The term operations describes the processes and resources that you use to produce the highest quality products or services as efficiently as possible. By creating systems that drive operations excellence you can achieve your goals and live your Success.
Business operations typically includes four key areas. Depending on the type of business, each has a specific degree of important to the success of that business; Location: Where you do business — physically and online, Equipment: The tools you need to get the job done, Labor: The human side of business operations and the Process: The way you get business done, including your systems for quality control and improvement.
Even for a small company, operations is critical to its success. Take for example my client, a talented local florist who watched her small business blossom almost beyond her control. At the beginning, she managed all the designs and arrangements herself. She bought new inventory at the flower market early in the morning and finished the bookkeeping late at night.
But as the business expanded, the florist found that she could no longer do everything alone, so she scrambled to hire and train employees. In the rush to meet growing demand, she failed to establish a clear set of expectation and operational procedures. The result: a business breakdown.
Suddenly, she had no mechanism to control how his business was being done. Flower arrangements were delivered to customers before receiving approval, accounts were not paid on time and no single person was put in charge of purchases, customer service or vendor quality.
For a brief, rocky period, a number of unhappy clients threatened to find other providers. Just in the nick of time, the florist sat down with me and worked out a new way of doing business based on higher volume and a larger staff.
The new operational procedures spelled out each person’s role and responsibilities. The details of the plan established quality controls and described a process of hiring, training and the development each new employee, filling customer orders from the initial telephone call to final bill, setting quality standards and negotiating with vendors and using a variety of time efficient tools to manage her time, resources and control her financials; all the while creating a high level of excellence and a culture of success aligned by her personal values and goals.
The transformation was astounding. Much to her surprise, she discovered that, thanks to the new procedures and newly established culture, she could spend more time with her family, profits increased an average of 10% each month and she could devote more time to do what she did best — creative design while still meeting the demand of a blooming business.
So you see, operations excellence is at the heart of every business success story – even yours.
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