There are only four ways to increase margin dollars in a business:
Buffer Management is a process to manage the jobs that are becoming ‘at risk’ and deal with them before they cause damage to the business.
This phase is all about getting more control over your workload. In Phase 5 and 6 you removed a lot of wasted capacity by standardising and automating much of your work. However, there is a limit to this, you still have people who need to complete process steps in order to deliver value to customers.
This phase is all about using automation to improve and streamline workflow management. There are two major ways this is achieved:
Phase 5 is about standardising, tracking and visualising the process used to complete a job.
Phase Four is much like Phase Three, but the network is widened. Instead of making data easily accessible to other departments, the accessibility is extended to other businesses, both up and down the supply chain. This should not be a one-way street, ideally customers and suppliers will share data with each other, providing more visibility and productivity to everyone.
Now that the business has been computerized (Phase Two), it’s time to get the most out of that system. This is achieved by being more efficient in the way data is stored, shared and used.
Phase Two is about getting rid of the paper and getting the work into a computer system. No more printing out stacks of paper for a single job. The job along with all its details are stored in the system. Even documents relating to the job are attached electronically.
This is the starting point of the productivity journey. It’s not ideal, but it does the job. Chances are that you know you can do more, deliver more value to your customers, make your people more effective or use your software better.
Businesses develop and mature, similarly to the concept of a child growing up. As a business matures it is able to achieve new heights in productivity, the people in the business gain additional experience and find new ways to leverage their time.