Standardization Services for Business Operations

The Opportunity

You need resiliency to handle shocks.
You need flexibility to manage volatility.
You need efficiency to absorb higher costs.

But how can you achieve it? The standardization challenge requires trial-and-error experience on real-world operations. And that takes lots of time. (Spoiler alert: The Lab has been standardizing for three decades.)

You can’t hurry standardization simply by adding more people, more capital, or more technology.

Why Standardize?

Improve standardization, and you improve your business

Today, businesses often deliver a mix of smart products bundled with 24/7 service and support—locally, regionally, or globally. From fast food to online investing, customers value a consistent, frictionless, and error-free experience.

Employees squander 30 percent of their day on drudgery: rework, corrections, and data transfers. Standardization cuts drudgery and embeds know-how: in business processes, automation, data structures, and more.

In a classic case of “less is more,” it’s time to replace quantity of data with quality of data. How? Standardize it. And link it to business value creation.

Existing systems’ features and creation capabilities are painfully under-utilized. Meanwhile, new digital automation technologies struggle to find use cases. The fix for both? Standardization.

What should you standardize?

In a word: Everything. (Every aspect of everything in knowledge work.)
The Lab’s templates simplify standardization of four valuable Knowledge Work assets:

The Lab's Three-Step Approach to Standardization

The Lab’s Three-Step Approach to Standardization

Step 1: Analyze & Document the Current Sate

The Lab’s templates act as checklists to speed documentation of organizations, processes, and sub-processes. These enable comparison of KPIs, best practices, and automation opportunities. It’s a technique we call Structured Discovery™. It’s faster, more straightforward, and more accurate than tedious conventional methods and complex process-mining technologies. The Lab’s categorized hierarchies—or taxonomies—make it easy to organize, navigate, and coordinate your business. Everything is template-ized. Pre-built. This also reduces time requirements for your staff. One hour here. Thirty minutes there. That’s it!

Structured Discovery™ Templates: Efficiently Identify Improvement Opportunities

…Map business process detail as needed

The Lab’s business process maps provide two layers of detail essential for implementation.

A. “Micro” Layer: Work Activities and Keystrokes Target small groups of work activities (1-5 min. each) to identify standardization opportunities, and drill down to the keystroke-level (2-5 sec. each) to scope automation use cases.
B. “Macro” Layer: End-to-End (E2E) Process Understand complex E2E, cross-departmental processes to shed light on data movements, handoffs, customer touch-points, and more.

Select as much or as little detail as you need. Start or stop anywhere along any process.

Business Process Maps: Capture Detail to Support Standardization, Automation

Step 2: Conduct Best Practice Gap Analysis

…best practice gap analysis

The Lab documents the variance from the “best practice.” We compare item-by-item to let you see what’s happening (and not), and where.

What do we compare?
– Work activities
– Job roles
– KPIs and reports
– System/software utilization
– Service levels
– Customer needs
– Competitor performance

“Best Practice” Comparisons: Document Variance from Process, Data, and Service Standards

Step 3: Build & Implement the Standardization Roadmap

….the standardization roadmap

The Lab starts with the low-hanging fruit. Then we establish a “lather-rinse-repeat” cadence of manageably-sized improvement iterations to achieve consistent gains without the big-bang disruption of old-school approaches.

Standardization roadmaps segment improvements into manageable waves for implementation. The Lab works hand-in-hand with each client to:

• Design roadmaps
• Implement improvements and automate

Standardization Roadmaps: Prioritize and Manage Implementation Activities

Case Studies: Real-Life

…realized benefits for executive project sponsors

Project Sponsor:
Chief Marketing Officer

Project Objectives:
– Operational efficiency
– Productivity improvement
– Lean management

Project Scope:
– Product design
– Marketing
– Order management
– Production
– Scheduling
– Customer service

Implementation Results:
– Operating cost: 30%
– Plant capacity:  20%
– Schedule changes: 60%
– Order errors: 40%
– Break-even point: 5 mos.
– ROI (12 month): 5x

Project Sponsor:
Senior Vice President, Operations

Project Objectives:
– Improved customer service
– Lower operating expenses
– Process standardization, automation

Project Scope:
– Customer service
– Order management
– Production scheduling
– Materials management
– Returned goods

Implementation Results:
– Operating cost: 34%
– Customer service issues: 50%
– Line-item fill rate: 30%
– Break-even point: 7 mos.
– ROI (12 month): 4x

Project Sponsor:
Senior Vice President, Operations

Project Objectives:
– Accelerated order delivery
– Customer experience improvement
– Growth readiness and cost optimization

Project Scope:
– Order management
– Sales and operations planning
– Customer service
– Branch operations
– Distribution

Implementation Results:
– Order-to-delivery cycle time: 50%
– Capacity improvement: 30%
– Operating cost: 20%
– Break-even point: 5 mos.
– ROI (12 month): 4x


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