As companies grow, complexity seeps further into the business at every level of the operation. Executives experience this in spades as they increase revenues, earnings, market share, employee base and product or service offerings. Communicating effectively gets harder and "priorities" tend to escalate exponentially as each group and department wants to contribute to the company’s success. And, all too often, internally focused issues start to dominate the leader’s dialogue.
Here are three areas where operations can be simplified:
1. Enhance Your Automated Distribution Operations
Sure, you’re automated, but is it enough? By utilizing technologies like routing software and IoT sensors, businesses can enable dynamic scheduling of deliveries that boost the bottom line. For example, delivering only when your customers need it, enhancing that service touch point, also eliminates administrative costs and management concerns from customers while helping drive efficiencies for all involved. Simplicity for drivers in their route can be readily delivered from the moment they arrive to work through an easily deployable smart phone app. This can allow your operations management team to check on each driver’s progress and proactively contact that person when needed.
2. Recalibrate Customer Interactions with CRM Solutions
With this kind of customer profiling, the sales team can streamline its prospecting and business development activities and shorten the service or sales cycle. To optimize this effort, it’s paramount to use an integrated marketing and customer-relationship-management software to improve information flow across your sales team and the management hierarchies above. CRM software is an important tool but must be paired with a crisp customer strategic plan and real-time customer-service reporting. This combination will enable your sales teams to deeply understand your customer relationships and their unique needs. CRM-based processes helped my company’s own service teams realize keen insight into how we are meeting their needs and enabled the development of internal metrics of our own performance.
3. Utilize ‘Outside-In’ Thinking
Outside-in thinking really starts out as an art, but the best organizations turn it into a science. The idea is to use a biased point of view on the customer and your frontline teams. This is a deliberate cultural change that needs to grow into the norm, resulting in a significant influence in your investment decisions. Things like continually reviewing workflows and business processes, making decisions to centralize the management of your distribution points, and continually upgrading your distribution and service routing and scheduling can free up local managers to focus on their teams and customers by reducing internal controllership and administration responsibilities.
When complexity seeps into a business, it can cloud decision making. Internal issues and minor departmental priorities sap a manger’s time and attention, reducing the investment in strategic thinking and mission-critical external planning. To offset this tendency, you must deliberately shift your thinking to instead focus on your customers and front-end employees. This is a controlled decision everyone can make and that every manager can drive into their business culture.