Business Processes



How can I Reduce the Costs of Production?

Question:  What are some suggestions to reduce the costs of production? Response: This is the question Operations Management people ask themselves all the time.  Here’s a list of things to do: Look at the product. How is it engineered? Can it be designed to use less parts? Can it be designed to be assembled faster? Can features be eliminated? Look at the systems by which the product is assembled. Can they be streamlined? Is there a natural flow, a logical set up and a more efficient process? Are you using a batch method when a process flow would be better? Look at tools. Do you have the best tools/ machines for the processes? Do you have enough of them? Are they positioned correctly? Are they maintained properly? Are their bottlenecks which cause wasted time and disrupt production? Look at labor. Can it be mechanized, automated or enhanced? Can the quality of the labor be improved, by additional training, better tools, better conditions? Look at materials. Can less expensive materials be used? Can better materials, with less defects be used? Can materials be purchased in different sizes to reduce waste? Look at the shop. Is the environment conductive to efficient production? …

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Cutthroat Management Style

Many business owners think that a cutthroat pressure-cooker management style works.  Turn up the heat and things will cook.  Be ruthless with people and only the best will survive. It’s almost a cliche — put on the pressure and you’ll get results.  Does it really work? High pressure organizations may think their approach works, but it has consequences.  The stress results in higher healthcare costs, more workplace accidents, and a revolving door with employees. Who can be loyal to a company that treats its employees like automatons, throws out the “bottom” 10 % each year, and creates internal conflict and strife as a management approach? Studies have shown that cutthroat organizations are actually less productive.  They have less employee loyalty and higher turnover. It negatively affects workforce health, sucking the life out of people. What exactly is a cutthroat organization?  What things characterize that management style?  As in most things, there’s a spectrum, from mild to extreme.  Most  cutthroat environments have these ten characteristics: 1. They overwork people. Bring on those 50 hour workweeks! Create artificial deadlines and pile on the tasks.  Be sure to put high priority on  all tasks, and as a kicker, when one project is only half done, …

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How Do You Prevent Employee Fraud and Theft?

How can you run a business while avoiding people from defrauding you? The answer is that you will at some point have someone steal from you. It happens to all business owners. It’s probably happening right now. The issue is how much.

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Developing Software

Question: I’ve got a start-up and we are having difficulties as we try to get our beta out by the end of the month. I have 2 developers currently who are unpaid, however I find their pace to be too slow to complete on time. In terms of organization, I task everything with incredible precision, so they know everything that’s due, but things aren’t getting done. What do I do?

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