Times are tough at the moment. If you’re like many businesses currently, capital is tight, your people are stretched, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

With this in mind, this month, our senior consultant Paul Ridsdale-Smith takes a look at how minimising waste isn’t just about being lean!

Let’s start by saying whilst the above aren’t explicitly Lean Wastes, you certainly can’t afford to squander them even slightly, but neither can your business afford to stand still. 

So how do you decide where to focus the resources you have?

Start by answering these questions: 

  • What are your strategic objectives? You might have a list of these that are as long as your arm, you might not, but you should know what you are wanting to achieve as an organisation over the next strategic cycle. Get your list out and review it. 
  • Which objective is the highest priority? Prioritisation can be difficult. If resources were endless, you’d want everything as soon as possible! But what to focus on first? At a high level, an Action Priority Matrix can be a really useful tool to help identify those quick wins where impact is maximised over effort. 
  • What are the best resources to use? Calling in the experts is the most efficient way of getting stuff done. People with experience who have learned from their mistakes and know what to do to get results as quickly as possible are worth their weight in gold. They may exist in your organisation, they may not. If they don’t, then buying in that experience and knowledge really shouldn’t be a concern. Sure, it involves actual cash from your bottom line, but then using internal resources to do something they will battle to achieve is masking the cost: using the wrong people will be less efficient,  and they will struggle and become disengaged – bad for everyone.
  • Where does Digitalisation sit in your priorities? It is unusual these days for a company not to have this on its strategy somewhere. Perhaps your systems are holding you back, you know your data is a mess, you worry your processes can’t be digitised, or you’re simply looking to move forward (or even start) on the Digital Transformation journey. 

Well, the good news is that we can help you wherever you are in your “Digital Transformation expedition” (let’s face it, it is rarely a walk in the park). 

Starting out? 

You won’t be able to select the right system like we can! We understand the temptation to go it alone here. But… 

We are in regular contact with most ERP system suppliers and know what their systems can do. The knowledge that will take years for you to develop. And we know how to match your business to the best long term option in the shiny sweetshop selection that is in front of you. And speaking of the shiny sweatshop, we’re not easily seduced by the wrappers either!

Already underway?

We can (for less investment than you expect, I reckon) assess where you are now and help identify those quick wins and longer term projects that are worth investing resources and money in to get the best return. 

Reached an impasse?

Our project auditing and strategic guidance is valuable to ensure that everyone remains aligned and committed to the best results. And getting some external clarity can re-energise flagging projects or other initiatives. 

Why do we do this? Because we, too, hate to see waste. And that’s not just Lean; in the current business climate, it’s sensible! 

 Get in touch for a sensible discussion about how we can help you.