What are my standards in times of chaos?
Like we (should) have all kinds of good practices, we (should) execute, listed in a Safety-Health-Environment-Quality Framework, we should also have a Framework for disruptions. In too many companies the period of the year when these good practices are getting only a lot of attention just before the auditor comes along.
All owners of these good practices sweep away backlog so it looks good again, ready to be audited. If fact this takes away the added value of having the good practices defined. If they are really "good practices" I would like my organization to always follow these guidelines. an auditor could in that way do his/her audit any day of the year without pre-notice and we would shine in this audit...
A Covid-19 disruption is like an auditor who didn't notify you upfront... you need to be ready instantly.
Unfortunately many were not ready for it...
Of course you magnitude of the disruption is so big that it is not likely to have a fully prepared (re)action plan ready for it. But as always: the closer we get to excellence, the better we can cope with disruptions... Just ONE more very good reason to work on Excellence...
We hear people say: "But in a normal day to day business we already have so many things to work on, we do not have time to spend time on preparing for this type of big disruptions!!! NO CHANCE..." This is maybe how many see it, but it is a huge paradigm in the minds of the people which we first need to break through. Many of the small disruptions which happen during normal business have happened exactly the same but only bigger during the Covid-19 crisis:
- Customer demand swings,
- Raw material availability swings (quality or delivery),
- People availability swings,
- Delivery accuracy swings (raw materials or your own finished goods), etc
So the conclusion is: if you are prepared for the small disruptions, it gives you the basis for getting prepared for the big disruptions.
So when we get back to "normal" business after the Covid-19 crisis, the focus should not only be on managing the daily business. We should also try to recognize the small disruptions and redesign our processes as such that we have less impact. This is two-folded:
1. try to prevent re-occurences of internal disruptions. (preventing is of course always better, but to have a "What If"-scenario to make the impact as small as possible when an internal disruption happens again is of course always good to have.)
2. try to cope as good as possible with external disruptions. (of course it is also good to challenge the fact the external disruptions should not happen but there is less control on these disruptions)
When the scenarios are clear how to deal with these small disruptions which are triggered by internal and external factors we can start working on the scenarios what we should be doing extra or different when the magnitude of the disruptions increase... To have a structured process installed on how to deal with bigger and bigger disruptions, will grow a "CAN DO" culture in your organization which you also will benefit from during times of normal business. Because you have this constant focus on what to do when times get tough, you can also use the same tools, method and competences of the people to work on continuous improvement and waste elimination from your processes.
If you would like to learn more about how to combine all of this in ONE new way of working and solve current and future issues all at once, please reach out to one of our expert by leaving your details below. We will contact you and have a free of charge consultation with you to see how we can help you...