Every business has three main business departments. Marketing creates interest in your product or service; sales take that interest and turns it into a sale and finally operations fills the order. There is nothing worst then making the sales but not being able to fill all the orders.
In a properly ran business, marketing will have a monthly forecast of the interest they expect to generate. Sales will have a monthly sales forecast and a real-time, predicable sales funnel. With a proper system, operations should know well in advance the number of orders they have to fill and when.
Having a system would be next to useless unless you were constantly monitoring the system and making adjustments to operations as required. To maximize profit and minimize customer’s wait for their order to be filled, operations has to have Just in Time Inventory along with a labour pool that can expand or contract as volume rises and falls.
You need to find ways to increase operational efficiency. This may be accomplished by employee training or better tools and machines that allow employees to fill more orders in less time. It is important to note that operations needs to do continuous improvement, always looking for ways to improve the quality of your product or service while increasing capacity and lowering cost. You need to do quality assurance, ensuring that your product or service consistently meets or exceeds your quality standards.
Easier said than done, but you can bet that your competition is trying real hard to continuously improve, and if you are not careful, they can leave you behind in the dust.
You need to know the status of every order and whether or not you will make the promised delivery date/time. By staying on top of your order status, you can be proactive and avoid missed deadlines. You need to manage your work force in relationship to the order. You would want to schedule employees to certain tasks of completing the order. This allows employees to know what is required and for management to know everything is taken care of and is running smoothly.
Your business may need to manage raw material inventory, third party inventory and possibly finished goods inventory. Again, remember we are striving to minimize inventory and maximize customer satisfaction, which is at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Each day employees can come to work and decide what they feel like doing, or you can have a system in place so everyone knows what needs to be done, by who, and when, so that you maximize profit and customer satisfaction.
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