The Business Excellence Group assists businesses who want to position their business for sale or help investors or individuals that want to acquire a new business
With the growing number of business owners that are contemplating the sale of their business, due to the lack of family interest and succession capability, we partner to develop systems and structures that positions the sale of the business at an optimal price. This process enables the owners to get a premium for their life’s investment. The Business Excellence Group starts with an assessment, develops an improvement plan, and partners with your organization to implement a sustainable system to ensure your organization has the capability to grow and meet your company’s strategy.
The Business Excellence Group can assess your company to identify areas to improve that align to the Straight6™ Model. Below are some common pain points seen within an organization that are the central point to the assessment process.
The Business Excellence Group’s methods optimizes a business and its products to ensure it is aligned to the strategy no matter if it is to start up, scale to new demand, or position for sale.
What is optimizing the organization? Optimizing the organization is the outcome of the Business Excellence Optimization Model. When used it identifies the “pain points” in a company, it creates an improvement plan, develops predictable impact, and helps the company achieve their strategy and goals.
There are six common issues that cause all organizations to breakdown. The six issues are:
1. Leadership Alignment
The first driver of organizational breakdown across most companies is the lack of leadership alignment. Whether it is a three person cut and sew shop, a twenty person fabrication company, or a four hundred person corporation with multiple divisions, factories, and shifts. When leaders are not aligned, they typically know it but often believe that their staff do not. They do not share a vision, have common commitments to goals, and they serve themselves versus their employees across the company. The reality is that the employees see it and their performance and the company’s performance is affected. As we all know, getting leaders aligned can be like breaking up two brothers who are fighting. The fact of the matter is if there is not leadership alignment there cannot be business transformation.
Silos are in every organization no matter what industry or size. In manufacturing, the most common silos are sales, engineering and production. This is where each department, division, or manager, operates their part of the business in a vacuum because they don’t agree with the strategy or they don’t know where the organization is going. Silos are created often by lack of alignment between the people who lead their division, department, or team. So, if you fix the alignment then that is half the battle. The other reason is if there are no common metrics that tie the silos together. Each silo needs specific metrics but there needs to be alignment to organizational wide metrics that they all are aligned to. This is where the leadership team needs to truly be a leadership team with common goals.
3. Employee Engagement
One of the biggest levers that an organization can pull to improve their performance is engaging all employees along with their hearts and hands to solve the daily problems that stand in the way to achieving the company goals and strategy. While it is the biggest lever it is the hardest one to truly tap into. The facts are that people quite their bosses before they quit companies. All of us are people and we all want to feel valued and involved, we want to have a purpose that we are striving to achieve, and we want to be part of a winning team. No one wants to be a “number” or just have a job. We aspire to be part of making a difference. So, what is the single biggest contributor to having employees feeling valued and involved – their manager. The fact is most people today that are coordinating work of others, supervising daily activities, or managing performance are promoted to those roles because of their technical performance capabilities. The organization literally promotes people because they were an excellent machinist, welder, engineer, salesperson etc. They are not a lead, supervisor, or manager because they have been professionally trained to tap into their employee’s potential and performance. Yes, in fortune 100’s this does occur. In small companies there are excellent managers, but it is usually those people who aspire to the boss that they never had, one that makes them feel valued, so they involve them in the work and leverage their expertise. Don’t take it from us look into the Gallup research and many others on this very topic. In the end if you can share with the employee where the organization is going and explain what their role is in the journey then they will climb aboard and help get it across the finish line. This is the “untapped potential” over 80% of people surveyed every year by Gallup state that they could work harder if they wanted to. We have seen organizations that are successful in engaging the hearts and minds of their people see a minimum of 20% increase in productivity. If organizations can put in place systems and processes that tap into this potential, then the full employee will give their time and talent to achieving the common metrics, goals, and eventually the strategy.
4. Lack of Collaboration and Communication
The world around us is looking for a new app, a software, or a system to take the place of communication and processes that drive collaboration. In the end organizations are all running the same race, but it is not an individual one. This race is much like a relay. Each department or team has a period of time where they are running with the “baton” and then they hand it off to the next team to continue the process. The sales team has the baton until a customer places the order, then it is handed off to the office team, then engineering, production, shipping etc. What is amazing is we know that we all must work together to get the products and services delivered but we all work in our silo and do the minimum to coordinate the progress. In manufacturing this is so common where teams do not know their goals, what the schedule is, and even who is actually working on what, or worst yet if they are at work or not. When we say that communications and collaboration is important everyone agrees but when you want to put in a process to improve it everyone resist! Imagine if you have a company strategy that is known, a team of leaders that are aligned, a workforce who knows what part they play and everyone is collaborating to pass the “baton” while they are running and someone is there ready to grab it what is possible? Anything is the answer.
The common breakdown organizations see as a lagging indicator is poor quality, safety, lead times, etc. This is caused when there is no standard set, and everyone does the task and work activities the way they feel it should be or wants to do it. This causes variance and it causes organizations to come off the road more times than not. For this failure we first need to establish standards, then train people to them, and then validate and continuously improve them. You need to measure every work activity to see where you are at and where you need to be. There is not one single driver for this breakdown in an organization. This is where tools and methods help set the standard. The key to pinpointing where it is coming from is by measuring all activities, finding the non-value-added items, removing the waste, and eventually removing variation. Now image a place where standards are set, people are trained on them, they are sharing best methods and openly talking about issues and failures with improvement in mind? Well that would be an organization that is capable of producing best in class results. Would you buy their goods and services? Most consumers would who wants predictable products, quality, and results. So, removing variance drives this predictability.
6. Lack of Metrics Management
Most companies are driven by one metric, profitability. This is not a wrong metric or a bad one but there are many others that support this one. In addition, most organization do not make decisions based on metrics and data. If they do not have good metrics and do not measure their activities, then how would they make data minded decisions. Common metrics. The ones that are the most common to utilize are safety, quality, cost, output, and morale. So, if you believe that these are good general metrics then why don’t companies at least use them? Well do they know what to measure in those categories? Do they know how to turn their data into useful information to make decisions? Organizations have tons of data, but it needs interpreted and analyzed, so people know what it says. For instance, if a manufacturing line has low output most if the time, we blame the employees but in this case you need to drill down on the data. If there is low output, it could be many reasons. Was the equipment available or working? Did we have enough materials and components to meet the demand? Did we have trained and proficient people? Do we have enough people? Do have an efficient workflow and layout? All of these things need to be “drilled down on” to see what the cause of low output was. This takes time and good metrics. Once the organization has established metrics at the company level, the value stream level, the team level, and the individual level, then we can understand where the waste is and what the root cause is. In most organizations, it is not common to have metrics from the company strategy all the way down to the individual level. This is management’s job to define the metrics, analyze the data, and turn it into useful information that we can make decisions from to adjust our processes, and it takes time. This is when you use multiple metrics to change behaviors, so the organization performs better.
"The team at BXG is fun to work with. They take seemingly very difficult problems and make them enjoyable to work through..."
- Mike Koenig, President/Co-Founder
They are incredibly accommodating and knowledgeable about how centers should operate, and their coaching has been excellent…”
Alyssa Rodrigues, Ph.D, Director