Going Lean

July Business Tip: Going Lean

A lean program actively manages operational efficiency, which causes a chain reaction of business benefits. Efficiency promotes safety, saves time, controls costs, and ensures quality. Quality translates into high customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is directly connected to revenues. Safety is implicit in turnover cost management. And, of course, revenues and cost control are the components of profit margin. So, the operational and financial benefits of implementing lean practices throughout all business units are pervasive, including in administrative offices, sales, forecasting, and others in which lean policies are too often not recognized as applicable. A lean policy extends far beyond dictating periodic clean-outs. It’s a way of doing business—every day. There are multiple excellent models for lean operations. ISO provides guidelines. Universities teach “5S” structures in business courses (sort, systematize, shine, standardize, and sustain). The various versions of lean programs have key principles in common.

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Success by Going Lean

A) Organization

Whether it’s called systematizing or just straightening up, getting organized cannot be overestimated. It really is the first fundamental for a quality operation. Some talented business managers imagine themselves as intellectually exempt from need to operate in an organized environment. Such attitudes fail to inspire confidence of customers, guests, inspectors, supervisors, and subordinates in the professionalism of the organization and have a generally corrosive effect on a positive business atmosphere. Further, until one has functioned in a well-ordered system, he/she cannot meaningfully predict how much improved his/her personal performance would be over time.

B) Controls

Remove obstacles that inhibit the smoothest flow of movement as employees conduct processes, whether in manufacturing production or office processes. Rearrange machinery and furniture that cause unnecessary steps. Archive unused paper files. Eliminate or reorganize electronic files that cause employees to search drives excessively. Implement inventory control methods so that new stock is purchased only when the supply level of a particular item drops to a specified level. Revise workflow processes to cut unnecessary peripheral distractions or tasks. Arrange schedules so that work of like-types or along the same routes is performed by the same employee, where practical. Reducing minutes and seconds wasted by all employees daily adds up to a staggering amount of time savings that can be used to increase productivity.

C) Maintenance

Establish self-monitoring systems. Hold all employees accountable for maintaining their piece of the lean program. Support this policy with routine assessments by management. Inspections may seem extreme to employees who are unfamiliar with lean systems. However, when a lean program is structured under a simple ABC structure, as above, most employees can be successfully helped to understand the necessity of managing operational efficiency and will grow to appreciate the significance of the professional benefits of working in a lean environment.

Think about how these processes can make an impact on your organization going lean.  When you ready to learn how to implement these strategies in your business contact us for your Business Assessment Review.

Thom Torode is a NJ based Executive & Business Coach.

He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors. Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Successful Franchise Leadership

What does it take to be successful in franchise leadership?

Despite your best efforts, your franchise may be struggling unsuccessfully to keep pace with others in the corporation. Insufficient sales performance, employee attrition, and organizational deficiencies can, of course, seriously impact growth and drive your operation to the bottom of the franchisees’ metrics chart.

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Franchise Coaching for Successful Franchise Leadership

Your corporation’s franchise development experts most likely approved your site selection due to comprehensive demographic data that indicates yours is a sound business environment. Therefore, you should probably start by assessing your franchise management method. Seek guidance from an outside management specialist, if necessary, to identify needed improvements and to most quickly develop your leadership skills to the level of your company’s most successful franchisees.

Quality

Presumably, your site receives products through a standard supply chain and/or other suppliers approved by the corporation. So, your product quality is likely consistent with that of the company’s other franchise units. If so, your consultant’s emphasis will probably center on potential issues in sales and customer service quality. An experienced consultant will evaluate your sales and service processes including lead nurturing systems, repairs and replacements, and customer satisfaction surveys, and will monitor your sales and service employees as they work with your customers to pinpoint issues impacting customer relationships.

Training

During the franchise discovery process, opportunities were probably arranged for you to interview some of the company’s experienced franchisees. If not, you should urgently call for these meetings and take full advantage of learning what others are doing well, especially in areas of operations in which you’ve identified weaknesses at your site. Of course, in extreme cases of low performance, advice from fellow franchisees or in-house franchisee training staff may only produce limited results. You and your team may need much more advanced support to achieve the strength of skills necessary to duplicate the success of your company’s best performing franchises.

Support

Your corporation’s franchise development staff probably spent abundant time with you and your new staff during the start-up phase providing franchise leadership training for you, your management staff, and your sales and service teams. A franchise management consultant will evaluate current performance by each team at your site and work with you to raise the value of these functions to your business.

Leadership

In a previous article I described what being a visionary leader is.

Demonstrate your purpose to build successful professional relationships with all who rely on the success of your business—customers, staff, your community, and your larger franchise organization. Your corporation has likely optimized your all-important web interface. So, focus on increasing external promotional efforts, and improve

Franchise Leadership

Franchise Leadership

systems for marketing to current customers. Make a positive working environment and commitment to excellence the priorities. After all, management’s attitudes tend to translate into customer service employees’ attitudes. Strive to inspire customers’ confidence and generate employees’ excitement about the business as your preferred method for building your brand! If you have determined that it’s time to turn to a business management expert specializing in working with franchises to coach you through to stable success, contact Sunrise Business Advisors for a complimentary Business Assessment Review (B-A-R).

Thom Torode is a NJ based Business & Franchise Coach.

He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors. Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Think Like a Marketing Pro

How to Think Like a Marketer

      “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well                the product or service fits him and sells itself.” ‑- Peter F. Drucker
       “Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.Milan Kundera
 Marketing and strategy

Many people say that they hate marketing. That’s usually because they think marketing is all about advertising and sales.

Marketing is a process, not an event. It involves research, promotion and distribution as well as advertising and sales. But perhaps the most important, and most overlooked, aspect of marketing is having the right marketing attitude or “marketing mindset.”

When you have a marketing mindset, no matter what role you perform in the organization, you ask how you can build awareness among customers and clients about your products and services.

Having a marketing mindset also means that you strive to become a profit center. For instance, if you cost the company “x” amount in terms of salary and benefits, then your work output would be contributing money to cover that and more.

“The sole purpose of marketing is to sell more to more people, more often and at higher prices. There is no other reason to do it.” ‑- Sergio Zyman

The Marketing Mindset in Action

As you develop a marketing mindset, ideas of how to meet marketing goals on a daily basis will come easily, but here are a few ways to get started:

Know your product or service inside out. This may sound obvious but think about how many times we, as customers, have walked away from a purchase because the person helping us couldn’t answer a few basic questions about their product or service.

Find ways to leverage the competition’s mistakes. It’s easy to see what the competition is doing well and to try to replicate their success. But just as much (and sometimes more) can be learned by observing what the competition is doing poorly. Think of the competition’s weak spot as the place where a client’s needs are not being met. What can you do to step in and meet those needs?

Point your clients and customers in your direction. If you’re in customer service, try to solve all customer problems by pointing them to something your company sells.

The “bottom line” isn’t just about money coming in. Looking for ways to save is just as important as finding new revenue streams. If you’re in accounting, for example, instead of just recording where the money is going, watch for places to save. When looking at those numbers is there a way that sales can be made more efficiently?

Every customer or client meeting is a networking opportunity. The term “networking” makes some people uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be about “schmoozing” or closing a sale. It’s simply having a conversation in an effort to build new relationships or strengthen current ones.

Marketing is an exchange. The marketer asks the consumer to perform an action (say, buying a soda), and in exchange, the marketer gives the consumer a benefit (in this case, sweet taste and a cool image). An exchange like this is true commercial marketing, where the objective is to get people to buy something.

So, what does it mean to think like a marketer? In part, it means recognizing your side of the exchange—the fact that you need to offer something. Understanding your prospects needs are critical.

  • What does my audience want?
  • What do they care about?
  • What do they dislike?

In business, everything is marketing, and marketing is everything.  All of it affects or contributes to the profitability of the company.

Thom Torode is a Morris County based Executive & Business Coach. He owned over 5 different businesses before founding Sunrise Business Advisors, LLC.  To reach Thom give him a call for more information. www.SBANOW.com

When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Sunrise Business Advisors can be reached at 862-219-6890 or info@SBAnow.com