Imagine a business is like a rock band. And every business has a drum rhythm at which it operates. The drumbeat is consistent, dependable, and stable.The most beautiful music is made when all the instruments play in harmony to the drum’s rhythm. It’s not always easy.
Some departments work more efficiently than others so their beat is quicker than the drum. Other departments can’t maintain the same speed as the drum rhythm and fall short of their goals. This means there are people who are overworked and others who may be getting paid for standing around. Premier production and profitability are achieved when everyone accepts work only at the pace of the company’s slowest department rhythm.
The slowest department is often called “the bottleneck.” To grow, companies must continually identify and fix their bottlenecks.
- If there’s an abundance of inventory, then the bottleneck may be sales and/or marketing (or both).
- Without a steady stream of new and existing sales from a rich pipeline, inventory velocity is low. Product is waiting to be delivered.
- If items or service work are on back order, then the bottleneck lies in production, servicing, and/or assembly.
Are your sales teams spending more time in account management roles appeasing impatient clients or convincing new prospects that delivery times are “worth the wait”? This strategy long term can downgrade a brand’s reputation.
Today, can you identify the bottlenecks of your business and/or business processes? Common causes include financial, physical, and/or intellectual (personnel) limitations. When you can:
- You must ask, “Why is there a bottleneck?”
- You must make a decision to exploit or elevate the obstacle.
- You must create an action plan that will add additional resources to alleviate the blockage.
There are a variety of ways to identify bottlenecks in a business. Surveys and assessments, quantitative reporting, and other measures can provide valuable insight on the exact root cause. Alleviating bottlenecks and eliminating obstacles make way for an increase in overall production, an increase in revenues, and an increase in profit.
Make it mission critical: Improving the rhythm and velocity of all departments should be the main focus of the business until all teams are beating at the rhythm speed of the company’s drum.