If you have a convenience store at a gas station, you need to stock a number of essential items customers might suddenly need, or buy impulsively when they stop to fill up. Nobody does their weekly grocery shop at a gas station.
One of the questions I routinely ask managers is, how much of their time they spend doing their employees’ jobs (putting out fires, problem solving, answering questions). Most, almost all, say they spend 70% to 95% of their time at the operational level. A level which includes mostly activities which could be delegated, or have officially been delegated.
When you get into a cab, the first question the driver asks you is - where are you going? You probably always have an answer to that. After all, you wouldn't get in a cab without a destination in mind. Yet I meet people, and even businesses, with no goals. And without goals, you can’t have purposeful progress.
While hiking the Israel Trail near Dimona, we often use Patrick’s services, to drive us to the starting point, and from the end point. We found Patrick a year ago, when we were looking for a driver and compared prices. But now we don’t compare the prices Patrick quotes us with other offers. Patrick has excellent customer service. Comes anywhere, always a few minutes early, and is flexible enough to change the time if we’re early or late.
The Coronavirus hit us like an apocalyptic vision. I think that if anyone had raised the possibility of such an event, even in November 2019, we’d have all treated them like a fool. Despite the surprise, globally people adjusted remarkably quickly. It’s enough to look at the parallel development of vaccines, and their approval by health authorities, within 10 months, to understand the revolution in tends of behaviors and thought patterns that occurred over the last year.
Ei'lam and I analyzed the company's operations, and for all other fields managed to create a profit generating work-plan with reasonable effort. Contrastingly, it seemed impossible to create such a work-plan for the import and distribution side of the business.
One of the immediate and daily examples for this technique, also mentioned in the book, is shaving razors. Until 1971 only one blade was commonly used. Then Gillette released a razor with two blades: one pulls the hair and the second cuts it.
Later, they added a third, and even fourth, blades. I stopped at three blades.
We're nearing the end of 2019, have you prepared a work-plan (and budget) for 2020? Maybe you have a three-year or five-year plan? If the answer is no – this is the last chance to do so. And maybe you think work plans aren't necessary?
In this part I mean to focus with more detail on each method, and see the differences between the levels of familiarity with the method and its use, and the success it generated. As you'll see, there are methods which are widely used but fail to generate success, while contrastingly there are methods which are rarely used, but the majority of managers who've used them report success.
Dividing the product to its two parts, which traditionally would have been one whole (the frame and the temples), and the possibility to create different and varied pairings, created something different. Unlike the usual product. This was a case of very interesting innovation. It enabled the company, for instance, to offer clients a vast number of choices for a relatively low cost. At the same time, this new method gave clients a feeling of independence and customization. Creating "a personal look".
The subtraction used by Itamar isn’t only of a key or other accessory whose role in opening the door is eliminated. The essence is simple and smart management of the right to open the lock and enter a home, club, center, pool, etc. Instead of the subtracted key, the system utilizes an accessory most of us already have: a smartphone. I believe anyone managing a community center or using one often appreciates Nemlock's use.
Nestle is a world leader in constant improvement and striving for excellence. And the Sderot site, with approximately 650 employees, is without a doubt one of their leading sites in all aspects. Nestlé's motto, which you'll find displayed at each one of their sites and to which everybody strives, is "0 waste, 1 team, 100% employee involvement".
Facit is a famous example, but there were others. A recent example from Israel comes from the world of cellular parking services. I heard it from Ro'ee Elbaz, Pango's CEO ever since it was a small startup of four employees. In 2007 a tender for cellular paying services for parking was published by the center for local government.
A few weeks ago I met with Rona, a brilliant entrepreneur, and we discussed setting up her business. Towards the end of our meeting I suggested that, alongside starting her business, she could also take over her accounts management. "Why?" she asked amazed. "That way you'll have better control of your expenses", I answered and added, "It's very simple, and will save you money too. When you have a small business it's important. "
The local market is growing more competitive and diminishing, customs defenses are disappearing and imports make sales harder. Both Gad and Shim'on have turned to exports. They don't only compete with each other, but with the global market.
As kids we played the game Telephone. We sat in a line, the first kid whispered something in the ear of the second, who whispered what they heard in the ear of the third, and so on until the last in line. Of course there was a considerable difference between what was originally whispered and what the last kid heard. That's how it is. There's a gap between what we thought and what we said, and an even greater one between what we said and what was heard and understood.
American companies reward participants based on how much money was saved for the company as a result of their proposal. The rewards average 458 USD. Comparatively, Japanese rewards average 3.88 USD (less than a hundredth of American rewards).
I used to manage an organization with several hundred employees, under a collective agreement. The premium paid to employees who exceeded production goal was set in the collective agreement, old an anachronistic. It wasn’t a real encouragement and it didn’t contribute to motivation, and didn’t change employees' way of doing their work.
Our event focused on changing the production department and increasing efficiency. The team led a radical change in the department, including opening a wall which separated the two parts of the production space. On the third day, Osnat, one of the team members, burst into tears and couldn’t continue. She went home and returned to work only after a week of sick-leave.
I write a lot about getting employees invested, about efficiency, improved service, measuring indicators, and precision work with employees and clients. But if, at the same time, you have to lower prices in order to preserve clients in a competitive market, and to supply custom products to every client – you might find yourselves running fast in order to stand still. There's a danger that increased profit as a result of improvements in production will disappear compared to competition in the market, and at best you'll maintain low profit margins.
The CEO is in charge as far the law, the share-holders or the board of directors are concerned (meaning he's the one accountable). So he must ensure the company reaches its goals and targets, first and foremost profit and resiliency. Of course the CEO's instinct is, then, to be involved in everything, and try and personally lead all processes in the company.
About a year ago I started working with a medium-sized company, about 200 employees, and a shift-supervisor listed as CEO a consultant who would come to the site once a week. I asked what job the actual CEO did, and he said he had no idea.
Recommended frequency for discussion of indicators: I recommend all indicators' results be discussed by management once a month. At least once a week, they should be discussed in dedicated improvement teams with the relevant manager (operations, sales, finance, marketing, etc.) or their representative. Some indicators should be shortly analyzed daily, as needed.
When the team deals with sales development or debt collection, there is almost no new information on a daily basis, and so there's no need to meet daily. But work on the production floor is continuous and at the very least daily. So there are new developments every day. Should results be analyzed daily? Weekly? Monthly?
Often excitement is so overwhelming that companied start developing a new business without first examining risks and chance of success. Sometimes, we look at a business close to ours, competitors are profiting in it, and we decided to enter it and join the big players. We jump into the water, and discover too late we jumped into a red ocean.
Around the end of every year I get questions about creating a work-plan for the upcoming year. First, I'd like to point out that the very end of the year is too late to start working on a yearly-plan for the next year. Additionally, it is better to base yearly plans on a larger, multi-year plan.
Dead inventory is accumulated by many companies. Most often it will consist of mistakenly-ordered raw materials, or excess materials which "were on sale", or that have become redundant due to product changes. Doesn’t It Make More Sense to Get Rid of Dead Stock?
When Nestle delved into daily performance in Osem (at the time I managed a large profit center), they showed us, for the first time, the need to measure how many unites were counted in inventory checks in the field, compared to data in the company's digital records.
This is the last chapter from my new book: Manage! Best Value Practices for Effective Management. the full book is can be purchesed on Amazon. The purpose of this book is to provide a fresh look on how you can improve business results by making your company matter to your employees.
We often used the term motivation, but do we always mean the same thing? Last week I gave a talk in two classes in the School of Economics & Business Administration at the Ruppin Academic Center, as part of Dr. Adi Loria ("Select Issues in Management MBA"). The topic was "The Relationship between Management Methods and Employee Motivation".