Most everyone has heard the old adage that you can’t really understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. This is so very true when it comes to working with people to influence change and to create better outcomes for your customers - both internal & external. A key aspect to keep in mind is that what you might envision as a successful outcome is not necessarily what your customer envisions. In this article, we will explore how you can gain better insights to more holistically understand your customer’s experience.
In order to know what is working well and where there are opportunities for improvement, it’s really essential to collect feedback. Without clarity on what’s important to your customer, you could try to solve a variety of challenges that really don’t matter much in the grand scheme while overlooking the top concern your customer might have about you, your team, your product, or your service.
In Lean, we always talk about “going to gemba” - gemba being a Japanese term for “the real place” - or where work gets done. This is an incredibly important concept and essential to seeing opportunities for improvement. The US show “Undercover Boss” exemplifies the concept of observation quite well as it affords company owners to experience what it is like to be a customer or employee of their own company. What better way could there be than to go and experience firsthand how your team interacts with their customers?
Use an Empathy Map
This is a useful tool for helping analyze the experience for your customers as it pushes you to look at the engagement from 4 lenses: What do they SAY, what do they DO, what do they THINK, and what do they FEEL. By empathizing with your customer through this analysis, it truly improves the relationship as it helps us focus on what matters most to them.
By listening to your customer, observing their experiences, and empathizing with them, you’ll start to embark on a journey of continuous improvement that will result in more positive outcomes built on solid relationships. Here at Adonis, we do our best to live by this philosophy as we aim to continuously improve in all of our customer interactions and we’re happy to share this perspective with you.
Supply chain optimization is all about getting the product into the customer’s hands when they want it while spending as little money as possible. Since supply chains involve so many organizations and processes to get the product to the customer, it can be easy to overlook possible ways to optimize and save money. In this article, we will provide you with three ways you can save money through supply chain optimization.
Identify Reorder Points
If you want to save money, it’s better to create a specific marker for when supplies need to be replenished. Ordering more than you need in advance with the expectation that you will eventually use the ordered supplies is not cost efficient. Determine reorder points so that you can save money and optimize your resources.
Utilize data analysis
Identify physical and information flows in your supply chain and use data analysis to help eliminate unnecessary steps in the production process. Data analysis can reveal the inner workings of your supply chain and determine which areas need to be improved to increase revenue and avoid errors and prevent waste.
The Lean Six Sigma approach to optimizing the supply chain relies on quick responses to changes in supply and demand during times of crisis and business cycles. As a business, you need to ensure that you are being flexible with your supply chain so that you can respond to the satisfaction of your customers.
Supply chain optimization is a critical aspect in reducing costs and increasing revenue, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. By providing Lean/ Six Sigma Coaching and performance insights and analytics, our expert consultants here at Adonis can help you grow and optimize your supply chain to its fullest.
Most businesses and manufacturers provide services or products for people. However, just providing a product or a service is not enough to achieve great profits. It’s important to connect with the hearts of both employees and clients alike if you want to achieve a higher level of success. In this article, we go over some tips on how to connect with people through your business.
While brand recognition is important, knowing the people behind that brand is even more so. Including an About Us or How We Got Started page on your website or in other promotional materials is one big way you can connect with people. If you can show prospective customers the passion behind the business, you might find people are more willing to purchase products or services from your company.
Be Socially Responsible
Another way to connect with people is by implementing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR is a process where you incorporate social or environmental concerns into planning and operations. For instance, a company that decides to go cruelty free or rely on renewable energy resources appeals more to customers because they can have a positive impact on society and the environment. According to this report from Babson College, a strong CSR program can even increase market value by up to 6% and reduce staff turnover by as much as 50%.
If you want to achieve Continuous Improvement in your business, you need to remember your purpose. Regardless of the words you use or the goal itself, connecting with people’s hearts is the most important factor in achieving that mission. Don’t just post your values or principles in your office or on your website - rather, demonstrate how you live them through your actions.
We at Adonis are also committed to creating value for your business by helping you better understand how your organization is performing and where it can improve - from an operational perspective as well as a cultural perspective.
As our world advances through the 4th Industrial Revolution, many companies are realizing that they can utilize technology to automate manual processes. With COVID-19 forcing all of us to do more with less, using technology such as robotic process automation (RPA) helps create opportunities to devote more time to value-added work. Let’s explore some of the ways in which RPA can help take the robot out of the human as it relates to financial processes.
Many employees spend countless hours entering data from invoices into a system for additional processing. Further, errors in transcribing this data from paper to system may result in delayed or incorrect payments. In order to have a more seamless and accurate process, RPA can help by automating the input of data, preparing reconciliations, and even making certain decisions for processing the invoices. Your digital workforce will follow all the same rules any human would, but without any of the errors for the repetitive tasks - thereby allowing the human workforce time to focus on analyzing and managing your cash flow.
Reconciling data is a critical component of a successful payroll run - and that’s a perfect application for RPA in that it avoids the painful efforts to compile and compare spreadsheets and reports. “Fat-finger” errors are also avoided as data can be easily validated and transferred between interfaces - automating as much as 65% of manual processes involved in payroll processing.
Any accountant will likely attest to the fact that the month-end close requires manual verification and reconciliation of account balances in order to generate financial statements. Further, these time-consuming tasks require diligent attention to detail at the same time that other work typically stops - resulting in stress and frustration. Using RPA to automate some of these repeatable tasks enables a shift towards more value-added analytical work.
Nearly any rules-based process presents as a good candidate for applying RPA. As businesses look to become more efficient, RPA can help by freeing up time spent on repetitive tasks to work on value-added activities. Remember the old school Excel Macro? RPA is that - but it works across everything on your computer.
COVID-19 has created a situation where many businesses and companies find themselves with no choice but to adapt. In this post, we will be going over how the manufacturing industry is continually adapting in response to COVID-19.
Furloughs and Layoffs
According to a survey conducted by The Conference Board, 45% of those in the manufacturing industry expected to implement layoffs and furloughs between May and July, with 29% already having done so in April. Furloughs and layoffs reflect a large drop in revenue, and many manufacturers are experiencing a need to reduce labor costs because of the sharp decrease in demand. Manufacturers will likely continue to issue layoffs to cope with the effects of COVID-19 in the coming months.
A Shift to Remote Work
While only 1 in 14 employees for a manufacturer worked from home before the virus, that number may become 1 in 3. The long-term consequences of the virus may result in more of a shift to remote work, barring only those working at physical plants. The long-term effects of this shift may demand more flexibility for production workers, a need to increase digital capabilities, and accelerated automation of plants.
Stabilizing Growth Through Products
In sectors where the demand is beginning to wane, manufacturers will find themselves focusing on the products which have the highest chance of achieving stability and growth, while slowing or shutting down production volumes of products that are in much less demand. It’s likely that many manufacturers will review and adjust their supply chain strategies in order to lessen the shock of disruptions
Giving You the Tools to Adapt
A lot has changed thanks to COVID-19, and manufacturing is no exception. What remains most important for both you as a manufacturer and for us at Adonis is to promote sustainable growth and give you the tools necessary to adapt to the changes in manufacturing brought about by the virus.
Managing a project is never easy and without proper management, projects are headed for tough times or failure. Our Adonis Partners team has first-hand experience in managing small and large projects. Here’s an overview on how to make project management practical based on Lean Six Sigma Principles:
Before the project is executed, make sure you clearly outline the scope and objectives of the project. This helps keep work within the ‘guardrails’ of a project and helps keep team members focused on the ultimate goals.
All projects have to come to end at some point (an end can be reaching the end of a major milestone or phase), and it’s better for the sake of your project leaders and the team to know how much time should be dedicated to a project and what date deliverables are due. You might not know everything at first, but creating an estimate will get you started in the right direction.
Create Your Budget
Whatever project your business is undertaking, there will be costs associated with it. Create a budget and calculate costs before you start your project so that you aren’t surprised by unforeseen expenses.
Creating a rubric for quality standards or outlining quality specifications required for the project prevents having to use more time and money later to rework the project to the standard of quality your company needs.
Helping You Ensure Value
Scope, time, cost, and quality are all closely interrelated, making all of them crucial to practical and effective project management. Adonis Partners offers project management consultations where we will help ensure your team can deliver on time, on budget, and on target -- and most importantly, that the end result will have value.