Unsure how to resolve issues in your business? Read this!
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9 June 2021 at 2:58:39 am
Something is wrong with my business, but I am not sure where it has gone wrong!!
Often, we cannot quickly identify where we have an issue in our business.
Demand & Supply Improvised (DSI) was developed by WE Development based on the concept of demand and supply. Based on experiences, we extended and improvised it with more logical steps in a business cycle.
This creates a foundation for us to identify a problem from a holistic perspective quickly. Here are the seven steps from this model.
- Are you having trouble creating ideas to improve your business processes such as sales, resource management, and more?
- Are your products and services the same as any other similar businesses, and your market share is dropping?
- Have your internal and external customers mentioned that your products and services can be further improved?
- Have your heard people asking you to create or bring in new products and services because that will help you grow your business?
If you face similar questions before, this means you need to have a process in place to help you collect ideas for positive change.
What should I do?
First, identify where to acquire idea contributors;
- Idea contributors are people who are closest to the processes that you care about
- These people are usually your staffs, people in your network, new network fostered by meeting new people
Second, be approachable;
- Show that you are approachable by speaking openly with “people on the ground” and caring for their well-being as and when you see them. In other words, be a people leader.
- Ensure your managements do the same and are aligned with this
Third, be receptive;
- Listen to ideas being proposed. Do not cut off ideas before you finish understanding the concept.
- Explain logically and rationally if ideas are implementable or not
- Ensure your managements do the same and are aligned with this. Look out for resistance when conducting this new implementation, as your staff may interpret your sudden change as “checking on them”. Also, do note this will take time for them to open up to you. It is your diligence to manage this process well.
- Do you have issues or improvements to be integrated into the design of your products, services, and processes?
- Do you have resources and an environment to allow your staff to explore and design new processes, products, and services?
- Do you have a system in place to facilitate and check if a proposed design is worth developing and how to assist development?
- Are you encouraging to support your staff in achieving their design?
The first thing in your mind may be resistance as you see this as a cost to “design” and may not necessarily be rewarding. However, you should see this as reutilizing your staff’s “excess time” to;
- Improve your business
- Motivate your staff
- Grow the ability of your staff
- Make your staff feel meaningful working with you
- Foster relationship building between staffs when they might work together
What should I do?
First, allocate a fund to allow the exploration of ideas to create or improve designs. This money will be used for
- Purchase for prototyping and testing of ideas
- Purchase safety equipment to facilitate safe execution and processes
- This fund can be small when trying out if business owners feel uncomfortable
Second, communicate that staffs are supported to work on their design
- Show by actually allowing staffs to try out their new ideas with the funds allocated
- Provide necessary support such as working on a solution with them because they might not be an experience
- Ensure other management are aligned with this implementation
Third, refine this implementation because different companies have a different culture. As a management, we should observe and make improvement to allow proper execution that;
- Staffs see the willingness of the management to make change
- Staffs appreciate their management really supports them
- Staffs see the importance of being part of the business and making improvement
- Improve your company’s products and services to close market gaps
It is advisable to have your management to oversee this change. You may start by having one or two small viable projects for testing out. Patience and support are necessary because some staffs are inexperienced. Yet, if they have the right attitude and idea, they will make things work.
- Not sure if your products, services, and processes are meeting the demand of the market?
- Not sure if your new design is meeting the demand of the market?
- Not sure if the demand has changed?
- Not hearing any new demands from the market?
A gap between your products and services versus market demand means disconnection with your customer. Even if existing customers are using your products and services, any competitors who are closest to their demand needs can easily replace you immediately.
Also, your new design of products, services, ventures, and processes in the implementation must be closest to your demand as well.
What should I do?
First, be closer to the demand
- If you have not heard any demands, this means you may not be close enough to the actual market
- This explains why big companies would position their sales office regionally so they are closer to the market
- Ensure people and processes closest to the demand are receptive and open
Second, listen and prioritise demand.
- Once you are in a position where streams of demand enter to improve your products, services, and processes, it is vital to prioritise which are logical and rational to the direction of your business
- This direction should always be related to your available resources, such as people, know-how, money, processes, materials.
- It is important to strategically communicate this direction to your demand and your staffs to show trust and transparency
Third, make shift changes;
- Changes are usually an add-on to existing products, services, and processes and thereby improving your state of business
- If you still believe in your new implementation, continue to gather enough demand so you can “pivot” appropriately
- Are you scarce with resources to create supplies that meets demand?
- Are you spending too many resources to create supplies that meets demand?
- Are you unaware of resources that can help you save cost?
- Unsure if a resource is suitable for your products, services, and processes?
Once you have a viable system to meet your demand's needs, managing resources is essential to create supplies that are cost effective and with good quality!
A high cost, low-profit business is tough to sustain for the long run when uncertainties and market changes hit.
Resources can be human, machines, software, know-how, materials, processes, money.
What should I do?
First, be open and critical when selecting resources to integrate or remove
- As long as a resource can help you do the job effectively, it is an excellent resource to consider
- Be critical if the resource is a problem
- Start by knowing more people and be curious where potential resources could be obtained
Second, validate effectiveness and choice of acquiring, replacing, or removing resources
- Is the resource safe to use, easy to use, and more well-received by the demand?
- Is the resource cost-effective while meeting the quality of your requirement?
- Is the resource effective in accomplishing processes faster than before?
Third, include resources in the creation of supplies or remove resources that are not value-driven
- Depending on the criticality of this resource, you may want to integrate or remove these resources quickly. Otherwise, observe its performance and make adjustments accordingly
- Create or alter processes to integrate this new resource into your products and services or remove them. This means providing new information, training new people, adjusting processes, providing spaces to store the resources
- Communicate the reason for the integration of such resources to internal and external customers to show credibility and transparency. However, strategic and confidential information should be considered.
- Do you have supplies whenever your customer needs?
- Do you have inventory that you do not need?
- Do you have quality issues with your supplies?
Underproduce or overproduce supply is always the problem for businesses operating with actual products such as machines, equipment and other hardware.
This becomes harder if you are operating in food businesses where they are perishable within a few days. It is important to predict and get adequate supplies to meet demand.
What should I do?
First, have a prediction model;
- If you are new, speak to people who have experienced or are closest to the processes of your business
- Have a few minimum viable types of products, services, and processes that are easy to predict demand in the market and focus on managing them well
- Always understand the maximum and minimum supply you should have during each time of the year, such as people, resources, and event location to carry out sales
Second, have contingency plans;
- If mismanagement occurs leading to undersupply, have a plan that in place to quickly scale up, for example, sharing your business with competitor strategically
- If mismanagement occurs leading to oversupply, have a plan to repurpose these supply so you can achieve the least losses
- It is important to identify and communicate past mistakes to all staffs to prevent the same thing from happening again
- Encourage people to provide ideas and designs, which we have discussed earlier to refine these processes as a strategy for continuous improvement
- Is your speed of transaction fast, and you are unable to keep up?
- Do you have a very low transaction or sales?
- Do you have problems with your transaction processes such as payment, delivering training, transportations, and setting up new products and services for your customers?
- Does your customers feel a sense of satisfaction after their transaction?
- Transaction experience is very important to your customer’s impression of your business. If you manage them well, they will come back to you again!
What should I do?
First, understand your problem specifically and resolve on hand issues quickly.
- During and after the transaction, there will be many different kinds of issues with both happy and unhappy customers
- It is important to prioritise and identify the root problem
- Quickly appease your customers to make your customers feel care for
Second, acknowledge that the problem exist
- Speak to the people who are closest to the problem or processes related to the problem and validate these findings
- Communicate and ask for cooperation from internal and external customers that a specific problem exist and ask for time so your business can adjust and resolve any related problems quickly
Third, make swift changes effectively
- Find the correct people, information, and process (PIP) to speed up the delivery of the solution
- If you do not have a solution, create a temporary solution as a stepping stone while you keep looking
- Communicate to internal and external customers that there is a solution implemented; if not, alternative solutions are available. This allows them to see your commitment to positive change
- Is your business model positioned to attract only new customers, returning customers, or both?
- Is your customer retention model not working?
- Do you even have a customer retention model in place?
- As much as businesses want to retain their customers, they have limited resources and often focused on only key customer retention.
When a customer moves away from you and to your competitors, they bring away.
- their trust
- knowledge about your business
- market demands that you need for pivoting
- Once they move to your competitors, it will be tougher to convince them back to your business. Unless, your competitor has a poor retention model.
What should I do?
First, have a customer retention model
- Different businesses have different retention model. So, speak to people who are experienced and closest to your customers, find out information useful to help you craft a process to retain your customers
- If your customer has a negative experience with you, quickly resolve them and ensure proper support is provided to your staffs to do so. This can be in terms of policies, processes, and people to backup.
- Be open to feedbacks and prioritise those that are being often raised because these are red flags you need to address immediately.
Second, communicate and execute this retention model
- Communicate this retention model to your staffs. This shows that you care for the well-being of your customers and that your staffs are well supported in implementing this model.
- Communicate that you have executed the retention model and encourage your staffs to do so
Third, continue to listen, revise and refine
- Position you and your business to be approachable and receptive to feedback
- Position your management as being open to improvement instead of pinpointing who has offended the customer
- Always be open to new ideas, encourage your staffs to innovate new initiatives that your customers are interested in, and always provide necessary support and guidance to execute the retention model effectively
If you wish to know more about how this model can help you, book a consultation with us here today!
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We did our best to provide you with thought-through content. However, there lies a possibility of variation we might not capture. It is your responsibility to consider before taking our advice for action. As a continuous improvement, this page will be updated whenever a new insight is visible to us.
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