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Join me on this mission…

I declare my “war on wasted efforts” in our work.

I would like to remove all the unnecessary actions, tasks, activities that we are used to do but has no value for those we are doing it for.

I would like to make my and your working life better. More fun and joy.

Imagine: you would only do 20% of you work that delivers 80% of the most important results you are hired to achieve. For those among us who thinks they must achieve 100%…I would say: there is plenty of time left for the remaining part. The question is if you should.

This principle leaves you with the fact that we could eliminate 80% of what we do and still achieve what we need to achieve.

Scary? Isn’t it? Or deliberating?

Imagine you would spend no time on…

… looking for information

…waiting for an answer

…correcting mistakes

…re-doing incomplete tasks

…wondering whether you are executing the right action

…doubting on applying for another job because you feel you wasting your talent

Join me on this mission. Our working life is full of wastes.

Let’s cut the waste!

Yours,

Peter

Here Is Why You Don’t Like to Measure and Why You Should Do It Anyway

If you are like me, you had a nice weekend with a cozy dinner with your family on Sunday. Your kids spent the Saturday with baking some delicious cakes. You also drank a few glasses of wine. This is not an outlier but more of a pattern for the weekends. It is Monday morning and you are in the bathroom preparing for the day. You hesitate to step on the weight scale. Finally you decide to do it but the batteries are low. Fortunately…

This situation with the weight scale demonstrates one of the reasons you don’t like to measure but there are more.

Measuring is confrontational

Like with your weight scale, you don’t always want to see what’s on the display. You suspect that you have gained some weight. Actually, you know it. But when you see the number, it might be worse than you thought it would be.

Measuring you business performance is the same. It confronts you with the naked reality.  Your sales are too low, your costs are too high, your lead times are too long, your on-time-delivery performance is below target and your customers are not succeeding with your product as they should.

You want to win, you don’t want to lose. Data confronts you with the fact that you’re not winning (yet). That’s why we don’t like to measure.

Measuring drives your action

When you get over the fear of being confronted with the facts, now you are on your way to improve performance. When you saw the digits on the scale, you were maybe “shocked” at first. Still, the chances are big that your behaviour has changed – at least for the day.  You ate less, chose healthy foods, exercised a bit more.

If you measure and keep on measuring what is important for your business, you will take actions – sooner or later – to influence the figures. The worst thing you could do is stop measuring because you are not satisfied with the progress. Keep going, keep tweaking. Change will come.

Measuring gives you feedback

Taking actions to improve sales or reduce costs will only help if you measure their impact. Data gives you feedback on how successful your actions and decisions have been in improving business performance.

But you must be patient to see the results.

You secretly hope after one day of eating less that you will already see the results on your body weight. You step on the scale next morning with this foolish hope. You know it is crazy. Just consider: how long did it take you to get to your current condition? Months or even years. So, don’t expect to see significant immediate changes right next day.

Measuring helps you focus on the right thing

20% of the actions you are taking to improve performance will deliver you 80% of your result. But which 20%? If you measure, you will know it.

Often, we try to do everything at once. You start running, go weight lifting, drop sugar, reduce artificial additives, cut out fat, focusing on slow carbs… all are very good points, but it will be difficult to maintain such an enormous change in your health habits. You run the risk of failing to maintain these levels of actions.

Probably you only need one “little” change and see a significant improvement. Maybe if you went to bed 1 hour earlier, it would already contribute a lot in dropping some pounds. But you should measure and be disciplined to know what helps and what does not.

In your business, it is the same: when you come up with a long list of actions you want to take to improve process lead times, there will be a few actions that will contribute more to your success than all the other actions combined.

Measuring your business performance is the heart of the Lean Six Sigma improvement method. Keeping this method simple and efficient is our specialty. Otherwise it might become a burden. That is why we only apply 20% of the most effective tools to achieve 80% of the improvements.

Do you dare to confront yourself with the naked truth about your business process performance? Start improving it with a free trial at HerkuLess®.

Beat the average.

Yours,

Peter

5 Reasons Why You Fail with Your Business Improvement Initiative

Lean Six Sigma is no magic but hard work. It is not only success but there are many possibilities to fail. I have assembled – mainly from my own experiences – the 5 biggest reasons your Lean Six Sigma initiative may fail.

Learn from my mistakes and do it better! Here is your list:

1. Short term thinking

Management always agrees when I tell them in my introduction that they need long-term focus when starting Lean Six Sigma program because it is all about changing the way we work, the way we react and solve problems for the sake of the customer.

In the meanwhile when we start solving the first burning problems, the main concern of the management is when the results will come in and why does it take so much time.

It is completely normal that our short term goals get more focus because we want instant gratification and quick return on our investments but do not forget that changing behavior and changing our company culture takes years and years of disciplined work and consistent application of Lean Six Sigma.

2. Not being committed

If you start with “we will see if Lean Six Sigma is suitable for our company” I already know there is work to do on commitment of the leaders. You have to go all in or do nothing. You cannot be a part-time drug addict or having only weekend-obesity.

Changing your behavior in your work and of those around you will give you enough challenges to make you wonder if you will ever reach your goal. You have to be committed.

3. Not following through

If you are not committed you will take the easy path. You will not take decision on project results when they deliver opportunities. Once I had a project where we reduced the admin time of nurses by 42%. The company was happy with the result but did not take any action to use this extra capacity. After a while everything turned back as it was before.

When you commit yourself to improve your company with Lean Six Sigma, you have to follow though otherwise your people will lose confidence in your decision.

4. Underestimating the consequences

Learning a new habit takes 66 days on average, anywhere between 18 and 254 days, based on a study at University College London by Phillippa Lally, health phycology researcher.

It takes hard work, time, effort and failing to make Lean Six Sigma a way you work. To set aside 2 hours per week with your team for a Kaizen workshop or to work daily on improving your key work process.

To make your learning faster, getting result of your effort sooner and staying motivated I want you to sign-up for a demo on HerkuLess® now. Here you will find the most effective yet easy-to-use problem solving tools, structured for you in one system.

Come and take a look.

Beat the average.

Yours,

Peter

Empowerment – the single most important reason for Lean Six Sigma

The main reason you should start with a Lean or Six Sigma process improvement program is to bind, engage and empower your people. To put them in a position where they think by themselves:

“Why am I doing this work the way I do? Is there a better way? Easier, faster, cheaper?”

They do not simply wait for your instructions, but they take ownership for their processes and feel responsible for the outcome. “We have always done it this way” just disappears from the list of reasons forever. Everything is challenged for the sake of your customers.

Imagine how wonderful your company would become if everybody thought and acted this way?

To engage everybody in your business, the ­­­­­­LEAN or Six Sigma methods you use need to be easy and practical, not loaded with statistics and tools you do not necessarily need.

That’s why we created a practical, easy-to-use yet effective program based on the industry standard 100+ tools and techniques of Lean Six Sigma.

Learn and apply only that 20% of Lean Six Sigma, which helps you solve 80% of your business challenges while getting everybody in your company engaged and dedicated for the success of the business and its customers.

Beat the average.

Yours,

Peter

2 key factors to improve your financial results that your CPA will not tell you about

Everything you do has an impact on the financial result of your company. It impacts sales or it impacts costs. And there are 2 areas that influence both sales and costs.

Increase sales: the 80/20-rule of your finances

I am a big fan of the Pareto-law (80/20-rule) so let’s see how it works here: 80% of your results are determined by 20% of your activities. Which activities? Just look at your financial statement and it will tell you. How many lines can you count on your statement for sales? Only a few.

If you look at your costs, there are many more lines detailing all kind of expenses.

Do you see how powerful are those few lines on sales?

So put enormous effort in increasing sales because low sales is the number one reason why business fails.

Do you have a defined sales process? What do you sell, to whom? Do you have a full pipeline of leads and opportunities? The best way to learn everything about sales is at Cardone University.

Self-serving way of cost reduction: cutting costs

We all hear about it every day: dismissing people, reducing workforce, cutting salaries and wages. Costs reduction in its direct form.

Because it is self-serving it does only a little good for your short-term results. But it hurts people. It often hurts your customers. It puts your quality at risk and creates distrust and opposition among those left behind in your company.

Drastic cost cutting is a result of lazy leadership of those postponing decisions until they are forced to make them.

There is another way, though, that serves both you and your customers and guarantees permanently improving results.

Customer-centric way to improve your financials

Reduce costs in an indirect but strategic way by working on quality and efficiency (time) in every area of the business.

Your customers (and any other customers) are satisfied if the quality of your product or service, the time it takes to receive it and the price they have to pay for it, are in balance.

Improving quality reduces costs and improves sales

If you reduce mistakes, reduce inconsistency of your product or service and everything you deliver, you will save time. You will reduce the scrap rate. You will need less material and you will have more time left to do the right thing.

This will increase your capacity: you can produce more with the same or with fewer resources.

While improving consistency, predictability of your outcome reduces costs; it also has direct benefit for your customers. They are more satisfied because you deliver what you promise, in a consistent way.

With improved quality you create happy customers who stay with you, come back to you and refer you to others. This increases your sales.

Improving efficiency increases your capacity and speed

Simplifying your processes, by taking out steps that do not add value, shortens lead times. Speed is the number one distinguishing factor if your quality is similar to your competitors. Being able to deliver faster than others, not (only) by working harder but by working smarter, gives you a competitive advantage.

It also increases your capacity because you can do more in the same time since you have shorter processes. With your freed-up capacity you can serve more customers without adding resources, while doing so your margin increases.

Being fast and flexible due to simplified processes will satisfy your customers and bring you more sales.

Conclusion

While never ceasing to increase your number of leads and customers, relentless focus on overall improvements of quality, predictability and speed will improve your financial results.

With the HerkuLess® profit improvement tool you can start immediately to increase your bottom-line in an effective way.

Beat the average.

Yours,

Peter