Distribution has always been a tough business, however today it’s even more competitive with increased consolidations and the demand for upgraded technologies from both manufacturers and customers.
Abe WalkingBear Sanchez, an international Speaker/Trainer/Consultant on the subject of cash flow/ sales enhancement and business knowledge organization, states that it is no longer good enough just to survive - businesses must proactively change and improve their processes.
According to WalkingBear, there are two things required for positive change:
1) Acceptance that things can always be done better
2) A commitment to improve
Because of new technologies, the economy, competitors, and other impossible to foresee forces, companies must embrace an on-going climate of constant improvement/change and efficiency with a sense of urgency...if they are to prosper and/or survive.
To do this, an interdependent set of support methodologies (pillars) must be utilized, which will allow companies to achieve increasing levels of efficiency, providing the basis for lowered costs, increased productivity and higher morale.
Summarized from WalkingBear’s article, Survival is Not Mandatory: The Eight Pillars of Efficiency and Improvement in Business, the following eight steps are pivotal to driving positive change in your organization:
1) The Profit Imperative - meeting or exceeding customer expectations at a profit.
2) The Purpose - a clearly understood and stated/written "Purpose" for each different business function
3) Goal Driven Policies – a goal for each core part of a business function that supports the purpose
4) Documented Processes – each unique step-by-step process that leads to achieving the goals of the core parts of a business function should be documented
5) People Requirements – selecting the right person for the right job
6) Process Monitoring – Using KPI’s to ensure quality control
7) Performance Measurements – measuring against established goals for each core part of a business function
8) Make Constant Improvement Ongoing – Ensure that improving efficiency becomes an ongoing process
As WalkingBear says, there is always room for improvement in any organization. He recommends getting out of your comfort zone, take small steps and celebrate the small successes, and pay for performance.
To read the complete article, click here.
WalkingBear is a founding member of PCCG www.profitcreditgroup.com , an international group based on the Profit System, and has authored hundreds of business articles. He is a contributing columnist for Industrial Distribution and The Wholesaler Magazine, is the author of Profit Centered Credit and Collections and co-author of The Best Kept Profit Secret: The Executive's Guide to Transforming a Cost Center.
Tribute, Inc. is a provider of ERP business management software for industrial distributors.