The Wall Street Journal and Vistage recently conducted a survey of CEOs of small business ($1 million to $20 million) about the election’s impact on their businesses. As you’d expect, the CEOs saw both positive and negative potential outcomes, but they held an underlying assumption that the activities and practices of their businesses will remain more or less the same.
One issue is the impact of labor availability and increasing hourly labor costs (3.6% per year) on small businesses. The survey suggested that automation might be the solution, and it could certainly help. Unfortunately the survey didn’t explore changing the way labor is applied by eliminating processes that add little or no value, improving productivity in the remaining processes, and applying approaches such as Lean, Six Sigma, or World Class Manufacturing.
Another issue the survey addresses is changing trade practices under the new administration which could limit the availability of materials, create shortages increase costs. Once again, the authors didn’t consider the benefits of managing supply chains in partnership with suppliers to prepare for and respond to those changes in trade policy.
In my new book 1+1=100: Achieving Breakthrough Results Through Partnerships, I devoted two chapters to supplier partnerships and how companies can more than offset the changing global trade environment through partnerships with their suppliers.
Is your company ready for change? Are you thinking innovatively to get ready for those changes? Do your operations strategies include disruptive ideas to keep you in the top 10% of your industry? To find out how you can make rapid innovations in your company to prepare for the future, give me a call.
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