Why Business Stagnates? (Article 3)
Do you invest in people?
We saw that investing for future is something you need to keep doing. If you siphon money out of your well doing business, it is perhaps the most dangerous sign. Instead of investing somewhere else, why don’t you invest in something you know the best & gives you best returns… It’s your own business ! Investing in people is also part & parcel of this process.
Do you do everything yourself or delegate? Many a times, the owners are involved in each & every activity so minutely that they can hardly focus on the things they are supposed to focus on. If your organization has to go to the next level, delegation is a MUST ! Have you heard Mr Ratan Tata doing everything in his companies himself? Impossible !! The point is, if you want to grow to the next level, instead of ‘spending’ your energy on micromanagement, ‘invest’ it developing people. Delegate less important tasks to your own team members…and most important, start ‘Trusting’ them. Any delegation can succeed with trust (and trust only). Allow people to make mistakes. More than 85% mistakes they commit, can be resolved without any damage to the company.
Who is your HR head? Many MSME’s don’t have HR department or even a single HR person! Having said that it’s your ‘People’ who bring in business or build credibility of your brand with the outside world, you need to have an ecosystem carefully developed for your people. HR department is a must for this. This automatically takes care of vital issues related to people, such as setting KRA’s, performance appraisals, career planning, promotions & rewards. People need to be motivated to do their jobs. One can either ‘push’ people to work or ‘inspire’ people to work. I think the latter works better in the long run.
Do you have well laid systems on your shop floor? Who controls your production? It’s ironic but true that many MSME owners don’t know the On-Time Delivery percentage for their companies! Going one step back, their production departments don’t know the delivery expectations of the customers & simply produce at their own pace & will! I have seen, in some of the companies, the meaning of ‘On-time’ delivery was ‘On Time, as committed by the Production head!’. It means, if the production head commits a delivery date & keeps the promise, it’s called ‘On-Time delivery’. The customer, in his/her Purchase Order might have asked for a much earlier date… But it’s not looked into.
Fortunately, we have many good production planning & execution techniques available such as 5-S, Poka Yoke, Kaizan & so on, leading to Lean Management. It’s important for the MSME owners to work with the experts on Lean Management for streamlining the production process.
It makes sense to get a good consultant for all this change, who will work more like a business advisor & look at your business from a bird’s eye to give you rational approach towards your business process.
In the next article, we will discuss about some of the key aspects of doing international business.
© Nitin Kirloskar