Operations is a set of tasks that are bundled into processes for a particular purpose. Operations typically follow a 3 step process of inputs, throughputs and outputs. They must incorporate controls while also balancing the costs. Operations performs the functions that result in the products your customers ultimately pay for.
- Are operations designed with the customer in focus? If you are delivering a solid value proposition to your customer, it must include timeliness and consistency as a part of the process. They are the ultimate referee on your business, so you should look to review and realign your operations to their expectations frequently.
- Does every cost have a matching revenue? Your ego might get in the way and cause you to spend money on things that you think are important. A good way to see if you are right is to find out if the customer will pay you for them. If they will, carry on. If not, pause and think again about your cash flow.
- Are my costs aligned with my biggest challenges? If you aren’t investing your funds in resolving your biggest problems, you should pause and reset your plans. Depending on your stage of evolution, you could have growth, execution or control headaches to deal with. Always put your cash to its highest and best use.
Building a stream-lined operation that is designed to say yes to customer needs is a fundamental challenge for any business.