Operations

Guiding your business to operational efficiency

Creating a highly durable business in today’s market is challenging and ensuring resilient operations is a major concern for business leaders. At Osborne, we believe four pillars of operational excellence are:

  • Building a highly flexible operation
  • Maintaining a reliable supply chain
  • Establishing a dependable workforce
  • Supporting operations with stable IT infrastructure

Focussing on each pillar will help you manage resources effectively and reduce operating costs. Covid 19 has shown that every business needs a business continuity plan. We don’t know what the next major disruption will be, but we can be ready by planning for it. Our supply chain and operations experts can help with that.

Our experts have diverse experience managing small to mid-sized companies and large multi-national teams and divisions. They have addressed challenging issues in many sectors and industries to achieve operational and business success.

We develop and implement strategic operating plans that deliver innovative, actionable, and cost-effective solutions. That means improved service or product delivery, better business outcomes, greater cost predictability, increased profitability and improved transparency with your clients, customers and vendors. Here’s how Osborne Group principals can help your organization:

Our focus is on building resilient and flexible business operations. Overall success flows from coordinating sales, HR, marketing, analytics, business development, product development, procurement, training, franchisee relations and support.

Philosophically, that requires ensuring ‘the right people, in the right place, doing the right things.’

In practical terms, that requires:

  • Analyzing your current organizational structure against your strategic objectives to build a team fully aligned with the strategy – in all administrative and operational function areas (right people)
  • Using change management techniques to implement new structures (right place)
  • Ensuring all roles are defined with the right tasks identified (right things) to achieve the strategy
  • Building reporting and data capabilities to keep the team moving along the strategic path and to inform decision making
  • Providing direct sales, customer service and management training to focus on revenue objectives
  • Coordinating multi-unit management roles in the corporation or among franchisees

With our experienced and objective third party perspective, we bring leading-edge best practices to your organization, helping to find solutions for today’s challenges that will lead to greater success tomorrow.

Contact the Osborne Group for a review that will help strengthen your business operations.

Covid has sent shock waves through global supply chains which continue to cause delivery challenges for many companies. Our principals can help strengthen your company’s processes to withstand further disruption with a high-reliability supply chain.

Are you doing a great job getting supplies to your customer’s warehouse but not being recognized for it?

Are supplies mysteriously low because employees are stashing supplies in their own work area?

These are common indicators that those at the end of your supply chain or service delivery don’t trust they will have the right product when they need it to make the goods or deliver the service.

People who aren’t sure they’ll have what they need when they need it can spend more time checking on deliveries or storeroom quantities than on the job at hand. Squirreling away a personal stash of preferred or critical supplies can help reduce uncertainty for the individual, but the organization risks losing the items entirely, eventually finding them in damaged or expired condition.

Supply chain professionals are great at solving problems to ensure key performance indicators (KPI’s) for delivery, quality and service are met, but a lack of confidence on the receiving end creates a disconnect. High-reliability supply chains connect directly to the end-user to ensure there is confidence the goods will arrive as expected. Building trust pays off as staff focus on their own job and the cost of lost or expired goods is eliminated.

Some of the best options are to identify key suppliers, reinforce relations with integrated order systems, set up faster payments and establish pre-set delivery schedules. You can also consider moving to formal strategic partnerships that allow both businesses to grow the businesses with greater certainty.

The Osborne Group will work with you to create a truly end-to-end supply chain that is the backbone of your success. Contact the Osborne Group for our insights and support.

Bottom line, your business relies on people. You need staff and managers who have the right skills and experience, are fully trained and are properly resourced to contribute to your success. Here are some steps to build a great team.

Staff Hiring & Training

From an operations perspective, the Osborne Group principals can help boost individual job performance. It starts with:

1. Job postings that outline clear expectations of every role

2. Drawing and selecting from a broad and inclusive pool of prospective employees, including:

  • Reviewing your advertising strategy to ensure great candidates are not deselected in your process
  • Hiring the right people for the role – don’t settle for someone less than ideal for the sake of speed or ease of hiring
  • Ensuring the number of people needed for a role is accurate and avoiding staffing with fewer employees than required
  • Training new employees to become productive as quickly as possible and continuing to provide training as they gain experience and take on new tasks and responsibilities.

Management and Leadership

It is often said that employees don’t leave companies – they leave managers. Our principals can assess and reinforce your management team to help establish a highly dependable and engaged workforce. A company’s operations need to have the right number of managers and the right people as managers. Success depends on how deliberate one is in selecting the right managers and then supporting and developing them for success.

Our principals will develop and recommend leadership development programs that:

  • Develop potential managers to become leaders through training, coaching and mentoring
  • Measure a manager’s success on deliverables, output, timeliness, and quality, not the number of hours spent in the office or other inconsequential measures
  • Measure leadership success on the results of the leader’s department/division and their contribution to positive results for the overall business
  • Help managers measure performance on metrics that are fully understood by both employee and manager
  • Ensure managers review performance with their employees on a regular basis to foster their success

Communications

Communications from the business leaders need to be consistent and effective across the organization. To make sure everyone is on the same page and trust is established, communication should be both clear and frequent.

Our principals believe in a 360-degree feedback communication loop where information is communicated from both the top-down and the bottom up.

The Osborne Group principals ensure operations are stable with reliable IT infrastructure and system backup. Information technology functions can be drivers to help you achieve strategic goals, increase staff productivity, manage risks and seize opportunities for organizational improvement and competitive advantage.

We work with senior management, technology leaders and staff to:

  • Position IT to support and achieve organizational success
  • Show how IT can increase the effectiveness of day-to-day operations
  • Effectively manage IT investments and ongoing costs

Our goal is to help you:

  • Develop strategies and plans that align technology enhancements with corporate strategy
  • Balance deliverables and expenditures to achieve maximum value from IT investments
  • Increase senior management understanding of the work and priorities of the IT function
  • Provide consistent and strategic leadership for IT staff, clients and contractors
  • Ensure the stability and availability of the technology infrastructure
  • Assess and resolve issues with projects, vendors or technology
  • Develop key performance measures

Metrics reporting is a key to understanding performance and identifying risks and opportunities for change or action. It should exist at each level of the organization.

Metrics should be easy to gather, visible and reported in a timely way to everyone affected by the results. There are different needs at each level in the organization:

  • Employees should know at any time – not just through an annual review – how well they are performing
  • Managers should know how well teams are performing so they can make adjustments to get desired results
  • The leadership team needs to know how well the parts of the organization are performing in order to know where and when to adjust or to continue on the same path to success.

Principals from the Osborne Group will ensure metrics align with each level of your organization and, above all, with your corporate goals and objectives.

While you hope you never need a business continuity plan (BCP) Covid has highlighted how necessary it is. The Osborne Group will work with your business leaders to develop a complete and executable BCP.

Your entire operation needs to be considered in a comprehensive business continuity plan. It starts with the critical key–to-business activities followed by other activities. Critical elements in the plan will include:

  • Key customers and markets
  • Physical premises including all aspects of infrastructure
  • Multiple systems risk
  • Brand health and protection
  • Sales channels and processes
  • Suppliers and supply chain
  • Other areas of concern

We will work with you to test your plan regularly and avoid making it a paper exercise. This means:

  • Providing key employees access to secure systems from home or remote locations, ensuring they have the necessary equipment and can connect to do the work
  • Reviewing your supply chain and mitigating potential risks including a contingency plan if the supplier can’t deliver
  • Establishing relationships with public relations and communication professionals for crisis communications support and reputation management

Keeping the plan up to date is essential. as new employees are hired, others leave and responsibilities change. Suppliers also come and go. All aspects of the plan rely on people knowing their roles and responsibilities in the event of a disruption. We will ensure your BCP reflects current realities and will be renewed and refreshed on a regular basis.

 Contact the Osborne Group to discuss your business requirements.