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Managing Businesses

Getting on the steering wheel

The process of managing a business comprises several factors by which the goals and objectives of the organisation are achieved. We shall break these factors arising from the assets which have been built over time

• People in the team
• Brand
• Products
• Cash
• Network of partners
• Customers and relationships

There are others which played in building the above and shall continue to play an important that we now perceive shall additionally play a for in the future

• Governance
• Processes
• Flow of material and information
• Efficient use of assets
• Ability to take pragmatic decisions
• Ability to scale
• Responsiveness to customers needs
• Responsiveness to the optimizations
• Community involvement

What makes them go? Skills

Managerial Skills - An entrepreneur with good managerial skills can convert the disorganised resources of men, money, material and machinery into a productive business enterprise. In addition the following skills add to the effectiveness.

Technical Skills - refer to the ability and knowledge in using equipment, techniques and procedures involved in performing specific tasks.

Human Skills - consist of the ability to work effectively with other people both as individuals and as members of a group. Such skills are required by an entrepreneur in order to win co-operation of others and to build a base for a successful work team.

Conceptual Skills - comprise the ability to see the whole organisation and the inter-relations between its parts. These skills include the competence to understand a problem facing the organisation in all its aspects and solving the problem. It is necessary for rational decision making

Managing is a dynamic and an on-going process which continues to operate so long as there is an organised action for the achievement of group goals.

We shall also briefly touch upon the factors that hold the company together, give it a meaningful identity and is important for its day to day management

Governance
From the requirement of the statutory compliance to the way the company is structure to ensure that the governance becomes a way of life. Here we would also like to touch upon the operational governance and the partner governance. The governance on one side establishes transparency, but the on the other side it can be an effective mechanism to measure the activities and services, aggregate based on the requirement, allow for corrective action and measure the progress. The perspective on the governance hence can now be considered as dynamic instead of static.

Processes
This is the chain of events or sequence of activities. The process also bring about work definition, allow for standardization and possible improvements. With the defined processes one could then leverage tools and systems, bring about re use and build up scalability. The processes may be realigned based on the business context and strategy and need only to be rigid up to the required agreements in each situation.

Flow of material and information
Core processes refer to the activities directly connected with the movement of the material through the value chain. In reality, the information flows along with the material and influences the flow of the material. Effective understanding of the information flow and the required observation of the same, once could take decisions online, which otherwise may only be possible by material inspections and results. For example Quality and warranty may be reduced by observing influencing factors which lead to fall in quality and expected results. Similarly the use of the Pre sales information can be combined with the volume planned for production to reduce inventory in the chain.

Efficient use of assets
Understanding of the fixed assets helps. How could once get a higher utilization of the asset is important and can be looked at what additionally be done with the available assets. This asset in consideration may be brand, product, platform, people, cash, and network.
Both under use and over result in the loss of efficiency.

Ability to take pragmatic decisions
Not always are all the facts and figures available to the decision maker or the leadership team. Not always are all the people available when the decisions need to be taken. In many case the companies delay or defer decisions or delegate decisions upwards which also is a bottleneck. The circumstance largely result in decisions not being taken, become too costly and opportunity may be lost. In the other case the decisions are made based on opinion or personal comfort.

What are then, the essentials, which allow the line manager to take a decision and with conviction. The pragmatic decisions based on context can power the company ahead.

Ability to scale
Based on the goals, required resources need to be organized. This shall improve the readiness for the businesses scale. It should be open to collaborate, be willing to partner, the business model, the organization structure, the build and stock point and the execution can then fall in place.
Right people with the understanding on how to grow the business are important in this stage since now the control may flow from a centralized working to a federated model.

Responsiveness to customers needs
Customers expectations change and their needs evolve. The organization needs to collect feedback, understand the trends and provide the right solutions that may meet the new customer needs. The needs may force product extensions, look at added options like finance, insurance, warranty. Improvement in the customer service, as may be the case in a restaurant business from in restaurant table serving to self service to take away to dial a meal covers some changing aspects to show how the customer may like to be served. Ambience could provide value for the customer experience.

Responsiveness to the optimizations
As the company grows and with period of time, there are processes, policies, products, methods, tools that may outgrow their utility. The responsiveness would depend up on the company’s openness to invest and be willing to handle change. While, it may be easy to defer the decision or step back from going ahead and making the change, it needs to be avoided. Being responsive to the optimizations shall keep the organization fit and young.

Community involvement
Beyond the customer, beyond the employee, beyond the partner and beyond the shareholder, the not so distant entity is equally important. This is the external community which is associated with the organization always but may be the beneficiary to the results obtained by the organization. Get the community involved

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