Leading a business or a business unit has always been challenging, but it seems like it is doubly difficult right now. It often seems like the information overload occurring in all aspects of our lives is the root cause. However, that same information overload can actually make it easier to run your business.
That statement might seem counter-intuitive, but the same forces that make it difficult to manage your business effectively make it just as difficult for your employees to work effectively. If you help yourself and your employees filter through the noise and find the data that is connected to what truly drives your business, life becomes easier.
Take the seemingly endless battle to improve operational efficiency. Just observing the path of materials through the manufacturing processes may be telling you there is room for improvement, but unless you are still running a traditional linear manufacturing operation it may not make sense to simply tell employees they need to increase their output by X number of units an hour. Instead, use your data to help you and your employees find the best places in the process for improvement.
For example, using your ERP you may find that a part for an important client needs an eight-week lead time, but is consistently being delivered late even when the job is kicked off with plenty of lead time. A basic review of the historical data further narrows the problem to somewhere between the time the manufacturing process begins and when the parts arrive in the warehouse.
The more granular the data you have access to, the more targeted your “challenge” can be. If your workstation data can show that one workstation or specific portion of the process seems to be the primary contributing factor to the delay, it is much easier to then enlist those employees into the process of developing a solution.
The key is to make sure you are leading with data, even if your “gut” is what initiated the dive into the data in the first place. If you can present your case for the need for improvement with the right data, your employees are much more likely to take ownership of the problem and help you find a solution. Better yet, the same data will help them prove to you that the agreed upon solution had the desired impact.
Not sure where to begin with using your ERP data to lead organizational change? Triple Helix has a proven track record of helping manufacturers and other companies organize and improve access and use of their critical data. Contact us to share your challenges with us and to learn about our process for unlocking the power of your organization’s data.