ARIOSO CONSULTING :: Developing harmony between people & systems

By: Arioso Consulting  09-12-2011
Keywords: Process Improvement


We know that change happens whether we want it to or not. Success at dealing with change is related to employees’ attitudes towards it. Resistance occurs because of fear of the unknown.

As leaders in change management, ARIOSO Consulting Services Inc. brings over 15 years of expertise and leadership to the change process as companies introduce new strategies, structure, systems and processes. As an implementation support consulting firm specializing in the management of change, we combine experience and expertise to assist people responsible for implementing change.

ARIOSO Consulting Services Inc. is dedicated to the principle that consultants cannot manage their clients' changes, but must enable them to manage change themselves. We provide a common sense approach utilizing facets of “Appreciative Inquiry” which analyzes the best of what a company has to offer and considering what possibilities might be explored. We tailor to the individual needs of our clients and will provide support at all levels of the client’s business.

Doing things the same way year after year may feel comfortable, but it can lead to inefficiency or obsolescence.

Problems with product quality, paying overtime to meet a deadline, stacks of paper, searches for a part or report, and rising costs all hint at opportunities for business process improvement. Still, process improvement and streamlining is not urgent for most companies. It often takes a back seat to the everyday demands of running a business, giving way to ongoing inefficiencies and lost opportunities.

Even if you have devoted the time and resources to process improvement, considering your employees’ reaction to the new or revamped internal process is often as important as the procedural change itself. Given the average employee’s resistance to change, it is not uncommon for a company’s goals, products and technologies to outpace its internal processes. As internal processes become outdated and lose focus, your company becomes less profitable, reactive and inefficient.

From planning and systems integration to the examination of functional areas, the experienced professionals at ARIOSO Consulting Services Inc. review all facets of your business and help you determine the best course of action. Our process-improvement method looks to answer three basic questions:

Is the process defined and communicated to employees? Does everyone understand who, what, when, where, why and how?

Is there a system in place to manage the process -- and is the system consistently applied across groups?

Are there opportunities to streamline or reengineer the process in a way that adds value for the process, the product or the customer?

Knowing the answers to these questions helps determine the steps needed to improve the process. The benefits to improving the process are significant -- often resulting in cost reductions and increased productivity through---

• More accurate information
• Accelerated responsiveness
• Minimized paperwork and entry duplication
• Ongoing support for continuous improvement

Perhaps the most difficult part of business process improvement is the implementation of the new procedures. Our consultants not only work with you to identify more efficient processes, but they also stay on board to help you implement the new procedures if needed.

An effective team requires knowledge of the issues and commitment from its members. The component skills for effectiveness are: group dynamics, communication, negotiating, problem solving, decision-making, conflict management, and value.

We identify the formal and informal teams in your company and help develop cooperative communication within the groups

We identify the natural leaders and work with them on developing the team.

We work with team members to develop their roles and effectiveness.

Coaching and counseling are a must in today’s society where the pace of business and the responsibility of each employee is so wide spread. Management supports its employees in ways such as payroll, benefits, and vacations. But the relationship support between management and employees requires the same level of support provided to customers.

“A Happy Employee is a Productive Employee”. Management must understand employees’ goals, needs and views on quality of life.

ARIOSO Consulting Services provides a safe atmosphere of understanding and open communication with sound advice and empathy.

The employee must be a willing participant in this process. The evolution then becomes possible by self generated solutions and accountability.

We can provide you with project management services for:

• New Plant Construction
• Plant and/or Office Relocations and closings
• New Systems Implementation
• Health and Safety Development and Training
• ISO/TS 16949, ISO 14001 Development
• Policy and Procedures Manual Development
• Hiring and Training
• Inventory Reduction
• Direct and Indirect Labor Analysis
• Computer Installation
• Security Systems
• Temporary Management Supply
• Non-Profit Organization Development

The above may be driven by the needs of the business to expand or downsize or simply by the unsuitability of existing circumstances.

A particular feature of project management is the client's need to maintain continuity of service to their customers throughout the project. Contracting outside consultants eliminates the need to take employees away from their jobs. Managing the project time-line is particularly important in order to minimize business disruption.

On-site resident project management is often indicated when the project is complex, involves multiple contractors working simultaneously or interacts strongly with ongoing site operations. These tend to be higher-value projects or have specific issues of quality or timescale that demand particular attention.

Some projects are less demanding and can be handled by local staff, with remote project management support.

In practice, the decision is often not clear-cut and, sometimes, a better approach is to have a "visiting" project manager who attends pre-arranged meetings and also makes unscheduled visits to check quality and progress.

Whatever level of site management is employed and whether internal or external resources are used, certain guiding principals should apply:

Meet at least monthly with representatives of the principal contractor(s) to review the program, progress, costs and variations, quality and safety.

Maintain records of project expenditure including contract value, invoiced to date and "Anticipated Final Cost".

Put in place an invoice authorization and payment structure that reflects both your internal project accountability and contractual requirements.

Introduce formal "Request for Information" systems and monitor responses.

Update the project plan at least once every two weeks. Mark up progress and identify critical slippage.

Monitor the quality and workmanship of the execution of the work.

Give instructions and information as required.

If any project is to succeed, it needs to satisfy three criteria. It must be:

• On Time
• On Cost
• To the quality standard specified.

This is the three-legged stool theory. A serious failure of any component causes collapse of the whole!

Keywords: Process Improvement