StrategyDriven Podcast Special Edition 3 – An Interview with Forrest Breyfogle, author of Integrated Enterprise Excellence, Volume I – The Basics

StrategyDriven Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques executives and managers can use to improve their organization’s alignment and accountability to ultimately achieve superior results. These podcasts elaborate on the best practice and warning flag posts on the StrategyDriven website.

Special Edition 3 – An Interview with Forrest Breyfogle, author of Integrated Enterprise Excellence, Volume I – The Basics explores how to achieve organizational performance improvements through the use of the Integrated Enterprise Excellence system. During our discussion, Forrest Breyfogle, author of Integrated Enterprise Excellence, Volume I – The Basics: Golfing Buddies Go Beyond Lean Six Sigma and the Balanced Scorecard and CEO of Smarter Solutions, a global management coaching and consulting firm specializing in the design and application of innovative enterprise-wide performance measures and business solutions, shares his insights regarding:

  • the importance of an integrated approach to organizational performance improvement
  • how using the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) model at the enterprise and project levels can drive performance improvement
  • acquisition of critical option value insights through the use of the Design of Experiments (DOE) approach
  • how other business management approaches such as Total Quality Management (TQM), the Theory of Constraints (TOC), SMART goals, and ISO 9000 are related to the Integrated Enterprise Excellence system

Additional Information

Complimenting the outstanding insights Forrest shares in Integrated Enterprise Excellence, Volume I – The Basics and this special edition podcast, are the organizational performance improvement materials and resources found on his website, Smarter Solutions (www.SmarterSolutions.com). Forrest also offers free one-day seminars throughout the United States. For additional information regarding these seminars, click here.

As mentioned in the podcast, Integrated Enterprise Excellence, Volume I – The Basics, is just one of four books in the Integrated Enterprise Excellence series which includes:


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Forrest W. Breyfogle IIIForrest W. Breyfogle III, author of Integrated Enterprise Excellence, Volume I – The Basics, is CEO of Smarter Solutions, a global management coaching and consulting firm specializing in the design and application of innovative enterprise-wide performance measures and business solutions. For over 15 years, Forrest has advised company leaders and their teams on how to improve their organization’s performance through the use of his Integrated Enterprise Excellence system. In 2004, Forrest received the prestigious Crosby Medal from the American Society for Quality for his earlier book, Implementing Six Sigma. He serves on the Board of Advisors for the University of Texas Center for Performance Excellence. To read Forrest’s full biography, click here.

Evaluation and Control Program Warning Flag 1 – The Illusion of Accuracy

Evaluation and Control Program Warning Flag 1 - The Illusion of Accuracy | StrategyDriven Evaluation and Control Article | Warning Flag“Measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, and cut with a chainsaw”
Author Unknown

Evaluation and control programs provide executives and managers with the critical information they need to make effective business decisions. However, an equally critical component of the decision-making process is the understanding that no data-set is a perfect reflection of reality. Therefore, it is important for business leaders to recognize the potential inaccuracies associated with their data in order to fully assess the risks these flaws pose to the achievement of desired outcomes.


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Additional Information

The following StrategyDriven recommended best practices are designed to reduce the likelihood leaders will receive data presented with an exaggerated accuracy.

4 Areas Your Business Should Be Focusing On This Year

StrategyDriven Business Performance Assessment Program Article | Business Performance Improvement | 4 Areas Your Business Should Be Focusing On This YearThe reality is that if you try to take on too much at once with your business, this approach may backfire on you. It’s better to focus in on a few essential initiatives than it is to spread yourself too thin and, in turn, end up accomplishing nothing.

There are four areas in particular that your business should highly consider concentrating on this year if you want to experience more success. Take time to review the following ideas and then think about which areas you’re performing well and which ones could use more of your time and attention so that you can come up with a plan of action for moving forward.

1. Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is one area you definitely want to focus on this year if you’re going to run a better business. It’s important to collect feedback and track your customer service performance, so you know exactly how you’re doing. The happier your customers are, the more likely it is that your business will receive positive reviews online and that consumers will start talking about you with each other and spreading the word about why it’s a wise choice to do business with you.

2. Health & Safety Obligations

Additionally, commit to following health and safety protocol and running a safer business this year. You’ll avoid unwanted situations this way and be able to retain your employees because they’ll feel safe and protected coming to work each day. Properly ventilate and extract dust and waste by using products from Integrated Air Systems to help you achieve this goal. This way, you’ll reduce the risk of equipment breaking down or someone getting sick or hurt because of unsafe working conditions.

3. Employee Retention

Another area your business should be focusing on this year has to do with employee retention. The truth is that people are more willing to change jobs these days if they’re unhappy at their current employer. Keep your employees satisfied and motivated by assigning them challenging tasks and rewarding them fairly for their efforts. Be willing to gather feedback from and listen to your employees so you can create an even more attractive work environment.

4. Innovation

Your business should also be concentrating on how to innovate your products or services in the upcoming year. Going along with business as usual might be the easy answer, but it’s not what’s going to help you stay relevant or get ahead of your competitors. Hold brainstorming sessions with your employees and use your creativity to come up with new solutions that are impressive and newsworthy.

Conclusion

Achieve better results with your business this year when you’re focusing on improving in the right areas. Use these tips to help you set more specific goals about what it is you wish to accomplish and what challenges you need to overcome in the future. Start by coming up with a plan of action and then writing down specific details about how you’ll properly execute each objective.

Mind The Gap! Can You Cover The Cracks In Your Company?

Cracks have a habit of appearing where we don’t want them. Every homeowner has that unpleasant moment of realizing a new crack has appeared on the ceiling. And, we’ve all cussed about that crack in the road. These are irritating yet inevitable parts of daily life.

StrategyDriven Business Performance Assessment Program Article
 
After all, the moment a crack appears, your efforts risk falling down that chasm. Still, even the best entrepreneurs experience gaps in operations sometimes. This is especially likely when you start out and experience teething problems. Don’t fear, though. The appearance of company cracks doesn’t mean you’re doomed to failure. All you need to do is know how to cover them so that they don’t show to the public. Lucky for you, we’re going to look at a few primary problem areas, and what you can do about them.

Terrible team members

When you start your employment journey, you won’t know what you’re looking for. There’s every possibility that you could end up with less than perfect members on your team. It may be that they don’t have a great work ethic, or that they have a disagreeable manner. It may even be that they cause workplace ruptures. A team member like this can cause issues for everyone else in the office. That’s sure to have a knock-on impact. Then answer? Make sure to do thorough background checks before taking anyone onboard. Make an effort, too, to harness experts by offering training. And, if team members still let you down, don’t be precious about letting them go. Your business will be better for it.

Manufacturing messes

StrategyDriven Business Performance Assessment Program Article
 
Given your product is the main attraction, it’s also crucial to look out for cracks in manufacturing. These can come in a few different forms. It may simply be that you haven’t perfected a production method which works yet. Or, it may be that your machinery isn’t producing a clean-cut product. That first point is easy enough to cover over with a little careful planning and playing around. The latter isn’t quite as simple, though there is still a clear solution. If you aren’t achieving the finish you want, you should turn to someone like this manufacturer who offer precision equipment which is sure to be an improvement. Recalibrating your machines may also provide the precise measurements you’re after.

Delivery disasters

Many new companies also experience cracks in their delivery methods. This is terrible news as it directly impacts the customer experience. To make sure they don’t notice these problems, you need to focus your efforts here early on. Your best option by far would be to turn to an outsourced courier service like this one when you start out. This ensures your deliveries come from a professional and established company. As simple as that, you can put the risk of cracks here behind you, and see your deliveries on a smooth road to arrival.

5 Ways Healthcare Facilities Can Improve Their Financial Performance

StrategyDriven Business Performance Assessment Program ArticleHealthcare facility operating margins are under pressure from all sides. Uncompensated care of patients, slow paying insurance providers, reduced government reimbursement rates and rising costs are all contributing factors. Cutting staff and similar solutions risk quality of care and an extended wait time. Here are four ways healthcare facilities can improve their financial performance without adversely impacting patients.

Measure and Manage Based on the Right Metrics

The metrics you use as the yardstick for organizational performance affect how people act. Instead of seeking to get patients out as soon as possible, look at readmission rates. It would be better to invest a little more time and effort up front so that patients don’t have to come back later. This is so important that low re-admissions are necessary to join an accountable care organization or ACO. Instead of simply measuring the time it takes to discharge a patient, focus on finding the most efficient and error-free method of doing so. You want to ensure that acute patients receive appropriate self-care instructions and follow-ups so they don’t end up getting worse. You can also use data to identify opportunities for improvement, whether it is determining where to streamline operations or which profit-centers you may want to expand.

Work with Payors, Not Against Them

Healthcare facilities have no control over underpayments from government health programs. They can work with commercial and employer-based payers such as insurance carriers, and they can work with private pay patients. Healthcare facilities should take the time to understand their existing contracts and look for ways to better meet those contracts, so that they receive as much money back as possible. A common solution is renegotiating contracts.

A surprising number of uninsured patients are eligible for government programs. Work with them to sign them up for programs so that the facility can reduce its rate of uncompensated care or bad debt from those who cannot afford expensive ER and OR bills.

Reevaluate Your Suppliers

Work with your vendors to save money on supplies; that is the second largest expense in most healthcare facilities. Ask vendors about discounts you could receive simply due to the volume of items you already consume. Inquire about discounts if you ordered items in bulk and run inventory so that you don’t order items you don’t need.

Collect Data to Manage Labor Costs

In medical facilities, labor costs and labor-related costs may be more than half of all expenditures. Focusing on other areas is a waste of time if these expenses are not under control. The solution is to carefully track data on staffing and manage labor on a cost-per-patient-day level. Don’t over-staff one area and under-staff another. Make data-driven labor decisions whether hiring, firing, or assigning overtime. Hold regular meetings on managing labor rolls monthly, quarterly and annually. Don’t cut 10% across the board, but instead cut those individuals who are redundant or under-utilized. If labor costs are high in an area, you can look for third-party service providers who you could outsource the work to.

Use risk reporting software to find gaps in dynamic care, study financial trends, and determine the risks you may face based on resource allocation decisions. Then you won’t end up hurting patients with understaffing during a predictable peak demand or fall short of cash unexpectedly.

Industry surveys have found that finances are the number one concern of executives year after year. Following these tips can help you cut costs and improve revenue without hurting the quality of care patients receive.