But both need funds. In today’s times most businesses are hand-to-mouth with cash flow. Research budgets of most industry sectors (except pharmaceuticals, semiconductors and software) have taken huge cuts. Fund allocation for Continuous Improvement projects have also taken a back seat.
So how come I’m recommending Continuous Improvement for businesses at such a turbulent time? Because Continuous Improvement initiates changes in the way companies operate, thus leading to increased cash flow. Once cash flow problem is sorted out, everything else can be put in place quickly.
There are over eighteen time-tested scientific Continuous Improvement methodologies to choose from. Select a methodology that will bring-in best returns for your business. For example, IT companies can go in for CMMI, pharmaceutical companies can choose Lean etc. While companies from all industry verticals can opt for Kaizen. Note that, Kaizen methodology is also best suited for start-ups.
But it is important to understand status of your business before beginning with Continuous Improvement initiatives. For example- Is your business going through difficult times because of a pandemic, recession, or natural disasters such as cyclone, earthquake etc.
Secondly find out- Is it just your business going through difficult times while your competitor(s) and other industries by and large are unaffected? Answers to those questions will pave way to solutions to wade through the crisis successfully.
A question I often get is when to start with Continuous Improvement initiative? And I often rephrase the question- It is not Continuous Improvement that’s a technical term. What you are doing is Business Improvement. As improving your business’s operations and performance is the lifeline for its survival, so begin with it ASAP!
Therefore, earlier you begin Continuous Improvement campaigns in your organization, quicker will be the rewards and it will also be smooth sailing … because turning around a sick business is definitely more challenging than transforming an otherwise working business.
Usually Innovation and Continuous Improvement either singly or in combination bring about business improvement; but its is vital to know when to ‘innovate’ and when to ‘improve’...