to achieve those goals, not at what state and what challenges the company faces now.
- Meanwhile, the chaotic thinking model handles your uncertainty. This means understanding present conditions that can cause chaos so you are better ready to challenge that chaos and bring it under control, much as meteorologists study weather patterns to prepare for tornado attacks and the like. Think of it as anticipating problems before they arise so storms don’t down your power lines when you’re not prepared with a backup generator.
- Novelty comprehension stems from using creative thinking over a logical approach, so you can attack your turbulence with innovation you brainstorm about instead of tried strategies that aren’t working.
- Finally, a complexity strategy uses a systems thinking model. This blends rational and intuitive thinking, allowing you to prepare strategies composed of many activities and interactions at the same time, bridging together the multiple facets your organization undergoes daily to create plans that use what you already know. Doing so, you face the future with the wherewithal you already have with the sense of urgency you foster from your acumen to challenge your norms. This way, you combine your knowledge with a new game plan relying on that creative thinking novelty comprehension also accounts for.
Together, these approaches create a strong focus with which to change your organization’s effort toward realizing the changes it needs to get out of its poor performance.
2. Ensuring Your Organization, Management and IT Structures are On-Point
When these are failing, your business also suffers. When an organization is flawed, people feel they can’t keep up; structure, management and culture suffer. Aligning these and creating simplicity, your management team makes the right decisions moving forward, people become accountable for reviewing your company’s portfolio regularly to keep it on track with its goals and they coordinate steps to make these processes happen correctly. Reconfiguring your IT structures and removing the undue complexities simplifies them, thereby optimizing your budget and realizing a greater ROI. All these are important steps because they create a superconducting organization, one where the hidden assets of employees are valued, and their interests are aligned with your business’ so they feel their contributions have power. In addition, decision-making takes place quickly so that team members clearly know what to do, learn from mistakes and react fast. Leaders also use strategy and culture together to create specific, grounded and actionable work goals.
3. Redistributing the Hierarchy of Your Organization
How many layers of people do you have reaching from your CEO to your base employees? If you have an excessive number, it could spell trouble, such as poor accountability, excessive head count and a lack of flexibility. Your leadership might, therefore, be experiencing problems having your team realize its potential. By minimizing the layers, you can regain the focus of your employee strategy and breathe new life into your workforce. Look at your average number of employees assigned to one manager and compare that to your competitors’ numbers. For example, an advisory firm might suggest scaling back engineering efforts or challenge your back-end functions such as your marketing efforts, which may be costing you too much and be ineffective. If it’s significantly higher, it will help you cut the number of people reporting to each manager to more effectively impact their efforts, cutting payroll and improving labor. You’ll save millions per year.
4. Ridding Your Business of Unnecessary SKUs and Products
Take, for example, a major toy company. Its profits went down dramatically when it took on ventures such as theme parks, clothing lines, watches and the like when its customers only wanted its toys. Once it sold off its extraneous lines and went back to producing its original money-making merchandise, focusing its future innovations on new lines of the same, its profitability returned. In other words, when you offer excess merchandise your customers don’t want or need, you create needless energy and expense. The same thing happens when you offer similar products that vary only in, say, one ingredient or flavor if you’re a retailer. You stray from your “hero products,” thinking that, if you offer more variety, you’ll sell more, when this might not be the case. Remember, a focused business is always best. Extraneous SKUs of unsaleable merchandise create overhead you don’t need. By lowering the number of products you sell, you’ll streamline your business and increase its competitiveness. We’ll help identify your weak products and weed them out.
Overall, these focused strategies improve your business immensely and help it override its turbulence, assisting it in succeeding again. Simplicity is key to recreating its original greatness.