Many times companies view their business operations as a necessary evil to deliver their products or services. This mindset towards your company’s day-to-day operations leads to inefficiencies, mistakes, late shipments or delivery of services, unhappy customers or worse, unhappy and unmotivated employees, all of which are driving up costs, reducing profitability and making it more and more difficult to grow your business.
So, if it’s such a critical element of the business, why do so many companies neglect their business operations?
There’s a multitude of reasons, the first and most common is operations are prioritized by whoever or whatever screams the loudest or causes the biggest problems (you know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease). This mindset is most commonly referred to as the ‘firefighter’ approach to business operations, where you run from fire to fire trying to douse the flames before getting pulled away to go fight another fire. This approach to running your business is both exhausting and extremely costly to your company.
The second most common reason is usually tied to not having the actual time or resources to evaluate and develop an actual long-term solution. Small and mid-sized businesses are usually strapped for resources, so the idea of devoting someone full time to developing long-term solutions to problems that arise is difficult, if not impossible. So unfortunately without the necessary resources, companies have a tendency to implement short-term, cosmetic fixes and hope the problem resolves itself.
Lastly, it’s a matter of know-how: does the business know how to apply the science and methodology of efficient business operations, in conjunction with all the intricacies of your specific business to refine or re-engineer the processes and develop true long-term solutions to the challenges affecting day-to-day operations? The answer to this question is almost always ‘no’ but not having the know-how and not involving someone that does are two very different things. So, utilizing business operations experts like those on the Affirm Consulting team is really the missing link to streamlining your business operations, gaining efficiencies, reducing mistakes and ultimately increasing profitability within your company.
If ineffective or inefficient business operations are robbing your business of profits, or if you are exhausted from continually fighting fires, then isn’t it time to take action?
Dennis E. Hough
Founder – Affirm Consulting
What are Business Operations? Business Operations are everything that has to occur from the time your company receives an order until the time that product or service is delivered. In instances where product support, installation, warranty or customer follow-up occurs, then these too are part of your company’s business operations. Another way to look at business operations is they are the integrated systems of people, processes and information necessary to operate your business.