In honor of Manufacturing month, so far we’ve looked at Powerful Insights and Realizing Rapid Results – the P and the R in the P.R.O.F.I+T Roadmap.  Along the way I’ve provided access to some complimentary resources that will help you take action and see results.

Let’s turn our attention to the O in the Roadmap:  Obliterating Operational Sludge, which is going to help you reclaim time in your day to be able to focus on the proactive side of managing customer profitability by eliminating reactive time.  There’s another complimentary training resource below that you can share with your team to see impact.


How to reclaim almost ½ of your work week and go home at a decent time.


What could you do in your business and your life if you had 40% more time to create value for your customers instead of spending it resolving recurring issues?

Every organization, no matter how well led, no matter how LEAN, ends up with organizational sludge, just like you end up with dirty oil in your engine by virtue of driving to work.  Just like changing dirty oil, you can eliminate sludge

Obliterating the sludge is different from conventional cost-cutting, because it focuses on the costs that should never ever be in your business in the first place, instead of cutting costs that are actually investments, such as training.

The good news is that just 5 categories of issues are responsible for 80% of the sludge.  Find out more in this complimentary video training series.

They’re all self-inflicted wounds, ranging from tangible ways that you have failed or disappointed your customers, to less tangible issues with perceived fairness or empathy. This means that its within your control to eliminate the profit-destroying costs of unnecessary sludge.

You already know that as a good and decent company you’ll make it right for your customer sooner or later.  Your only decision is whether to get it right the first time, make it right the second time or make your customers jump through the flaming hoops to deal with the issue – a costly approach that damages the customer relationship.

The bad news is that your people are so busy dealing with recurring issues over and over and over again that they never have the time to solve them for good. It’s like continually topping up your oil instead of changing it…eventually you end up with dirty oil everywhere.

It’s no fun for your team, and eventually they will burn out and leave, leading to even more unnecessary costs to hire and train their replacements.  As well, when you get pulled in to the mess, it’s no fun for you.  And of course.. it’s no fun for your customers.

All the fun in your business is on the other side of your desk, developing creative solutions to the bigger business problems that your customers are more than willing to pay to resolve.


Why LEAN isn’t enough

Most of the sludge in your organization is deeply buried in everyday activities well beyond the shop floor.  How do you find out where it is?  Ask your customer service people to identify the issues they keep solving over and over.  Then deal with those problems for good.

Ask your customers what makes them roll their eyes when they do business with you.  You’ll get a laugh and an honest answer!  Then, systematically improve every touchpoint in the customer experience by taking a root cause approach to getting rid of those recurring issues for good.  You’ll free up more of your time every single day when everyday issues are no longer being escalated to you for resolution.

What’s the customer-related issue you keep getting dragged into resolving?  What would it mean to you to recapture that time and energy in your day?


#1 Bestselling Author, International Speaker, and Accelerator Anne C. Graham is on a mission to help 5 million business leaders and their teams double their profit per employee – or more – in less than one year, in less time per week than they’re spending on email per day. Her new book Profit in Plain Sight includes the 5-step proactive P.R.O.F.I+T Plan to do it.  Connect with Anne on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.