The Winds of Change (Mar 7, 2007)

The Winds of Change (Mar 7, 2007)

A business can be like a hanging mobile. Pull on any part of it, and the whole thing will go into a dance until some kind of equilibrium is restored. That’s just what happens when you take one part of a production process and change it. We typically focus on that one part, but all the other parts begin to dance around it, sometimes with unexpected results.

Likewise, if the wind comes along, every part of the mobile starts changing all at once. It’s like that now for businesses everywhere, as shockwaves of the global banking crisis reverberate around the world.

Because we’re powerless over external factors, it’s now vital to optimize the profitability of the processes inside our businesses; and we can’t do that without looking deeply into their dynamic interactions. Tools like Value Stream Maps, and measurements like Overall Equipment Effectiveness served us well as a compass might an explorer or a ship’s captain at sea. But now we’re navigating narrow streets and alleyways for survival itself and we need something with the pinpoint accuracy of a GPS if all’s not to be lost. In short we need a way to put a financial value on the disposition of every workflow, asset, unit of labor, utility, raw material and consumable for every conceivable situation…and be able to quickly what-if the whole thing as each new situation presents. Impossible? Up until recently, yes.

Now, it is possible for a company of any size to embrace this level of complexity. You need Profit Mapping’s analytical engine, PAL and a way to hook it up to your process. That connection is made with a Business Execution Profile from which emerges your Process and Policy Map, (a mechanism we’ll talk a little more about another time). For now the message is this. The technology is here to turn the current situation into an unprecedented opportunity. Thousands of companies are going to fail in the near future, but yours doesn’t have to be one of them. Instead you can position it not just to survive, but to absorb the huge amount of additional business that will become available when the shakeout is over. Business you couldn’t win in any other circumstances. But to do it will take a level of agility few companies currently possess. Profit Mapping can give you that edge. Your time has arrived, seize the day.

James O’Sullivan