Volume 7 Number 2- Feb. 10, 2009

If you know a company — customer, supplier, friend, or your own — that could benefit
from improved operations, please email a link to this site or let us know.
Your best interest is our best interest.

The Finish Strong� monthly e-newsletter is for business leaders who recognize Operations as a strategic function that creates competitive advantage, profitability and brand loyalty to the marketplace.


Now is the time to reduce complexity in your organization.

When busy and growing, many companies don't make the time to design effective processes. Complexity grows as band aids are applied to quickly handle something new. An abundance of "something new" arises over time, and the "system" better resembles a plate of spaghetti than a process with clear inputs, value added steps, and clear outputs.

Take advantage of this downturn to examine customers, operational and business processes, suppliers, logistics, product designs, and everything else that should be straight forward and effective but isn't. Identify and address opportunities to reduce complexity and increase profitability.

Whether the economic turnaround for your industry happens in 6 months or 6 years, complex systems limit your profitability and your ability to incorporate significant growth with existing resources. Replace them with capable simple ones that position you for success.


Finish Strong� means finish what you start. Don't stop. Be consistent over time. It means don't water down your commitment to organizational improvement and excellence because sales are too weak or too strong. It means don't waver.

It's easy to be tempted by economic conditions to choose to de-emphasize the drive to excellence. Not enough resources to continue cross training? No time to work on cutting lead times?

So are your employees to believe that improvement is only important when times are good? But not too good, because you're too busy then? If you're not sure what you believe, your employees, suppliers and customers will be quite sure.

If you're too busy when sales are good and can't afford it when business is slow – just when will you work on improving your competitive position?

Operational excellence generates superior cash flow and both top and bottom line growth. Isn't that what you're looking for right now? Finish Strong�. You can't win if you don't finish.


The Starting Pistol

W. Edwards Deming:
“If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing.”

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"...and operational excellence requires that you know what you are doing."

Fulcrum ConsultingWorks, Inc. All rights reserved.
For reprint permission, just give Rebecca a call
or e-mail her at [email protected]