Our Optimise100 Course is a distillation of powerful techniques for reducing costs and boosting Revenue. The outcome is a rapid boost in Profits executed over 100 days.
Other articles in this Program are pitched at our introductory Yellow Belt level. The advanced techniques outlined in this article come from our Blue Belt (intermediate) level Knowledge Base.
Optimise100 is designed as something you will revisit on a regular basis (perhaps annually). Then ease your way up to this Advanced Profit Growth Technique as you get more confident and experienced.
Table of Contents
Change Management – People Aspects
Managing Continuous Improvement
Kanbans to Regulate Flow
Get Rid of Deadwood Activities
A determinant of how long the Optimise100 process takes is how disciplined you are with your time management.
If you use a good time management system to free up your time for major projects, you will progress much faster than if you have a poor, or non-existent, time management system.
For more on the time management system perfected by President Eisenhower and widely used.
Go to the article: How to Use Time Management Skills Tool
See, also, why Multitasking should be a no-no.
Go to the article: Why Multitasking is Not Your Friend
Change Management – People Aspects
If you have a significant number of staff in your business, you are going to need to engage in a process of Change Management to get them on board.
Managers, by their very nature, have a higher tolerance for uncertainty and risk than staff who have not taken on the additional responsibilities in management. If you begin to make substantial changes to your business it is going to unsettle the staff, their natural tendency will be to dig in their heels and progress slowly.
Trying to drag them along “kicking and screaming” is not likely to be a very productive approach.
It is far better to spend the time educating them on the direction you are taking, and the reasons for it.
Give them sufficient time to get that into their minds. This is where your Vision Statement (Goals) for the process can be useful.
Certainly, there will be natural leaders within your workforce. They may not be Supervisors and Managers, but they are the people that staff unofficially look to for direction.
Use these people by involving them in the process:
- They will often have a very good understanding of the various elements of your business and, quite possibly, better than your understanding if your business is of any size.
- If anybody is going to resist your changes, it will be these informal leaders. Investing in them so that they understand where you are going, and can then explain it to their workforce peers, is very worthwhile.
For greater detail go to the article: How to do Change Management for Profit
Starting an Ongoing Process of Continuous Improvement
Most improvement is an incremental process. It is rare to get something completely right the first time so, over time, we improve parts of the system to continue to improve the whole. A Japanese phrase for such incremental improvement is “Kaizen” (pronounced”Kar-zen”).
Incremental improvement, or Kaizen, probably goes on in your business all the time; and so it should. This is a 12Faces Tool that you will use over and over again.
Kaizen is more of a management philosophy than a specific set of actions or body of knowledge.
Kaizen means a business-wide attention to incrementally improving the areas of your business which will have the greatest return from the application of time, money and other resources to a Kaizen process.
You can read more on how to implement this process beginning with the article: How Kaizen Leads to Continuous Incremental Improvement
Kanbans to Regulate Flow
As a business manager, you are never going to have a shortage to things to do. You need to shepherd your precious time with a Kanban like strategy.
With your understanding of Flow, you know what you want to manage when a new product is started and when it moves through the production process. You never want excess Inventory and WIP that comes about from an unsynchronised workflow.
Go to the articles:
How Kanban Improves Workflow
SM5.4 TOC Drum-Buffer-Rope Optimisation Techniques
Get Rid of the Deadwood Activities
Any business and its activities can be put into 1 of 4 boxes by measuring Profit potential and Growth potential.
Use the Boston Consulting Group Matrix to put your business products and activities into 1 of 4 categories; Cash Cow, Dog, Star and Question Marks
Go to the article: Why Boston Consulting Group Growth Share Matrix Helps
If one of your existing activities is a Dog or Cash Cow, you can stop thinking about big Revenue and Profit growth now. This is unless the restrictions are only there through your present management systems.
The Dogs are best removed as they will never do much for your Profit and might cost you money.
They also tend to suck up your time due to crisis management.
The Cash Cows are valuable as they are supplying money and resources to the parts of your business that can grow.
Unless, and until, you have business activities that are in the “Star” or possibly the “Question Mark” cells of the BCG Matrix, you likely don’t have a business that can grow and you may as well face up to it now.
In this situation, you can decide to “pivot” and go down a new industry route.
We talk more about this in the Campaign: Optimise the Growth of my Business Over a Year (Grow365)
You have now completed Optimise100, which has been divided into several articles to be more accessible for you.
- C2.2 Introduction to Optimise100 Campaign
- C2.3 Getting Ready – how to prepare.
- C2.4 Cost Reduction – the fastest step – probably where you will start.
- C2.5 Increase Revenue – without making many changes to what you presently have, it is likely you can increase revenue. Options are discussed here.
- C2.6 Advanced Business Growth Techniques – Blue Belt (You are here)
- C2.7 Using the Optimise100 Planning Spreadsheet: this is a worksheet for all the things you might work on and their expected payoffs, pick the best first.
If you choose to finish here, all 12Faces’s resources are in a constant state of updating and expansion as new management insights become available.
You can revisit this Campaign at any time in the future to see if there is new inspiration to improve your business.
You might want to redo the Optimise100 Campaign every few years to scrape off any new ‘barnacles’ that might have become attached.
If you are interested in Growing your business, then it is time for you to commence the next Campaign:
Optimise the Growth of my Business Over a Year (Grow365)