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How Can You Improve Your Company’s Performance?

Planification organisationnelle | Entreprises | Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

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In order to improve the performance of your organization, you must rely on the cohesion between all elements and teams.

Before increasing expenditures or adding staff, it’s crucial to analyze your processes and see if there are opportunities to make better use of the resources you already have. You should also look to improve cohesion between your processes and teams.

Any initiative to optimize your procedures should start with reviewing your organization’s purpose and defining its short-, medium- and long-term objectives, as well as how you plan to achieve them. You’ll also need a system of checks and balances that covers the company’s key performance indicators to make sure you stay on track to meeting your goals.

Completing these steps will help you remain at the forefront of your market, adjust to changes in your environment and jump on growth opportunities as they come up.

Determine specific objectives

The most important thing is to always circle back to your business’ key offering—its raison d’être—and to identify its short-, medium- and long-term objectives. Having a clear vision will make it easier to define your goals and determine what you need to do to achieve them.

Once you’ve established your objectives, share them with all your employees along with an explanation of what you expect from them. Specifically, how will your strategic objectives translate into operational objectives for your teams? What tasks will be required from your departments and what changes should they expect?

Establish KPIs for tracking results

It’s also important to determine how you’ll measure your results. Your key performance indicators (KPIs) should be aligned with the company’s strategy and objectives. Success can be measured in more ways than one. It’s not all about money. For example, your organization’s primary goal might be to rank in the top five in a given market, be an employer of choice, or be recognized as a responsible corporate citizen.

Next, focus on issues that will help your business reach its goals. Of course, new ideas may arise along the way, but be sure to ask yourself if they’re aligned with the organization’s performance objectives. You can’t fix everything at once. It’s better to stay the course and focus on the goals you’ve already set.

At the same time, you don’t want to be too rigid when monitoring your strategic planning. Deviating from the plan may be warranted if your priorities change. If that’s the case, you should adjust your goals and action plan accordingly. The key is to maintain alignment between your vision, strategy, metrics and procedures.

Optimize productivity

Increasing production capacity is often the first thing that comes to mind to reduce bottlenecks and catch up on backlogs. But a smarter move would be to ask yourself whether the company is using its resources efficiently.

Adopting lean management or lean manufacturing principles can help you boost efficiency and create better products or services in less time and with fewer resources.

Eight types of waste

Lean management is about optimizing business processes. It involves identifying your current processes and analyzing each stage with the teams concerned. This exercise lets you see how data or resources flow and determine where waste occurs, so that you can either reduce or eliminate any inefficiencies. When you cut non-value-added tasks to a bare minimum, the entire process delivers more value.

The eight most common types of waste are:

  1. Transportation and travel (unnecessary travel between storage sites, excessive material handling during the production stage, etc.);
  2. Motions and actions (redundant procedures, poor document/part storage, inefficient printer location in the office, etc.);
  3. Waiting (delayed raw material deliveries due to computer problems, stopped manufacturing due to an upstream error, etc.);
  4. Overproduction (producing more than customers need leading to slowed flow, storage challenges and excess inventory);
  5. Inventory (overstocked parts or products leading to stagnating finances and loss of storage space);
  6. Overprocessing (any process that doesn’t benefit customers should be considered unnecessary);
  7. Defects and errors (correcting errors costs the business time and money);
  8. Underutilized talent (not using an employee’s full potential).

Lean manufacturing – 5S method

Meanwhile, lean manufacturing is about how to make things faster, more efficiently and at a lower cost. The goal is to improve the entire manufacturing process. So, how do you go about making your production process more efficient? Use the 5S method to optimize work spaces and the way they’re set up:

  1. Sort (sort and remove anything that’s unnecessary);
  2. Set in order (find the right place for each item);
  3. Shine (clean, inspect and repair);
  4. Standardize (establish standardized rules);
  5. Sustain (analyze the things you do and make improvements).

Invest in technology

Making good use of technology can improve digital workflows, business processes, employee training and many other aspects of your company’s operations.

Technology can boost organizational efficiency by automating certain operations and relieving your employees of routine tasks so that they can spend their time on tasks that deliver value for the business.

It also improves aspects like traceability, which gives you a better understanding of customer needs, or enables you to plan preventive measures, such as installing a sensor on your equipment to anticipate breakdowns and let you know when it’s time to service the machine or replace a part. That way you’ll be equipped to plan ahead, rather than just respond to problems. As a result, you’ll avoid downtime on the production line and all the costs associated with it.

Always keep profitability in mind

Maximizing your company’s efficiency involves giving advance consideration to your costing (the sum of all expenses incurred to produce a good or finalize a service), to the profitability threshold and your break-even point, which are essential for determining when your business becomes profitable. This exercise establishes the groundwork for your strategic planning.

Once you’ve identified your objectives, it’s time to develop a budgeting tool that lets you establish financial forecasts for the next two or three years. You should also set up a dashboard with performance indicators so that you can track your results. That way you’ll be better able to make corrections if you start to deviate from your goal. Or, if everything is going well, you’ll know that you should keep doing what you’re doing.

Set up tracking tools

When developing a dashboard, aim for a balanced but succinct solution that gives you a reading of factors related to HR, finance (revenue, turnover, sales, costs, expenses), operations (improvement, optimization, efficiency, effectiveness) and quality (customer satisfaction).

Your dashboard will help you make informed decisions on the company’s objectives, planning and projections. It will also help you establish effective processes, methods and solutions to achieve your goals.

Making the most of your people

One aspect of organizational performance that you shouldn’t overlook is your employees. The more they are motivated, provided with the chance to use their talents and given the recognition they deserve, the better your company will perform.

This is a key responsibility for any company: making sure employees feel involved and valued, so that they can confidently embrace and work toward the vision laid out by the leadership team.

When measuring your company’s HR performance, keep an eye on the following indicators: turnover rate, departures, absenteeism, time required to fill a position, productivity rate and job satisfaction rate.

Include all aspects

A company is like the human body in that it’s a living organism that relies on different organs. That’s why you need to take simultaneous action in several different areas of the company if you want to make it more efficient.

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