When a company decides to implement a strategy of mutual benefit and move from a “me” focus to a “we” focus, it will look to achieve one or more of the following:
Improved processes – processes will be more efficient, people will work more efficiently, vendors will bring ways to improve margin, and customers will pay more for your products and services
Enhance people skills – everyone involved with you and your company will find ways to work together and help each other succeed.
Improve flexibility, creativity, teamwork – once everyone understands that what they do affects the whole, you will be amazed how flexibility, teamwork, and creativity will explode in your company.
Improve client retention – client retention is the culmination of all your departments working together for the good of each other, your customer, your vendors and your company.
Attract talented employees – good employees can go anywhere. Many companies will offer the same if not more money. A company where mutual benefit is embraced will attract the best of the best.
Create more abundant lead generation – you will be amazed at how your sales, services, manufacturing, vendors and customers will work with you to generate an amazing amount of leads.
Greatly improve client relationships – when your clients are happy, you will need less customer service, less re-work, less sleepless nights and more profit.
Improve quality of service – not only will your service people want to get better trained and more customer focused, but your customers will be more patient and that will lead to better service.
Shorten the sales cycle – when mutual benefit is embraced by you and your company, your prospects will feel and see the enthusiasm. This will lead to quicker decisions with prospects, and current customers that won’t go out to bid.
Employee retention – this one is obvious. If you encourage an atmosphere of working together, why would anyone want to leave? They will understand when times are tough and they have to sacrifice, and they will also know that they will benefit when times are good.
Smaller management structure – if your employees are working together and embrace the principles of self improvement, self management, and self motivation, then you will need less management to oversee your staff.
Eliminate re-work – by understanding how one persons work affects everyone else. Employees, customers and vendors will want to do it right the first time so no one is burdened with re-work.
Increase profit margins – the quality of work will increase and the efficiency will be amazing. This will lead to prospects and customers willing to pay more for your products or services. It will also allow you to provide a fair price while making more profit because of all the inefficiencies you will achieve with a philosophy of mutual benefit.
Use capital more effectively – you will be amazed at what your employees, customers and vendors can do more effectively if they believe that it will benefit not only them, but others.
Streamline production time – this is a by-product of improved efficiency, happy employees, good customers and valued vendors.
Have less inventory and waste (i.e. material, time, double handling, breakdowns) – this is also a by-product of improved efficiency, happy employees, good customers and valued vendors.
Improve information and data flow (i.e. remove bottlenecks) – when people want others to do well, you will be amazed at the amount of information that will flow instead of being stored away in desk drawers or inside employee’s heads. Best practices, knowledge, and potential pitfalls will be communicated regularly.
Expose the linkage between processes – synchronize all the processes in your company. The improved flow of information and data will bring to light ways that one process affects another. This will lead to more efficiencies, and a greater understanding of how what we do can benefit others, and what they do will affect us. This will eliminate the Silo effect in most companies today.
Add value through continuous improvement – the one variable that all the business process improvement philosophies miss (i.e. TCO or Six Sigma), is the need for a philosophy of mutual benefit. Otherwise, information is in silos and people don’t want to share or help since they believe that they are in control of their destiny and what others do is not as important!
Over the next few months we will explore each of these in more detail.