Part one of a three part series on Proactive Improvement
Blog Article Written By: Dave Mills, Managing Partner – Columbus
You’ve seen the movie Home Alone haven’t you? With 14 other people in the house and a litany of other issues, the McCalister’s youngest son Kevin was simply out of mind when the rush was on to get to the airport.
So, what Home Alone moments are you having in your business? What’s being forgotten? Why? At what cost? I like to ask those kinds of questions when meeting with clients. Recently, I have been asking this question, “In 2005, if you knew what you know now, what would you do differently?” One of the most frequent responses is, “I would seek out better suppliers.”
Don’t you find that suppliers are among the most forgotten business relationships? Most people I meet with measure supplier performance on reliability and quality. These are important metrics but they are reactive. What if you added the proactive criteria of flexibility and responsiveness to the list? If you spend time getting to know your suppliers, you can discover their capabilities to scale-up or scale-down to stay synchronized with the changing needs of your business. The up front work involved with developing a responsive supplier relationship can save time, trouble and money in the future. And unlike the McCalister’s Christmas trip, any previously established plans won’t have to be scrapped or pushed back because the supplier was forgotten in the rush.
Here’s a link to a great example of how supplier management made a huge difference for one of our clients. O’Gara, Hess and Eisenhardt was the subject of a 2004, “Industry Week” article about supplier improvements. The changes positioned the company to expand production of military HMMMVs from 20 per month to over 750 per month in less than a year.
How much of your team’s time in the past 30 days was spent on proactive supplier improvements? How much time was spent on expediting? How much time was wasted making up for the errors in your supply chain? What was the dollar cost and what kind of drain did it place on your talent resources? What could your people have been doing instead?
Keep those answers in mind for our next post, as we discuss some other “forgottens” and what happens when parts of your business are left Home Alone.