ORIGINAL TEXT Let’s start with an outlandish claim: ‘I Can Fix My Business, Myself’ is the greatest ‘do it yourself’
business improvement book and system that has ever been devised. A lot of evidence will be required to prove that statement, but I think that I can make a strong case for it in this book. Actually, many of the clients who I advised over the past thirty years will provide much of the evidence. This is a “how to” problem-solving book for entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized business owners, executives and managers whose businesses are struggling with various types of management and operational inefficiencies and who either cannot afford to hire the services of consultants, or are seeking new tools and approaches to fixing their businesses themselves. I have developed a teachable approach to solving these problems which this book documents and which has been supplemented with different problem-solving and business building tools that are available at a special internet address for download, without any additional cost to you. I know the struggles that companies experience when they try to improve the performance of their operations, and I believe that many business owners and their employees can become accomplished in many areas of problem solving and the work that we consultants do, if they are given the necessary tools, information and direction. This book provides the framework, tools, organization and structure that will make it possible for you to fix your business, yourself. The approach has eliminated wasted effort, and, most importantly, it will help you to utilize a planning process that has achieved overwhelming results for companies both large and small – from fortune 1000 to entrepreneurial startups. The framework has four simple steps: 1. It recognizes that business performance can be easily reengineered when there is a clear understanding of a company’s business model and the few key activities or building blocks that drive every business, regardless business type; (foundational requirements) It finds and systematizes the same 20% of business activities which are generally responsible for impacting approximately 80% of business value in the form of productivity, profits, cash flow and shareholders wealth; (80/20 Rule - the strategy) It requires that businesses recognize this same set of key activities as organizational success ‘drivers’ and makes sure that management and employees reorganize their time to make sure that these key activities work extremely well; (focus on ‘drivers’) It assures organizational accountability by engaging employees and by providing them with continuous feedback regarding the performance of the same 20% of activities in a timeframe when this information can cause employees to correct their performance. (organizational accountability to value)
I have used this approach over the past thirty years to improve the performance of more than 1,000 businesses throughout the US and in several foreign countries while working alongside several hundred business leaders, managers and employees to solve a wide range of problems. In this book, you will find an incredible variety of learning opportunities and techniques that have been used to impact the performance of numerous client organizations. Additionally, several case studies have been selected to help you and your company to experience the same fantastic results that other companies now take for granted. As a matter of fact, many of your department supervisors will be able to use these tools to help them improve the operations of their individual departments.
The results of this work have been impressive and companies in several industries and with different objectives and business models have benefited substantially. REVISED TEXT
Let's start with an outlandish claim: the greatest do-it-yourself business improvement plan every devised is the, "I can Fix My Business Myself" system. Of course, with such an outlandish claim, you probably want to see some evidence to back it up. Good! I'll just step out of the way and let let the many clients I've advised over the past thirty years provide the evidence for me. It doesn't matter if you’re an entrepreneur, an owner of a small or medium-sized business, an executive or manager, this is your how-to resource. In this book you're going to find invaluable problem-solving information towards various management and operational inefficiencies. For those who either cannot afford to hire consultancy services, or are seeking new and innovative tools and approaches to fixing their business themselves, it's time to role up your sleeves, because this is your field guide. I know all about the struggles that companies experience when trying to improve operations performance, but I believe that business owners and their employees can become accomplished in the same areas of problem solving that we consultants have. All it takes is the necessary tools, information, and direction. In this book you're going to find just that. You will be provided the framework, organization, and structure that make it possible to fix the problems in your business without outside aid. From fortune 1000 companies to entrepreneurial startups to companies both big and small, this planning process has already achieved overwhelming results and the framework is a simple four step system. 1. Recognize that business performance can be easily re-engineered when there is a clear understanding of a company's business model and the building blocks that drive every business. These are your foundational requirements that every business of every type must have. 2. Find and systematize the same 20% of business activities that are generally responsible for impacting 80% of business value in the form of productivity, profits, cash flow, and shareholder wealth. This is called the 80/20 Rule Strategy. 3. Recognize the same set of key activities as organizational success drivers so that management and employees know them extremely well. 4. Ensure organizational accountability by engaging employees and providing them with continuous feedback regarding performance within a specified 20% of activities during a time frame where employees can correct their performance, which is known as organizational accountability to value. Using the above approach, I have improved the performance of more than 1,000 businesses across the US and abroad within the last thirty years. I've worked with hundreds of business leaders, managers, and employees to solve some of the toughest problems out there. That's why I've included an incredible variety of tried and true learning opportunities and techniques that have been implemented throughout numerous client organizations. You will also be able to read through comprehensive case studies so that you and your company may experience the same results others now take for granted. The following are just a few brief examples of what other clients have achieved using the approaches taught in this book: A manufacturing client improved quality and productivity by nearly 55% over a ninety day period by changing the focus of its employees from non-value added activities. They went from spending approximately 35% of their time checking and double checking for quality defects and filling out quality and production reports to taking individual and team responsibility for
building quality first to meet customer schedules. The new focus required that employees spend 95% of their time on the activities that customers valued – a quality product within schedule. A distribution and warehousing client improved truck throughput by nearly 35% when it required its employees to use 90% of their time building truck loads rather than searching for merchandise with the highest selling prices to load first. Excessive overtime costs, truck waiting times, and late delivery penalties were immediately eliminated, while revenue miles driven increased by 27%. A department store client improved its gross profit sales per square foot by 37% over a sixty day period when it correctly identified the 20% of its merchandise that had the highest gross profit levels. The store allocated additional selling space to this merchandise, and increased its investments in advertising and employee training. An extrusion manufacturing client reduced machine breakdown by 65% and improved plant productivity and quality by 35% by focusing employees' attention on machine running time rather than machine speed. As a result, machine breakdowns became infrequent and overtime shifts were eliminated to the delight of the employees. Productivity soared and the company changed its mind deciding not to purchase additional liens to keep up with productivity. This saved several thousands of dollars while productivity improved. The problem solving platform is built off of the 80/20 rule, which indicates that 80% of business value comes from 20% of the activities of customers, employees, business focus, and customers. The remaining 80% of input produces a mere 20% of business value. The approach detailed in this book requires businesses to find the right 20% of inputs and focus on them like a laser pointer. This maximizes and expands the 80% output set of factors. You're not only going to learn theory, you're going to learn application by learning what the best companies do to become and stay the best. You will have everything you need in order to build a lasting organization such as the following: