The challenges that small business face are many and varied.
Often the need to embrace change in the way that we operate is triggered by events and circumstances that act as a catalyst for action, The Coronavirus pandemic is such an event.
It has brought with it threats to business growth and, often sadly, to survival.
This introductory post highlights how the re-start of operations can be used to implement improvements and changes to working practices and methods.
This will help;
- to reduce costs,
- improve efficiencies
- increase business capacity and competitiveness.
Through strategy and practice, you’ll find opportunities to use these as a vehicle to move your employees (and business) forward providing a clear objective for the future; post-Covid 19.
Do we need practices like Operational Excellence and Lean in Small businesses?
The reality is that Operational Excellence and Lean Operational principles have been developed by the most successful companies in the world!
However, they are just as applicable in small and even in one man/ woman band businesses regardless of the type of business you are in.
It doesn’t matter if you are building cars, baking bread, generating legal agreements or documents, selling groceries or even running a restaurant the same principles of business apply.
If you are to survive, grow and prosper in today’s highly competitive world you must maximise the effective use of your resources by reducing waste in all of its forms from your operation and use them efficiently to generate value.
Small business leaders can learn from the experience of large companies that have embraced and applied operational excellence approaches to ensure competitiveness and profitability.
Large organisations have to undertake a number of different functions in order to carry out and deliver its products and services. Small businesses nearly always carry out the same sort of functions but merely on a smaller scale.
So What is Waste?
It is accepted and recognised that all work is made up of three categories –
- Value-Added Work – work that adds value to the product or service from the customers perspective. (this is work that our customers are willing to pay for). THIS FORM OF ACTIVITY SHOULD BE MAXIMISED!
- Work with avoidable waste – work that adds no value e.g mistakes, errors, scrap products, re-work etc. (This is work that our customers are not willing to pay for.) THIS FORM OF ACTIVITY IS PURE WASTE AND SHOULD BE ELIMINATED!
- Work with Non-Avoidable Waste – work that contains waste but is unavoidable because it is part of the process (This is work that our customers are not willing to pay for). This type of work could include the movement of a product or such things as curing times within the process or the time taken for the collection of information from clients) THIS TYPE OF WORK IS UNAVOIDABLE WASTE AND SHOULD BE MINIMISED!
The challenge for all organisations irrespective of size is detecting where waste occurs and in what form. It has been discovered through careful study that waste falls into manifests itself in seven accepted categories.
To discover what these categories are and what form they take please take a look at our next Blog “Recognising Waste, Cost and Value in your business!”
This blog was written by:
Keith Hoey MBA
Director and Senior Instructor – Keith Hoey and Associates Limited