The everyday revenue-generating business machine is widely known as operations. Whilst we as consumers generally hear about products and services, the activities that get those products to our door or services delivered on time, and in line with expectations, are taken for granted.
The golden triangle is the balance between Processes, Systems and People. This is what every World Class organisation manages well, and under-par organisations frequently get wrong.
Processes – are the physical applications that enable products and service materials to be produced consistently well and in volume. “Consistently well” is the critical element.
Systems – are the quality control mechanisms and communication methods used to enable the operational sections to deliver their contributions. They are crucial for enabling consumers to make choices and facilitate the buying process. Systems are critical to establishing consumer confidence and are the bedrock of regulatory and retailer compliance.
People – often the most complex and challenging element of any business, but also the most adaptable component. The two things that people do better than machines are adapting choices to fit the context and “reading between the lines”. In complex environments, like manufacturing and logistics, making good decisions without all of the facts is essential. Whilst machines can do repetitive tasks quicker and better than people and can quickly arrive at a decision based on a flowchart of Yes- No options; even inexperienced and poorly educated people can make good decisions by reading between the lines.
Each of the title components of The Golden Triangle of Operations has many layers, but unless a business can maintain a balance between these elements, its reputation and consumer experience will suffer.
The cost of firefighting and correcting errors is often overlooked, as is the cost of NOT making a decision.
Understanding where people add value to the revenue stream and how systems support processes, are essential to business success.
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In this short series, I will work through the Triangle, the next instalment will dig deeper into Processes and how they add value.