If you’re like most organisations you will have a small army of accountants looking at your costs on an ongoing basis, and you will also hold each of your managers to account on their management of costs against your agreed budgets. Significant resources and management time will be spent each month, each week and each day on your cost performance, and a negative variance against expectation will lead to immediate action.
Conversely, I would expect that, although you regularly review the speed of delivery of your products and services to your customers, you will not be managing speed right across your business and will have few, if any people, with a sole focus on analyzing and assessing organisational-wide pace.
And yet, in our increasingly connected world organisational ‘speed management’ is equally, if not more important, than ‘cost management’ to your survival and success. What’s more improving pace reduces cost, raises revenue and drives efficiency, as it increases your operational capacity, gets you to market quicker, lowers inventories and working capital investment, and increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.
All cars need a speedometer as well as a fuel gauge, and businesses are no different. In addition to customer delivery times, here are 10 other critical ‘speed management’ indicators that you should be managing and holding your managers to account against:
- Speed of new product and service development
- Speed of product and service ‘manufacture’
- Speed of product and service ‘manufacture’ to sale
- Speed of customer issue resolution
- Speed of supplier order turnaround
- Speed of call answering
- Speed of decision-making
- Speed of planning process
- Speed of capability development
- Speed of project implementation
Which of these 10 indicators do you currently manage, and which do you need to increase your focus and attention?
© Stuart Cross 2013. All rights reserved.