Anyone who is trying to make changes will be met with a variety of reactions and responses. This will happen regardless of how important the change is to your Job, your Department, your Function or your Company. But what if you had Executive Sponsorship?
Certainly there will be people who will happily, and openly, be willing to support you and help in any way they can. While this is critical, it is more important to understand that there are those who will aggressively oppose you. They may put obstacles in your way or they will be passive aggressive in their lack of support.
There may be many good reasons that you will be faced with this kind of opposition. However it is incumbent upon you, as the leader, to take all necessary steps to address these issues head on. One technique that can help you and your Company is to solicit and acquire visible and active Executive Sponsorship!
Implementing a Lean program on the Manufacturing floor, in a Warehouse operation, or in a Distribution Centre is challenging enough. There are a series of process steps in which materials are transformed or moved in some fashion. Try implementing Lean in the Back Office.
And your Lean program has at its core the objective of making these operations as efficient as possible. But when you try to apply these same Lean principles to the support organizations, or the back office, you are likely to experience a wide range of reactions.
So why is it so difficult to implement, and sustain, a Lean program in the Back Office of your organization?
We had completed value stream mapping the current state processes across some very significant business processes in the company. It took a fair amount of time even though we had the active involvement of subject matter experts and leaders from every functional organization.
When all was said and done the current state involved hundreds of process steps, almost 200 pain points, and dozens of iterative, repetitive loops. The company was just being introduced to Lean process improvement techniques. And as challenging as it was to reach a common understanding of what the current processes were the difficult part was about to start.
How were we going to define and map the Future State process?
A High Performance Organization is one in which there is tremendous alignment among and commitment by the team members. And as a result this motivated team is able to achieve superior results. The level of collaboration and innovation they demonstrate is remarkable. But what are the ground rules?
There are many characteristics of the culture which allows such teams to be high performing. And when they set out to drive change and make improvements it is those cultural characteristics which allow them to succeed.
We had the “Call To Action” from the CEO. The business needed to be transformed to support growth. And the business needed to be financially stronger and much more productive.
With the mandate established we had named the change initiative that we were about to launch. We had enlisted leaders from every functional organization. And we had began to roll out our communication strategy.
This project involved every employee, every function, and every process in the company. We needed a simple way to prioritize all of the projects that we were about to undertake.
“The Board is REALLY upset. They want a plan to dramatically improve our Supply Chain inventory turnover performance and they want it now. Will you lead this for me?” That was a call to action.
My boss had just got out of the Board meeting and these were his words to me. The company had historically performed very poorly in managing inventory. And it was not only consuming a lot of cash but it was impacting our profitability with the high carrying charges and write-offs. Also it impacted our competitive position as customers and competitors didn’t believe we knew how to manage inventory, and Supply Chain, very well.
“We are a Supply Chain Services Company,” I was told.
“If we are truly a Supply Chain Services Company, then why is our Inventory Turnover only at 7?”, I asked.
I had just joined the company and in studying their financial performance it stood out to me that if we were truly a Supply Chain Services company then having only 7 Inventory turns was extremely uninspiring.
We needed to be dramatically better at managing Inventory to convince ourselves, and our customers, that we were a trusted and leading Supply Chain Services partner. Could we double inventory turnover?
Process ownership article, and permission to publish, provided by Alexander Kurm, Process Consultant at https://www.kurmconsulting.com/
Does your business struggle with process ownership? Are your process improvements not “sticking”? The failure of an organization to have in place well-functioning process owners is a common occurrence these days.
The root causes (if anyone cares to do a full postmortem) are numerous. We’ve heard it all before; “the organizational structure won’t allow for it”, “incentives are misaligned”, “leaders don’t understand what it takes to be a process owner” etc. I’m sure we can all relate to some or all of these statements.
Pain points article originally published at, and permission to publish here provided by, Karl Crisostomo at tenfold.com.
Pain points are a part of business. They create opportunities to innovate, diversify and grow. Without customer pain points, there is no reason to be in business. Trading goods and services is as old as mankind itself.
Many a project starts off with very lofty objectives. And with a lot of work and a little luck those desired results are often achieved. In every case those results usually have been achieved within a certain timeframe and with a lot of momentum.
Yet once you achieve those goals in many respects the energy and momentum which got you there may start to fade. Yet your work has just begun. The next question that always comes up is whether you can sustain, and further improve, those results.
Additionally if you are trying to drive Cultural Change and long term transformation after a while your initial project may become stale and your participants demotivated or distracted.
To avoid your project becoming “just another program” you need to proactively recognize when your project needs to be reinvented or rebooted to avoid irrelevancy and the back-sliding of your results.
The Supply Chain touches all of our lives whether it be in business or personally. No matter what industry you are in or are touched by, all involve the movement of goods, services, and information. So the most efficient functioning of the Supply Chain affects us all. And it affects us in every aspect of our lives whether we are consumers, employees, or business leaders.
With a career spent in Supply Chain I’ve seen many ways of performing the processes involved in managing the Supply Chain. Many of these processes are highly efficient. Yet many more are highly inefficient. Regardless, everyone strives to improve the way things are done. And every experience has been an opportunity for growth.
In this blog I’d like to share my experiences, and those of others, in improving, working in, managing in and being managed by the Supply Chain. There have been some remarkable achievements and there have been some missteps along the way. However there are lessons to be learned and experiences to be shared in every case. And I hope that this learning and shared experience will be of value as you seek to improve the Supply Chain you are a part of.
On top of that we want to share anything and everything related to Leadership, Change Management, Technology, Procurement, Purchasing, Distribution, Logistics, and much, much more.
Overall Supply Chain Game Changer can serve you as a guide as you do your jobs and as you progress through your career. The issues and challenges that you face will be different for everyone on any given day. There is something for everyone in Supply Chain Game Changer.
Additionally I invite you to comment and send me content. By learning, not only from successes but from failures, we will all be better going forward. There is a wonderful world of people and experiences that we can all learn from.
So again I welcome you to the Supply Chain Game Changer™ blog.