Home » Sports » Time to Trim the Fat [opinion]

Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson summed this up when he said “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. When he was asked to explain his statement later he said every boxer has a strategy when they get into the ring and it is only when they get hit that everything takes a turn and all their strategy gets lost.

Mike Tyson’s quote stretches beyond the boxing ring and appeals to the business environment. Most businesses normally want to stick to their strategies and only opt for new ones if they are satisfied that they are not working.

I gly believe that as executives examine their companies’ performance, you must never forget to look into the makeup of their human resource.

It’s now become imperative to trim the fat and remain with leaner strategies. That is why you will find out that in more stable economies, companies adopt “Just in time systems” which make products available at the precise time of production.

This strategy has been known to be more effective as a way of discouraging hoarding stocks. This is usually applicable in manufacturing systems where there must be zero idle inventories.

Besides streamlining the core functions of the organisation, a leaner organisation allows for refocusing and concentration on the product.

It attempts to create a viable product for the customer at lower costs and allows for the measuring of success.

A minimum viable product allows you to make a choice and pinpoint a brand and it allows you to observe its movement and discover what works and what does not. Leaner structures can also be looked at in terms of automation. Automation processes are known for replacing humans with machines for some of the work to increase effectiveness. If five pairs of hands used to operate a thresh floor, a machine can eliminate 4 pairs in the process.

You will generally appreciate that the only a small percentage of the total time and effort in any organisation actually adds value for the end customer. The rest of the time is accounted in other areas of the business.

Therefore streamlining your core company functions assists in clearly defining value for a specific product or service from the end customer’s perspective, which ultimately eliminates all the non value activities.

Flat organisational structures allow rapid deployment and alignment. They also have a reputation of a uniquely excellent turnaround time that eliminates bureaucracy. The minimal layers ensure communication and fast response to pending challenges. Unity and teamwork are key, if you are unable to achieve this, then it’s inevitable that individuals start blaming each other.

I agree with opinion makers that believe that flat structures are more appropriate and more effective in new set ups or companies that have a goal of reinventing their structures.

It only takes a well planned and structured change management programme to achieve the desired performance only if certain cultural elements and the right combination of skills are present. These days, it isn’t enough for a company to merely cut costs. All companies must aim to streamline processes while improving quality. This produces the aantage of acting fast and responding quickly to customer demands. Leaner structures empower employees to maximise contributions to the company.

Going lean should make you realise lowered costs if it’s done in the right environment and in the right way.

Some would argue that it is a way of ensuring that in these times, you remain competitive in a global marketplace.

I was chatting with a colleague the other day and we realised that the marketplace is demanding lower prices for all products, regardless of which industry you are in. We appear to be living in the pre-2008 era where people charge ridiculous prices for their goods and we are not realising that times have changed.

There are other aspects in a business that must always be maintained to remain competitive, such consistency and efficiency in specified schedules. If you miss these, then you may think be misfiring.

Till next week, remember to stick to your strategy even if you are punched in your mouth. May God richly bless you!!

The author is an Aisor in Management issues.nbsp

Source : The Herald