So far we’ve looked at Powerful Insights and Realizing Rapid Results with the 5 R’s – 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 and see more on your bottom line.
Every organization develops organizational sludge over time, just like you end up with dirty oil in your engine by virtue of driving to work. Obliterating the operational 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. That’s a big, positive mindset change when you involve your team.
Obliterating the Sludge is Easier Than You’d Think!
The good news is that just 5 categories of issues are responsible for 80% of the operational sludge. The bad news is that your people are so busy dealing with recurring issues 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.
Most of the operational 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. Those issues are frustrating for your customers. They’re frustrating and burning out your people. LEAN focuses on eliminating waste. When you eliminate frustration instead, you’ll eliminate costly sludge.
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?