Process Improvement Win: $7.5 Million Saved
I had the privilege of running a nation-wide SharePoint® process improvement project that produced some remarkable results:
- $7.5 million in labor savings over three years.
- Consolidated 36 offices to 13 while creating a nation-wide set of standard processes and enforcing compliance with the new processes.
- Removed 250,000 potential errors per year. (At an estimated $30 saved per error prevented.)
- Reduced order error rates from 15% to less than 5% in some cases.
- Freed up 63,000 sales and sales support hours per year. This gave sales execs and support people what needed most – time to work on the right things.
How did we accomplish this?
CLICK HERE for full case study. Below is the first of a series on how this was accomplished. Also, you can CLICK HERE to join our weekly SharePoint® Process Improvement Forum. (Fridays from Noon to 1 pm, Central time, no cost, pre-registration required, attendance limited.) Some big lessons from our success:
1. Resist the seduction of technology. Focus on business results. Say “Where is the business value?” “Where is a 10-fold payback for the time, cost and hassle of this great new technology?” See Key Processes Where We Have Used SharePoint Effectively for a starting point. In this project, we generally resisted the technology distraction by using only the parts of SharePoint® that worked (consistently) and were free. Click Here for Tom’s List of Primary SharePoint® Value. Note that we accomplished this result with $0 software cost for SharePoint. The technology fascination that we see everywhere is driven by vendor profit motives and personal desires to be “techno leaders.” I encourage you to set yourself apart – and earn the respect of your business people – by focusing on solving high-value business problems.
2. Three great fundamentals: Executive support, user buy-in and scope control. I learned these 20 years ago, and they still apply. We got executive support by concentrating on a single high-value business problem: Reducing the cost of sales as a percent of revenue. We got user buy-in by teaching the users to solve their own problems with SharePoint® (especially Lists – this was spectacularly successful because the users knew Excel®, and Lists behave like “Excel® on steroids”). We had users teach other users why they should use the new system and how. We contained scope by focusing on results that could be produced in 90 days. SharePoint® helped in this area, because we wanted to get things done without software development. This limited us to simple solutions, which could be rapidly implemented.
In future articles, we’ll discuss:
- SharePoint® and Business Process Improvement: Mostly good news, some bad news.
- Process mapping: Big deal, lost art.
- What you need to learn about the business side.
- The Dark Side: Understanding and preventing the things that will hurt your project.
- Personal and Career Suggestions.
Stay tuned, check us out at www.tomingraminc.com or CLICK HERE to join our weekly SharePoint® Process Improvement Forum