How does NORMAL look like in an ABNORMAL reality?


Business processes exist not only out of the production steps which create the product. But also the quality control and quality assurance, the planning and scheduling, the health, safety & environment related actions and auditing of it, the storage and shipping, the track and trace related activities and information handling/collection, data collection and analysis of all kinds, replenishment of consumption goods, raw material and recycle handling, order processing, invoicing, accounts payable and accounts receivable, customer service, etc, etc, etc…
Which of these processes run optimally by themselves? Very little or maybe even none!
This means there is variance in almost all of our processes. Variance which can become bigger if we do not control it. Variance which provokes risk. Risk to safety, risk to quality and risk to stable operations. Variance in processes is always in some way provoking inefficiencies and is therefore always provoking unneeded costs.
What if we could measure the variance in all above mentioned processes?
What if we would know exactly where all this variance came from? For instance the process unreliability, technical defects, product property variance or human errors.
What if we could have influence on all behaviors of people which could reduce the variance? Because in the end it is a person who didn’t prevent the technical issue, it is also a person who designed the unreliable process and it is also a person who didn’t prevent or spot the product property variance.
So almost all variance finds its cause in human interaction or lack of interaction.
But still we say, do not blame the people, blame the process…
That is because the people are working in processes and just try to do their best effort.
Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking: ”Let’s see what we can mess up today at work!!”
Everybody wants to do a good job, and most of us would like to do it as easy as possible…
Which is perfectly fine! We should expect from our processes to be easy to execute and manage. There should be clarity on how the optimum looks like… There should be very easy access to all needed information, materials and tools to execute tasks.
And still this is not the case in many (if not in most or even in all) of our processes.

Now during the COVID-19 new way of working, with many people working remotely from home, the risk exists (the magnitude varies depending on the nature of your processes) that some additional variance is provoked due to this sudden new way of working.
Since for many businesses the demand is lower due to this crisis, it would be dramatical if the margins on your production would be negatively impacted by the additional variance creeping unnoticed into our processes! It has the potential to push black numbers into red. And faster than ever before since the fixed costs are pushing harder on the margins of less volume than before.
So… it is time to work on a couple of structural things now more than ever:

  1. Reduce the variance in your processes.
  2. Reduce fixed costs.
  3. Reduce variable costs.
  4. Increase the awareness of waste in operations.
  5. Increase the involvement of people to contribute to improving the processes they work in.
  6. Increase the frequency any quality of our performance dialogues, ensuring we do not accept the status quo any more and for sure do not allow to let it slip further.

If everybody contributes to eliminating unneeded variance and costs in their own circle of influence, and if we do this at all levels in the organization then we could make companies survive this crisis and even come out stronger than ever before.

I am convinced that if you had the patience to read this story until this point, the probability is high that you think: “Yes all true, but I am doing all of this already in my organization.”
Or it could be that you think: “Wow, it would be great if we could do this in my organization.”
Which thought you have right now is not relevant, because the response is to both the same: “We can help you to reach out to the next level, no matter what your current level is!”
Whether you believe in Lean, 6Sigma, Operational Excellence, Agile, TPM, Scrum Masters or any other buzz word does not matter. All will fail if leadership is not in place.
Leadership in a way that the maximum potential of your organization is utilized.
Now the real question is: HOW?

The experts of AchieV have a long history of disclosing the maximum potential of organizations. If you think there is more potential in your organization and you want to go after it, you can reach out to us and we will help you to define the next steps. If you click below button, one of our experts will reach out to you and plan a conference call in order to understand your challenges better. During this Free of Charge call we will also already focus on how we can provide you concrete help to continue your journey to the next level of excellence… AchieV believes strongly that together we can survive this crisis and help each other to grow stronger than ever before…

If you also would like to read more about optimization of business elements like sourcing, procurement, logistics, S&OP and commercials, please read also our Whitepaper “How can I help my business to survive the increased disruption caused by COVID 19?”