With the economy faltering, customers hesitating and suppliers balking, every company worries about sustaining profits. Businesses can rarely sell their way to higher profits. Although executives and employees can’t do much about the external forces, they can make a major impact internally.When companies are faced with a decrease in profits, they’ll try to cut costs by reducing staff, paying suppliers slower or even using inferior quality materials for their customers. There is a better solution that won’t take forever or cost a fortune.
- Simplify – To trim costs and boost profits, throw out everything that isn’t related to the way work is done. Then, organize and label materials and equipment into consistent locations. It’s not unusual for work materials to spread all over the workplace -- making it difficult to find something needed when time is important.
Streamline – Remove barriers and redesign the work to minimize resistance and delays in the workflow. While employees work on a product for three minutes of every hour, it becomes idle for the other 57 minutes. Elapsed time from order to delivery can take weeks instead of hours due to this. Figure out a way to make your product or service faster, not necessarily your people.
- Optimize – Every business makes mistakes, errors, defects, glitches and hitches that result in rework, scrap and lost profit. To optimize the delivery of products and services, start counting and categorizing the mistakes.
- Count: How many mistakes are there in the product or service? Include everything from the initial sales order to customer acceptance.
Categorize: What are the most common types of mistakes? Where are they most often made? By categorizing defects in a variety of ways, it’s easy to discover that they aren’t spread throughout your company. Defects may only occur in a few key areas.