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Operations - what's that?

While strategy is all about ensuring you are doing the right thing, operations should be all about ensuring you are doing the thing right


“There is nothing more wasteful than becoming highly efficient at doing the wrong things”

Peter Druker


Operations is your corporate engine that gets you to your strategic goals.  It's where:

  • Your products and services are produced.
  • Most of your processes and people are and all the systems needed to support them.
  • Most resources are consumed.
  • Many costs are generated that eat up your hard-won revenue.

Within your operations, we WILL find inefficiencies. You can consider that it's like driving with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake at the same time, and you probably have a brick under the gas pedal too.

Our Spotlight on Operations will help you become more efficient through continuous improvement. It’ll give your corporate engine the power and reserves you need to accelerate, grow and thrive.  Our service comprises 2 main components - an onsite  (where the work is actually happening) assessment with follow-up report and recommendations followed by ongoing support and coaching as you start to implement the improvements.

Take our Operational Fitness Self-assessment

Our free tool (we just need your e-mail and an agreement that we can communicate with you) will ask you a series of questions.  It will help you, and us, gain an initial insight into how well your operations are working for you - are they getting you to your goals?

Let me know when it's available

Coming Soon

Operations - the key to profitability

When we look at your operations, we start with an overall ‘big-picture’ view of your organisation – we look at what comes in and what goes out, and the activities that go on to convert inputs to outputs - this is the end-to-end view (e2e).  We will ask you about perceived problems and what you are trying to achieve or solve. We can quickly start to identify the issues, understand the underlying problems and then work to develop a solution.

Our approach uses ‘lean thinking’. Everybody has heard of lean processes. Typically, it has been applied to manufacturing environments, and where properly implemented, it has resulted in huge gains (Toyota is the poster child for this).  In manufacturing, machines are a major component of production


However, “lean’’ actually works with any sort of work environment – not just manufacturing.  In the knowledge world, we have people that do the producing

Every company is part of an end-to-end value flow, and yours is no different.  How well and efficiently you add value for the end customer will determine your success (and profitability) as a company.

  • You have core ‘revenue’ generating processes that configure, improve, and deliver the product or service you sell.
  • You also have ‘expense’ processes that support the core revenue generating processes such as invoicing, staff management, and maintenance.  
  • The magic is in accelerating the core value flow while reducing the friction and cost created by the expense processes.


Identify your key processes and map the flow of value through your organization

Highlight disruptions to flow (inneficiencies) and investigate root causes

Make recommendations for improvements to reduce or eliminate the friction, and set you on a course for Continuous Improvement

Our Spotlight on Operations will:

Whether you produce knowledge or widgets, your organisation comprises facilities, processes, and people. Those things are activated by management direction, they consume resources and produce products or services, hopefully in exchange for revenue which exceeds the cost of generating it.


That simple combination of components provides an almost infinite amount of possibilities for the way they can combine and what they can do – a bit like the seemingly limitless ways that seven musical notes can be sequenced.


Unfortunately, about 70% of everything we do adds no value to what we ultimately deliver to our end customer




What to Expect

Planning and Preparation

  • While we can only really understand what is happening by physically being present where the processes are happening, we will do as much preparation as possible.
  • We will meet (in person, by phone or video call) key people who can provide perspectives and insights into the operations of the company and the issues it is facing. We may ask for information in documents (anything from an org chart to statistics).
  • We will arrange with you to spend time with you (which can vary depending on the issue) - but typically half to a full day.

During the On-site visit

  • Other than having a base from which to work from (such as a conference room) and in which we can carry out some short interviews, we will be out on the floor, walking through the process and talking with the people who are part of it.
  • We will follow pieces of business through all of your processes looking for gaps and unnecessary actions. We’ll ask lots of questions about what you are doing, clarify why you are doing it, as well as looking at how you do it.
  • Depending on what we identify from our initial (pre visit) discussions, we may decide that it is beneficial to carry out a process mapping exercise - in which case access to a large wall (or large whiteboard - 4' x 8' is ideal) and post-it notes will be very useful.
  • We'll create maps of how value flows through your organization today – and how it could flow with various levels of change. Look at the value you deliver to your end-users and how you can provide more value to them (and charge more for it of course).
  • By the end of the day - we will have an initial assessment for you that we will discuss with you.  This will highlight where we believe your issues are and propose a plan of attack.  We will also discuss nest steps.


After the Visit and Next Steps

  • We will provide you with an assessment of the underlying causes of the issues you are experiencing.
  • For some issues, there may be a simple solution – in this case we will give you what you need to go and fix it.
  • More likely, there will be process, cultural or management issues that need to be addressed which may take longer – we will give you a road map with the information that you need to get you started on the continuous improvement path.
  • We find that some companies, once they know what the problem truly is can quickly come to an understanding of the solution and can implement themselves.   However, many companies do not have the immediate availability of people to learn how to implement; here, we can help by coaching and mentoring and in the early stages facilitating the improvement activities.  
  • Our aim ultimately is to ensure that evolve into a continuously improving culture able to quickly identify issues as they arise and develop sustainable solutions.
  • We aim to provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to manage and continuously improve your processes to increase revenues, reduce your time and cost and so increase profit. 

Our Spotlight on Operations comprises 3 main stages - and we can continue to support you as continuously improve and become more efficient, more lean, and more profitable.

[e-Book]   'Core Fitness - Operations for Sustainable Growth'

This e-book will provide you with the framework to start to build your own continuous improvement function and culture.   It's for those that want some background to the subject as they work with us, or for those that want to try it DIY.  

Coming Soon

Your Next Step

If you would like to chat informally about whether this program is for you, click here to arrange a time for us to connect.  We will respond within 24 hours.

Email us

Call Graham at +1-613-592-0544      or