Is your business in the fast lane?
In this the seventh article in the series – “Is your business in the fast lane?” – I concentrate on the importance of Operations in helping your businesses reach the fast lane. Subsequent articles focus on other areas to ensure improvement, growth and sustainability of your business.
Operations are paramount to supporting the business strategy of the organisation but they will vary depending on the type of operations – micro, small or large. What kind of contribution is made by your company’s Operations in supporting business strategy? Look at the following contributions and decide.
A poor contribution:
- Operation’s does the minimum to support the business – there’s no awareness of the overall business strategy, comparative performance or overall industry standards.
- There is little attempt to improve performance and the rest of the organisation view operations as a source of problems rather than the solution.
- There is no foundation upon which to plan or to implement strategy. Operation’s lacks resources of many different kinds.
- Management feel that operation’s is the source of the problems preventing the company achieving its goals.
- Processes, risks, cost and competitive advantage are poor.
A neutral contribution:
- Operation’s becomes aware of overall company strategy and its own performance limitations – often done through comparison with similar operations.
- With management determination to change – this can begin to move the operations to a higher level of performance.
- Managements’ perceptions – are that operations are making some effort and achieving some improvement.
- At this stage – operations is in a constrained way, able to implement the company strategy.
- Processes, risks, cost and competitive advantage are beginning to improve.
- Operation’s has achieved a level of excellence in terms of the activities it carries out – it is efficient, flexible and can be relied on.
- The key thing is – alignment with overall business strategy and changes.
- Operation’s proactively generates improvement plans – it may be that some competitive advantage is now achieved through operations.
- Management are now confident that operations can support the direction of the overall business strategy.
- Processes, risks, cost and competitive advantage are improving and good.
- Operation’s is now engaged in strategy – proactive planning and being innovative.
- Operations is focused on the future – by creating new products, processes and services that are one step ahead of the competition.
- Management are confident that operations can be the bases for future business strategy and the source of sustainable competitive advantage.
- At this stage operations could be said to be “world class” – an example that others strive to emulate.
- Processes, risks, cost and competitive advantage are also an exemplar to other organisations to follow.
The entire purpose of planning is to maximise profit and to do this businesses have to manage the balance between demand and supply. Supply is generally a constraint therefore before the business promises anything to its customers’ the outputs need to be understood.
In today’s hyper competitive market delivering on your brand promise can determine you success or failure. And with the prolific nature of social media your customers will share the good, bad and downright ugly.
In this respect “Process mapping” and ISO 9000 Accreditation etc. will help you move your organisation forward. Want to know more contact MGBA.