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.
Continuous Improvement (CI) is difficult to maintain under normal circumstances, never mind when unexpected challenges arise. In this article, we will tackle some ways in which your business can continue to improve, even when times are tough.
Stay Engaged with Your Teams
Continue talking with your employees to understand what challenges they are facing - and help them navigate through solving those problems. Engage leadership to determine what roadblocks can be removed to help the team be successful.
Create Realistically Achievable Goals
As tempting as it is to reach for the stars, having realistic, sustainable goals in place prevents employees from getting discouraged and setting your company up for unrealistic expectations of growth.
Be Mindful of those Affected by the Crisis
Whether it be clients, customers, or your own employees, be sensitive to the challenges they might be facing personally or professionally by providing support and resources.
Develop a Crisis Management Plan
Last but not least, having a developed set of guidelines to fall back on in difficult circumstances can help your business continue to operate smoothly even in times of crisis. Some steps that can be considered when developing guidelines include:
Of course, the most important aspect of maintaining CI during crisis is adaptability. Being flexible as the situation changes, or even your business model, will help keep your business growing. Adonis Partners can help your company adapt through our various CI Services, which are founded on proven Lean and Six Sigma practices.
Adonis Partners strives to provide excellence through continuous improvement for its clients. Now that many of us are working remotely, we are placed in a position where we must learn how to improve and create excellence virtually. In this article, we will provide some tips on how to work with your teams virtually.
Take advantage of technology
Definitely put cameras on & mute off to see reactions and hear voices. Also - while it might be easier to simply focus on using Zoom, Skype, or Teams, you shouldn’t limit yourself to these tools. Look into other options such as file sharing, virtual whiteboards, and survey tools to improve virtual interactions.
Keep connecting on a personal level
While there’s no place to go physically for coffee in-person and catch-up on life beyond the professional realm, make the time to connect for a “virtual coffee hour” or use internal social media to share pictures of #myhomeoffice or #myfamily.
Clarify who does what but be careful about the “how”
Make sure you get crystal clear on who’s doing what when you wrap up your virtual meetings. Know your outcome and what “good” looks like but avoid the tendency to micro-manage individuals and teams by letting them decide how to get work done.
Engage authentically and realistically
Strive to do what you would do if you were in person - engage in productive conflict, have tough conversations - just do so in a way that people feel safe. Stick to your corporate values and continue to live by them. Always be real and be as transparent as you can with what you know about circumstances.
According to a Gallup survey conducted from late March to early April, 62% of employees in the United States said they worked from home during the COVID-19 crisis. The survey also said that three in five workers who are working remotely would like to continue working remotely. Based on these results, implementing sustainable strategies for working virtually will become crucial going forward.