Operations Payoff

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Who Owns The Empty Shelves?

Strong process discipline is vital for top performance. By discipline, I’m referring to the tenacity, diligence, and persistence people exhibit in their work.

Shelf of beveragesLet me give you an example. I’ve been working with a retail company whose sales have been trending down for the past 12 to 18 months. There could be several reasons for this, but as I reviewed their operations and observed the activities on the sales floor, I noticed a number of empty spaces on the shelves. Every time I visited the store, I would look in the same spots and I noticed that the same spaces remained empty.

Every process should have an owner, so I asked who owns stock replenishment. Not surprisingly, the stock replenishment process had no specific owner. To make things worse, the people who usually stocked the shelves were busy with other responsibilities, so stock replenishment only got done when it was convenient or in response to a special request to stock a shelf.

If product isn’t readily available, some customers will ask a sales person, but many will simply go down the street to a competitor to find what they need. This was contributing to the decline in sales.

The discipline of process management (and execution) helps achieve top performance. In this case, the added revenue may have reversed the downward trend in sales.

© 2016 – Rick Pay – All Rights Reserved

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