Keep business lean to achieve success, Wexford consultant
The way forward in business is 'lean'.
'It's simple,' said international business consultant Brian Matthews, of Aurora Business Development Ltd., Kilmore, who helps individual and companies identify and eliminate waste and grow their business.
Speaking in a lecture titled 'Lean Principles for Business' at Wexford Library, he said: 'There is so much waste. There are two simple messages. First is that profit is the key to everything and second is that waste is anything that adds costs and fails to add value. Keep it lean!'
He said: 'Business is made up of three P's- People, Planning and Procedures.'
On People: 'Respect people, encourage and empower them'. A company that he visited were preparing to fire an employee who was taking extra time off every week. He asked the company to further examine the case and found that employee was twice as productive as his colleagues. 'Being in, doesn't mean being at work'.
On Planning: 'What gets measured gets done. In many cases, people are doing things twice. Find out how people are getting along'.
On Procedures: 'When it's made easy to do things right, it is difficult to do things wrong. Write it out on a sheet and give it out. Look for short, reliable lead times, product quality and reliability, fast introduction of new products and delivery of high quality at short notice. Any activity which does not add to value is waste. Obvious wastes are poor quality and excess inventory'.
There are principles. 'Specify what does and does not create value from the customer's value stream, identify all the steps necessary to design, order and produce and make those actions that create value flow,' he said.
'Obstacles are over-production, waiting, transportation, inappropriate processing, unnecessary inventory, defects, unnecessary motion and under-utilising human potential.
'Too many companies are manufacturing to stock rather than making to order. The goal is to do more with less.'
Brian Mathews, a native of New Ross and former student at Good Counsel College, has worked with some of the world's major multinationals in the UK, the USA, mainland Europe and in Ireland including Motorola, ITT and Waterford Wedgwood. He is a popular Toastmasters speaker in Wexford and is the current president of Wexford Historical Society. Brian will give a one-day seminar titled 'Principles of Lean Management for SMEs' at Wexford LEO, Carricklawn, Wexford, on Thursday, March 26.