As business owners, we are constantly looking for ways to improve, ways to reduce time & effort, and ways to elevate ourselves to the next level.
But what most of us don’t think about, is how to strategically get to that level.
If eliminating or condensing processes is on the horizon for you, use the acronym ‘DOWNTIME’ to help navigate you through evaluating how to target what areas you can strategically trim down in your business.
DEFECTS – Work that contains errors, rework or omissions. Think of data errors, distractions, and lack of communication.
OVER PRODUCTION – Producing more than your client needs RIGHT NOW. Think of extra steps that are holding up what’s priority to the flow right now.
WAITING – Idle time when material, information, people, etc, are not ready. Think of scheduling appointment errors or improperly scheduled tasks.
NOT-CLEAR/CONFUSION – When your team doesn’t know the best way to perform tasks or don’t fully understand the task/request. Think of redundancies clogging up your workflow or lack of direction.
TRAVEL/TRANSPORT – Transportation of information or supplies when it does not add value. Think of rearranging tasks when they are not needed and creating a barrier to what needs to get done.
INVENTORY – Stocking more inventory on hand than is necessary to do the work. Think of buying excess stationary or platforms to have “just in case” and the wasted $$ on things that are pertinent to the current state of improvement.
MOTION – Movement of people, product, or supplies that does not add value. Similar to inventory, think of the rearranging of tasks when it doesn’t serve the purpose.
EXCESS PROCESSING – Redundant work or extra effort that does not add value. Think of all the miscellaneous notes and documentation that you’ve taken and ended up wasting time doing things a certain way.
The importance of strategically approaching how you problem solve & troubleshoot your current workflow is to do so with an efficient mindset. The goal is to reduce the number of barriers that are standing in the way of the big picture.
So I challenge you.
Take 15-20 minutes and write down the word DOWNTIME. Read the definitions above and determine how they each apply to your business.
When you’re done you’ll have 8 (if not more in each category) areas in your business that you can target to start eliminating wasted time, energy, and money.
See you next week!
Brooke Scott, MBA
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