As a new director, do not be surprised if you see a worker pulling out a part from a box, throwing the box away, attaching a different part to the initial one and packing it in a new box that looks just like the original one. You should think about the possibility of cost optimization as soon as you find out that this is how they do it. In many situations, continuing such processes without questioning the procedures may waste the occasion to eliminate the losses.
Whenever I want something new or an improvement, I think about bringing new people from a different part of the company or perhaps a different domain too. They should not have any misconceptions. Generally, I would love someone who never hesitates to ask why. For instance, a lot of people start such conversations during their training classes. They assume that their ideas seem stupid, but why is everything done in a particular manner? Such interruptions inevitably lead to important discussions over fundamental things.
Multiple benefits from new employees
A new employee or team does not just increase the probability of changing a process, but they also bring in some advantages.
It is highly recommended to involve people with different specializations, only to obtain a crossed fertilization of various ideas. From this point of view, the improvements suggested in a domain can be reproduced in a completely different one, leading to a multiplying effect.
Understanding other effects of the company is part of the personal development and can help people identify the losses. Sometimes, an extra pair of eyes can save a fortune.
Feeling buried in paperwork
It is not unusual for some of your clients to claim that the products no longer correspond to the specifications. As a result, the clients may ask for all the delivered products to come up with a detailed documentation that covers the verification of various aspects, not to mention about general instructions about the assembling or testing procedures.
At a first glance, it looks like a long term and expensive procedure. It is normally implemented for short periods of time. But then, perhaps you should extend this procedure to all the products. On a different note, the sales team may take this demand for an opportunity. Such documentation might be available to every new client for free.
If you have the vision to think about your business fifteen years later, you might be surprised to find out that the products that lead to such a documentation process may no longer be available. With all these, the respective process is very likely to remain there for new products. The general idea is simple to understand – what looks like a short term solution must be considered a long term opportunity.
Gaining an extra pair of eyes in real life
Case studies and examples are not relevant if you got no clue how to benefit from that extra pair of eyes.
- Create new teams with people from multiple departments whenever you have the opportunity.
- Start various discussions about processes and procedures. Do not ask your team how to do it, but why you do it in that manner.