Our DP100 Program is a distillation of powerful techniques for reducing costs and boosting revenue. The outcome is a rapid boost in profits executed over 100 days.
Other articles in this Program are pitched at our introductory (Yellow Belt) level. The advanced techniques outlined in this article come from our Blue Belt (intermediate) level knowledgebase.
You can read more on just those that caught your eye in the Yellow Belt series or have a go with all of them.
The DP100 is designed as something you will revisit on a regular basis (perhaps annually) so you can ease your way up to Blue Belt as you get more confident and experienced with the Yellow Belt techniques.
Change Management - People aspects
A determinant of how long the DP100 process takes is how disciplined you are with your time management.
If you use a good time management system to free up your time for major projects, you will progress much faster than if you have a poor or non-existent time management system.
For more on the time management system perfected by President Eisenhower and widely used, see our Time Management article.
See, also, why multitasking should be a no-no in our Multitasking article.
If you have any significant number of staff in your business, you are going to need to engage in a process of change management to get them on board.
Managers by their very nature have a higher tolerance for uncertainty and risk than staff who have not taken on the additional responsibilities in management. If you begin to make substantial changes to your business it is going to unsettle the staff and their natural tendency will be to dig in their heels and progress slowly.
Trying to drag them along "kicking and screaming" is not likely to be a very productive approach.
It is far better to spend the time educating them on the direction you are taking, and the reasons for it, and give them sufficient time to get that into their minds. This is where your vision statement for the process we spoke about above can be useful.
Almost certainly there will be natural leaders within your workforce. They may not be supervisors and managers in your workforce but they are the people that staff unofficially look to for direction.
You can best use these people by involving them in the process.
Firstly, they will very often have a very good understanding of the various elements of your business and, quite possibly, better than your understanding if your business is of any size.
Secondly, if anybody is going to resist your changes, it will be these informal leaders. Investing in them so that they understand where you are going, and can then explain it to their workforce peers, is very worthwhile.
Starting an Ongoing Process of Continuous Improvement
Most improvement is an incremental process. It is rare to get something completely right the first time so, over time, we improve parts of the system so as to continue to improve the whole. A Japanese phase for such incremental improvement is 'Kaizen" (pronounced"kar-zen").
Incremental improvement, or Kaizen, probably goes on in your business all of the time; and so it should. This is a Profit Savvy Tool that you will use over and over again.
Kaizen is more of a management philosophy than a specific set of actions or body of knowledge. Kaizen means (ideally) a business-wide attention to incrementally improving the areas of your business which will have the greatest return from the application of time, money and other resources to a Kaizen process.
You can read more on how to implement this process beginning with our Kaizen article
As a business manager, you are never going to have a shortage to things to do. You need to shepherd your precious time with a Kanban like strategy.
With your understanding of Flow, you know what you want to manage when a new product is started and when it moves through the production process. We never want excess inventory and WIP that comes about from an unsynchronized workflow.
Any business and its activities can be put into 1 of 4 boxes by measuring profit potential and growth potential.
Use the Boston Consulting Group Matrix to put your business products and activities into 1 of 4 categories; cash cow, dog, star and question marks (see the Boston Consulting Group Growth Share Matrix article).
If one of your existing activities is a dog or a cash cow, you can stop thinking about big revenue and profit growth now unless the restrictions are only there through your present management systems.
The dogs are best got rid of as they will never do much for your profit and might just cost you money. They also tend to suck up your time due to crisis management.
The cash cows are valuable as they are supplying money and resources to the parts of your business that can grow.
Unless and until you have a business activities that are in the “star” or possibly the “question mark” cells of the BCG Matrix, you likely don't have business that can grow and you may as well face up to it now.
In this situation, you can decide to “pivot” and go down a new industry route. We talk more on doing this in Double Your Profit (again) in 365 Days
DP100 is divided into several articles to be more accessible for you. These are:
- A2.1 Introduction
- A2.2 Getting Ready - how to prepare.
- A2.3 Cost Reduction - the fastest step - probably where you will start.
- A2.4 Increase Revenue - without making many changes to what you presently have, it is likely you can increase revenue. Options are discussed here.
- A2.5 Blue Belt - Advanced Profit Growth Techniques.