Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – March 30, 2015
Organizations need to change the way they operate if they want to continue to be successful. The way organizations engage with customers is different. The way customers buy products and services is different. The way employees choose where they want to work is different. The way companies innovate is different.
If you want to maximize performance and profitability, you need to make these mindset changes:
  • You can’t focus on customer satisfaction, you need to focus on customer retention. Happy customers only matter if they keep buying from you.
  • You can’t focus on cost cutting, you need to focus on growth. Controlling costs makes sense, but having a strategy that relies on cutting costs to be competitive will not allow you to survive for very long.
  • You can’t focus on elimination of waste and standardization, you need to focus on innovation. You need to create new ways of operating that accomplish your objectives faster and more effectively and you need to become a master of adopting and applying those ideas across your organization.
  • You can’t focus on productivity, you need to focus on performance. Every employee needs to contribute to help the organization make progress.
  • You should spend less time on strategy development and more time on execution. Most initiatives fail at the execution stage. It might be the right thing to do, but if executed poorly, you don’t get the results you expected.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of speed. But you need to know when to speed up and when to slow down. You need to optimize speed.

Changing the mindset of organization is not easy, but it’s necessary. Start by preaching excellence not perfection. Reward people for trying new ways to improve performance, even if they fail. Look at new ways to measure success.

But most importantly, you need to first acknowledge that your mindset needs to change. Then you can begin to identify the best opportunities to improve performance.

Looking for more insights?
Each Wednesday I will be posting a short video tip to help organizations improve operational excellence. Click here and here to watch my first videos.
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM

To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

Krafteinz?

It now appears that Kraft is going to be acquired by the same companies (3G and Berkshire Hathaway) that control the Heinz company and the two companies are going to be merged. On the surface, it seems to make sense because it combines two companies with complimentary household food products.

It will be interesting to see if betting on a huge company that makes processed food products will pay off at a time when more and more people are moving away from processed foods and towards local, fresh, and organic foods.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – March 23, 2015
March Madness is upon us once again. The annual U.S. college basketball tournament gives us heroes and goats, Cinderellas and disappointments. It gives us great plays and rabid fans. And most interestingly, it gives us a level of effort and competition that is as good as we will ever see.
The threat of being eliminated from the tournament by losing only one game raises the player’s level of performance. Not unlike the Olympics, where athletes often set personal records, the March Madness tournament motivates players to play their best.
When do your people perform their best? Is it when there is threat of competition? When customer confidence is shaky? When things are going well? Do they improve performance because they want to represent the company well or for personal gain?
You need to understand what motivates your people so that they can raise their level of performance just like the players in the NCAA basketball tournament and the athletes who participate in the Olympics.
What motivates your people to raise their level of performance?
Looking for more insights?
Each Wednesday I will be posting a short video tip to help organizations improve operational excellence. Click here and here to watch my first videos.
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM

To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

Resource productivity – what does that even mean?

I recently read an article from McKinsey mentioning that manufacturing organizations need to focus on resource productivity in order to be successful. They need to think lean, and all of that other stuff that we always hear about. That is a very tactical way of thinking and only applies to the manufacturing processes themselves. Of course manufacturers need to maximize the outcomes they produce through manufacturing, but the organizations themselves need to think differently.

They need to look at the market and their customers and determine what needs are not being met. They need to look at any additional services they can offer that would be of value to customers. They need to change the mindset of the organization to focus on operational excellence at all levels of the organization. They need to empower front line people to not only improve the current way they operate, but also suggest new ways of operating to increase profit.

The limitation with most manufacturing organizations is that they often only try to do what they are currently doing, only more efficiently. They look at manufacturing metrics, but not necessarily financial ones. Many don’t look at what else they could be doing. They still use the same approaches and methodologies they have been using for 30 years and wonder why they are struggling.

The question manufacturing organizations should be asking themselves is, “What opportunity am I not currently taking advantage of and how do we maximize outcomes from that opportunity?”

Operational Excellence tip: Customer Retention

Do you know the four key factors in maximizing customer retention? What are the other six factors that matter? And if you know them, how well are you leveraging them?

This short videos identifies the four key factors in maximizing customer retention.

If you are interested in taking my free customer retention assessment, click here.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – March 16, 2015
Is there such a thing as being too efficient?
I was traveling yesterday with my family for March break. Pearson airport in Toronto has started a new process for having passengers go through U.S. Customs. Once you check in for your flight, you are asked to walk to the far end of the airport and to go to what can be best described as a corral or a pen. You wait there in slight chaos with thousands of other passengers strewn all over the place, until they call your departure time. You all share your lack of understanding about what is going on because you really appear to have no control over the situation.
Once your departure time is called, you then walk back the length of the airport to wait in line to clear U.S. Customs. The intent of this system, of course, is to reduce the time people spend standing around and waiting in line, and to balance the number of people waiting in the U.S. Customs area. Both of these objectives make sense, until the system doesn’t work.
I have traveled hundreds of times, at the busiest times of the year, in some of the busiest airports around the world, and I have never missed a flight. Yesterday, my streak was almost broken. We did not even enter the U.S. Customs area until 10 minutes before our flight was scheduled to board, despite arriving more than two hours before our scheduled departure time. We still had to drop off our luggage, go through security and get to the gate. We did make it, but we were literally the last ones to board the plane.
A system is only good when it works, and this one didn’t. Disney has mastered the art of distracting you while you wait in line. You don’t actually get frustrated because they make you feel like you are constantly making progress towards your goal – being at the front of the line.
The GTAA has created a system that actually provides more anxiety than the previous one, because now you have to wait more often and are farther away from your destination.
The concept of having a staging area to reduce the number of passengers waiting in the U.S. Customs area logically makes sense, but without the right system in place and the right communication, it actually makes things worse.
Are your systems and processes improving the situation for customers, or making it worse?
Listen to my podcast on why Operational Excellence needs to be redefined.
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM

To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

What are your keys to success?

Can you quickly rhyme off where most of your business comes from? If not, you need to think long and hard about that question. Most of my business comes through three sources:

  1. Introductions from current and past clients
  2. Introductions from colleagues and peers
  3. Marketing activities such as speaking and handing out my commercially published book

What are the top three sources for your organization’s growth? Here are some options for where growth can come from:

  • Direct introductions from current customers
  • Ambassadors/evangelists spreading the word about your organization
  • Current customers buying more from you
  • A mass marketing campaign
  • Good press from community service
  • Your brand name and profile
  • Your reputation
  • Moving into new markets
  • Launching new products and services
  • Forming alliances and partnerships

You need to choose the areas that have been most successful in the past and figure out how to replicate that success. Can you create more brand ambassadors? Can you do more community service projects? Can you move into other markets?

Where has growth come from in the past and where will it come from in the future?