For any company to prosper in today's business climate, at the start of a new year it is vital that operators review their situation and learn from their experiences during the recession. It is important that operations are managed in a manner which ensures complete co-ordination between marketing, sales, production planning, purchasing, quality and production, in line with International best practice which, in the current competitive environment, focuses on managing the whole process rather than individual departments.
During the recession CIP identified the importance of the increasing need to bring the company up to international levels and establish what are the appropriate strategies and systems needed to secure achievement of action plans and implement necessary actions in accordance with the output as identified in a study of the operation and the Terms Of Reference for development of a business plan.
· It is no longer acceptable practice to simply mark up the cost of a product to achieve profitability - prices should reflect perceived customer value and therefore should be market driven
· The value of the company assets must be based on its current retail value, and staff value is the value of the staff abilities, not their salaries
· Good product brand image has considerable influence on product pricing levels
· Team work enhances productivity and incentive schemes should be developed to encourage team work and pride in performance at all levels
· A state of the art operation requires highly developed planning which, in itself, controls cost of time, materials and logistics
· Business plans need to be fluid and action plans constantly reviewed and updated to improve efficiencies, eliminate waste, reduce cost and, most importantly, increase profitability
· Good communications at all levels are a key factor in the success of any company in this changing world of high technology super highways so staff should all be encouraged to improve their communication skills
· The importance of the learning experience needs to be encouraged throughout any company so that everyone takes advantage of the investment in training and skills development
· An efficient system will also improve Customer Satisfaction since each outlet should be aware of both stock availability and location so that client needs can be satisfied quickly and efficiently. The other key benefit will be the assistance that can be provided to production planning to ensure that optimum batch sizes can be produced without incurring excess stock levels
· It has been said that ‘the need for a warehouse is an admission of logistics failure’! Whilst this may over-simplify the problem it is a philosophy that can aid the understanding of the requirement for efficient stock level maintenance
· The inventory control system MUST cover raw materials and work in progress as well as finished product - the whole logistic route - if maximum efficiencies are to be maintained.
· It may also be necessary to assist and advise on the productive and profitable methods of material movement within the facility
· CIP will advise on optimum methods of storing and managing stocks of both materials and finished product
· Traditionally, cost reduction is targeted as the main criteria for performance improvement. This philosophy usually results in operations being poorly equipped and often understaffed – in today’s environment it is the elimination of waste that provides the greatest opportunities for performance improvement
· Waste elimination is something most employees can relate to and support. Consequently a Continuous Improvement Process should be adopted and become an integral part of the company culture so that change can readily be accepted
A survey of the HR programme requirements will be undertaken to develop a comprehensive programme, with full management approval, for the first six months in order to ensure the appropriate environment is in place to attract, retain and develop valuable staff. The report will include an action plan and priorities for implementation.
Development of key HR Programmes related to the new system will be undertaken as well as a detailed report on the skills and development needs of key personnel.
It is gratifying to find that a company has identified the need to address any shortcomings in this very important area. An environment that nurtures high employee morale, attitude and loyalty shows rapidly in the resultant high efficiencies and customer satisfaction.
To achieve the computerisation objectives the CIP Value Analysis will be used. The main objectives of the process are:
Ø To follow the analysis and, where appropriate, recommend improvements to processes in order to increase effectiveness and efficiency
Ø To build an Activity Based Costing Model of the business in order to identify more accurate costing of the services provided
Ø To establish parameters to Computerise processes and systems
q Allow the company to Predict and Control Change
q Improve the use of all Available Resources
q Enable changes to be made to complex processes Rapidly and Effectively
q Help to manage Inter Functional Relationships
q Help prevent the Occurrence of Errors
q Develop for the business a complete Measurement System
q Provide the staff with an understanding of How Good It Can Be & How to Get There
World class objectives are important:
ð To do things properly
ð To do things that are needed
ð To do things the best possible way
ð Tobe Environmentally Friendly
Traditional Procedure for a Customer Order
Each Department only views the order from their own viewpoint
Process Focused for a Customer Order
Process Based Management helps you see the business from the Customers' viewpoint
World Class Principles
. . . The Next Person in the Process
ð To establish the role of an individual in both their own ‘departmental’ process and also where they cross into other processes
ð From the output and analysis to be able to draw flowcharts mapping out each of the key processes for the Company
ð Following analysis of these flowcharts, new flowcharts are drawn with changes made to improve the ‘flow’
w Identifies each area where the key process stops or is delayed because the next person in the chain is not aware of the impact they are having if they don’t complete their ‘bit’ correctly and on time
w Creates the opportunity to reduce process costs
w Improves Customer Satisfaction levels
w Clarifies what actually happens when an order is received into the company
w Easier to identify and implement Process Measurement
w Helps reduce Lead Times
w Improves team building
Be CreativeBe a Leader not a Follower
As a result of a recent review of the retail motor industry it was clear that, whilst franchised dealers had access to training provided by the AUTOMOTIVE Manufacturers, independent SME’s did not have access to such training.
have discussed with our associates in the Middle East and
It is suggested that consideration be given to the formation of a retail workshop ‘Industry Skills Initiative’, which would assist industry to identify and plan relevant responses and other solutions to skills shortage issues and challenges.
This could be by the formation of an automotive working group, tasked to undertake research and provide evidence on a range of skill shortage issues in independent retail workshops in the automotive industry.The key issues likely to emerge from the working group activities include:
· The tendency to promote from within an organisation so there is a lack of fresh blood entering with new ways of doing things.
· There is often no clear understanding of the value of the labour force, often calculated as its salary cost rather than its retail revenue value.
· The failure to assess the true value of its fixed assets, including premises, valuing them at original cost, not their current retail rental value.
· There is often no appreciation of the true value of family members employed in the business, which should be based on the value of their skills if employed elsewhere.
potential of facilities should be calculated on a 24/7 basis.
· All equipment and machinery should be in full time use and thus subcontracting their use should be considered.
These are just a few key issues likely to be highlighted by a study of this sector and the recommendations should be included in an Industry Skills Action Plan to be undertaken by the industry to overcome skills shortages in the retail motor industry.
One of the key benefits to be derived from the formation of the Task Force would be the opportunity for a number of industry associations and independent consultants with expertise in this industry to collaborate and work together in an attempt to achieve mutually beneficial and common outcomes. This cooperation would be enhanced further during the life of the Task Force and thus be likely to result in the achievement of even greater success.
The Task Force should make some significant progress in areas such as:
CIP would be happy to coordinate and participate in the initial stages of the Task Force and have already identified some additional issues that need to be addressed. These include:
· The provision of adequate opportunities for students to gain experience in some form in the workplace as this significantly increases their chances of future employment in the industry.
· Exposure to the industry in the region which usually highlights the need for the development of career information and promotional strategies specific to the local area.
· The development of an integrated website featuring all areas of the industry (manufacturing as well as retail, service and repair).
The Task Force should turn its attention to the most appropriate ways of addressing these additional issues as well as continuing to implement the Action Plan objectives.
As an approved training
supplier to the IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) in the
Note: CIP would be interested in receiving contacts from consultants with an interest in such a programme and from retailers and wholesalers interested in benefiting from its implementation.
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