This week, I saw a pragmatic, yet simple engineering practice that made a business operation a performance leader. My brief was advising on Globally Harmonized Systems of classification and Labeling of chemicals and how it should be applied to package labeling. My scope was to give advice on best practices to design for an enterprise rack infrastructure. To give this advice my analysis required I consider the capability of the organization for change and the approach it took to manage it.
My client is multinational manufacturing company, with factories world-wide and Thailand where I had this assignment was one of the two best performing plants in Asia.
As I dug more about how they do things their Chief Executive told me their secret to this success,
“Our practice on expansion projects is to focus on issues that can be completed in a short period of time. “ The after making small investment to get results we build from there. Large projects for the time being anyway are frozen.”
With this knowledge I was able to assess the maturity change management which in this case was mastery level to plan incremental updates of the infrastructure.
Recently, I had a workshop with a group of F&A department listed company in Thai Stock Market. Cutting expenses and change habits could be viewed as first practice for personal finance, but as a CFO, where can you focus and control your budget? The fact that month end trial balances could only be reported by mid of the following month is too slow for decision making. Go ahead and dig up your FA01 class material and review how to create break even analysis, by the time you figure which department is causing trouble to the company; you might end up losing your job. Time is the key here. Being able to know your figures and analyzing them before you go down the drain is how to survive.
Managing short and sharp projects is also a key noted. Having large, big bang projects lead to nowhere. Another listed company we talked with experienced this as they were planning to revamp their entire accounting system just because the IT director wanted a big tick on his KPI, in the end the project failed – change of scope, lost of internal sponsorship and implementation took too long to notice success.
So if you’re planning to do that big bang long run project you planned last year, may I wish you good luck, who knows, lighting strikes! How much can you make per second anyway?