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Process Matters

Financial Breakdown of the Global Logistics Market

supply side management
As a follow-up to last week's post on Supply Chain and Logistics Management, we are sharing another piece from Cerasis again in words and pictures.  This piece is a breakdown of the value of the global logistics market.  According to the piece, "logistics is, by definition, a functional system which consists in combining and coordinating the operations of different modes of transport as a fundamen...

Supply Chain And Logistics Management

supply chain
The definition of Supply Chain is the sequence of organizations or operations that work together to design, produce, and deliver a product or service to a market, extending from the extraction of raw materials to the distribution of finished products or services. The chain is further extended when returns and repair functions are added and is anchored by infrastructure. Logistics is the part of th...

Taking Notes By Hand Versus On A Laptop

taking notes
In a recent article on learning, Joseph Stromberg, a science reporter for Vox.com, wrote about studies that showed that taking notes by hand is superior to taking notes on a laptop. The studies were done in an academic setting, but there are unmistakable parallels to business meetings and workshops everywhere. Stromberg says students are “using the computers to take notes so they better remembe...

The Etiquette of Texting for Business

texting etiquette
As technology evolves, so do the rules of etiquette surrounding that technology.  Texting is one of those areas whose rules are not cut and dry.  Some time ago, texting in a business situation was taboo, but has become more and more acceptable.  There are, however, guidelines that need to be followed with regard to who you can text and under what circumstance.  The following article from Entre...

Supply Chain History And Future

supply chain
In 2010, Dan Gilmore - Editor-in-Chief of the Supply Chain Digest put together a list of the top Supply Chain innovations of all time.  With innovations since then, one can't help wondering if any of the new 'disruptive' technologies will bump any of Gilmore's top 10 off the list.  What are your thoughts? The Top 10 Supply Chain Innovations of All-Time The Toyota Production System P&G's...

Puppies And Kittens And Process Improvement

puppies vs kittens
At a recent get-together of recently launched and about-to-be launched business owners, the discussion turned to how to bring potential clients to our websites.  Two in our group have pet related businesses and can use the most "aawww"-inspiring images to draw people in and get them to stay and explore.  So, what about the Business Development consultant, the SEO and Web Services professional, and...

Small Business Process Improvement Increasing Efficiency

small-business process improvment
The following link is to an excellent overview of small business process improvement  from the Business Circle. - Business is process.  Whether you're hiring new people, carrying out market research, or launching products, having well-defined processes equates to greater efficiency, fewer wasted resources, and a reduction in customer complaints.  Click here to read more. If you find that you...

Change Is Good, You Go First

transformation
When a Business Process Specialist brought in to review processes, documentation and training is introduced to a group of company employees, one of two things generally happens. Well, first there is an immediate rush to judgment followed by either a here-we-go-again response or fear that there will be changes and they will not be good. With the right Business Process Specialist and the support of ...

I Am The Objective Outsider

objective outsider
I am the objective outsider. As an outsider, I bring the ability to view your business with objectivity, without bias, and without any preconceived notions of what your business is, what your business should be, and how to get there. Often, employees and managers alike are too familiar with the business to recognize issues or opportunities for improvement. In this case, the objective outsider c...

Costco And Small Business Advice

Small Business Advice
Can I be a small business owner and a fan of Costco? I think so, without even sacrificing my integrity.  There are many small, local businesses represented in the offerings at my Costco store and there are services offered through Costco that benefit small businesses nationwide.  That having been said, I want to share a very interesting article that appeared in the January 2015 edition of The Cost...

To Be Or Not To Be – Process Modeling

process modeling
Where the ‘as is’ or current state process is defined by process mapping, the ‘to be’ process is defined by process modeling. Business process modeling is a method for improving organizational efficiency and quality. It is represented by flowcharts and maps similar to the ‘as is’ process definition, but these show the more efficient, streamlined and, to some extent, automated workflows. Modelin...

Scope Established, Then What?

map the processes
Now that scope has been established and all parties are in agreement as to the parameters of the project, it is time to map the processes. The goal here is to create a visual representation of each current or ‘as is’ process within the project – this would be the way things are actually being done, not the way management thinks it is or should be done. There are many ways to approach process ma...

Why Process Matters

iterate on
Baked & Branded, a start-up tech services firm, wrote a very interesting blog post on the importance of process in business. 'Why Process Matters in Your Startup' is geared to the startup environment, but the concepts translate seamlessly to more established business, successful or struggling. "Process for process sake never has a good outcome..but..process done well can be a huge business ...

Business Process Improvement

Successful Process Improvement
Why improve your business processes? Reason 1 Good process leads to happy employees who produce better product, have more customer loyalty, and who are more innovative and creative...all of which leads to sustained revenue. Reason 2 Just to have more fun at work Reason 3 To prevent the TEAM CYCLE OF DEATH Reason 4 To outperform everyone else Can you improve witho...

Balancing Process And Results

Balancing process and results
Process matters....process matters so much that I named my new business Process Matters - Bay Area. Process definitely matters, but not to the extent that results suffer. When we place too great an emphasis on developing processes, there is a danger that we will lose sight of the goal and not achieve the desired result. The whole purpose of creating a process or sets of processes is to wrestle ...

Balancing Speed And Quality

Balancing speed and quality
"Between haste and excellence...being timely is good, excellence is wonderful; the ability to combine both in appropriate proportions is an excellent virtue" - Adetunji Rapheal. Balancing timeliness and excellence is an integral element of our work in Business Process Management and one that must be paid attention to at all times.  We can also describe this in less spiritual terms as balancing ...

Characteristics Of A Successful Process Improvement Initiative

Successful Process Improvement
A question was posted a few days ago on the LinkedIn Business Process Improvement and Change Management Group Discussion board asking "If change fails two thirds of the time, it also works one third of the time! What makes the difference?" Interestingly enough, there have been no responses from what is usually an active group.  Perhaps they, as am I, are grappling with the differences in change ef...

The Super User

The Super User
When is the right time to establish  a Super User group in an organization?  I would suggest that it is never too soon, even for small companies.  In fact, the concept may be more beneficial in small to mid-size enterprises. A Super User is someone who is an expert in his or her functional area and is usually called upon to help others who might not be as adept.  The Super User acts as a buffer...

They Are Just Not That Into You

Just Not That Into You - Going It Alone
In the silence between, ‘We love what you can offer us”, and weeks of no communication, you begin to understand that they have come to the decision that they don’t need a Business Process Specialist.  This is a valid decision and we will both move on. We’re too small, they might say. Our processes, documentation, training, etc. are working just fine for us, they might say. We are smart, nimble ...

The Importance Of KPI’s

KPI Word Cloud
You might be asked, “What are KPIs and why do we need to spend/waste time on measuring things that we know in our gut?   As long as things are getting done, why should we bother?” Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is just a fancy term for the measurements that show how a business is doing and can be as complex or as simple as the organization itself. Surely the business managers already know wh...

Getting Started – Establishing Scope

Establishing Scope
A new project does not start with a checklist or a form to fill out.  All new projects start with a conversation.  It is a 'getting to know you' kind of conversation, very relaxed and unstructured.  Rather than a question and answer session, a free-flowing exchange will give you insight into the organization's  personality and culture.  You will quickly want to get some sense of where the problems...

Pile Management

Pallet of printed sheets_shifted in transit
A former colleague coined the term pile management when faced with an overwhelming collection of documents, unverified data,  and other project artifacts.  Whether you are cleaning your garage, organizing decades worth of paperwork, or trying to get a handle on a transaction backlog, the same organizational principles apply.  Tackle the big, easy stuff first so that you can get a clear view of the...

Learning The Lingo

I speak your language
On the road to process improvement, it is not enough to just walk the walk.  We must also talk the talk.  By that I mean, we not only need to learn about our clients' business and how they do things, but also learn the vocabulary that is unique to each of the business groups we work with.  Mapping sessions and requirements gathering sessions are more productive when we can speak in terms that our ...

The Importance Of Asking The Right Questions

and How Much
There is nothing so discouraging as working through a process improvement project only to get to the end and finding that we had not fully solved the problem.  We either did not understand the problem, did not have the right people involved, did not ask the right questions, or a combination of the three.  Further analysis generally shows that the root cause was not asking the right questions.  The...
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