A consistent theme amongst leaders of large, top-quartile companies, is how often they feel there isn’t much more room for improvement, because they have done everything they can to drive performance through various initiatives. With this in mind, they often feel an exploratory meeting isn’t worthwhile.
If people do agree to meet, they will confidently tell you they believe there might be low, single figure improvements that could be generated, but that’s about it. They have often, engaged other, well-known consulting firms before. For those that are prepared to allow us to undertake some short, sharp, low-cost analysis to qualify and quantify the real amount of opportunity, they are always completely shocked when we typically find circa 40%+ wastage in their organisations. We aren’t shocked. The only thing that surprises us is how complacent those companies have been. So, when a leader of a large, top-quartile firm doesn’t feel the need to meet, we know there will be regret further down the line as competitors that are driving continuous improvement take full advantage of this complacency.
There hasn’t been a company to-date where we have seen less than 30% wastage. This is a combination of under-utilisation and people being kept busy, but they aren’t effective, perhaps undertaking re-work. We know that if there are large groups of people doing a similar sort of role, there’s always going to significant opportunities for improvement.
Using our findings from the initial business review, we identify key areas within the business where tailored improvement initiatives can make real differences to the productivity of employees and the customer experience. This is where we guarantee any benefits we sign up to deliver as we work with our client’s people to facilitate the necessary change. Our projects normally look to achieve a minimum 15-20% real, tangible improvement in a short timeframe, measured through either the top or bottom line performance. We also put mechanisms in place to drive further benefits to remove further wastage, appreciating no company can ever be 100% productive.
Complacency can exist within all levels in businesses and often the biggest challenge is getting people to see the need for change in the first place. When we undertake transformation projects, we adapt the way we present our findings from the analysis, so the various management layers don’t become defensive, feeling they are to blame for the inefficiency.
Our projects focus on three key areas: management styles, tools and processes. When we work with our clients to improve these areas, we help drive sustained behaviour change, particularly as we are passionate about transferring our skills, so they are embedded.
This is how Balcroft helps businesses retain their competitive edge; removing complacency and identifying ways they can build on existing successes with further step-change improvements.