A Roadmap to Operational Excellence through Labor Management

A Roadmap to Operational Excellence through Labor Management


In my last installment, we covered the first 3 habits of highly productive supply chains. Before we cover the last four, let’s review what we’ve covered to-date:

The 7 Habits of Highly Productive Supply Chains

  1. Get out of the muck, but stay grounded. Establish a vision for organizational readiness, and being the process of getting grounded in the execution of excellence.
  2. Clarity = Simplicity. Knowing who your real customer is will eliminate the background noise and ensure roles are understood, and leadership can focus on eliminating the stress within each associate.
  3. Execute the game plan – always. Operational leadership, those who live in the trenches, their goal is execution. Establish the simple, clear vision – and develop a strategy that will deliver business results daily.

A clear & simple vision with one strategy in mind can foster the sustainable growth required during these economic times through small incremental change. Breaking through to the next level requires a clear vision, allowing leaders to focus on the development of your most important asset – your people!

Let’s get cover #4 and #5 of highly productive supply chain habits:

4. Point, Aim, Shoot, but make sure you Focus. Great organizations train associates to see through fog of the complex business environment, training associates to see each resource as an opportunity causing success or as a weakness that may cause you to fail. One trend is the amount of information overload that is happening…the electronic chatter going on around them. Make sure your operational leadership has time to think, even if it means putting the Blackberry in a drawer for 15-30 minutes.

5. Alter Roles. Employees have certainly seen their role change, at least what they are responsible for; but typically the title, job description, and pay haven’t. What’s important is to realize that the old silos many organizations had no longer exist – which is a good thing. It’s time for companies to embrace the idea that all levels have influence, and foster collaboration. This is your opportunity to train and teach your associates to see and identify waste and opportunities to save resources, become green and simply save green (money).

Consistent feedback, whether it’s praise or counseling, along with listening to associates provides the right framework for continuous measurable improvement. Now that you have established a vision with a clear executable strategy – it’s just the beginning. The real opportunities lie in fostering the organization to identify waste to save resources (become green) to save green (money)! In order to maintain this state of operational excellence through Labor Management, let’s look at the last two habits:

6. Constantly improve and adapt. Establishing a vision with a clear executable strategy is the beginning. Effective execution doesn’t mean clinging to what always used to work. Now more than ever, managers need to be flexible and seek small innovations constantly. Maybe it’s a wave (formation) change, or a staffing (line-up) adjustment, anything that may reduce costs and increase productivity…but most importantly it should be quick to adopt.

7. It’s all about wins and losses. Ask any coach recently who is now working at a new program if anything matters aside from the wins and losses. It’s sad but results are all that matter. And no results are capable without people, or players. Granted, we all like to say that people come first, but in the end it’s all about results. This issue really creates a problem since we wonder which one to focus on – results or people – but you can do both. Regardless of whether you are winning or losing, you must maintain an atmosphere in which your organization has all the tools they need to succeed. This comes down to coaching and building a team commitment, but also providing each member of your team the clarity and flexibility to be effective.

View more posts on Labor Management


Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone