Hi. I’m standing here next to my fruit tree in the backyard. I want to talk about fruit trees on this nice summer morning. In case you don’t know me, my name is Peter Herku and I help companies to become more efficient, to reduce waste, to reduce unnecessary work time and to reduce any mistakes or scrap they produce that is not serving their customer well. Before I continue, if you want to learn how to reduce costs, if you want to improve productivity of your company, go to herku.com/contact and fill in the form there and we can have a talk how you could improve the productivity and efficiency of your company.

Improving even when you are doing well

I have clients asking me how to improve productivity. They are very established: they have at least ten million dollars annual revenue and they have projects running to improve parts of the business, like improving onboarding, improving administration, improving financial reporting, reducing incidences in their operation. Although they have all those things running, they realize that they need the next step. They don’t always have everybody on board and they don’t have their employees looking for ways to improve their work every day. It’s really coming from a manager maybe or the CEO. Not everybody is fully aware of the improvement efforts and that frustrates them, because they see opportunities and those opportunities are not being acted on.

Involving your team

So they carry a lot of weight in the sense of high costs and therefore low margins, low profitability and that’s really not a nice thing and frustrates them. This makes them really aware of the fact that they need to do more. They need more people on board, people who understand that every day the work can be done better than the day before. Not only for profitability – that’s more a result, but customers can be served better and better quality can be delivered. And this in a way that the employees will enjoy their work much more. Nobody likes unnecessary work, but the problem is that you get used to it. You really think that’s the way, that’s part of the job –  looking for information, asking your colleague again about the same information, because he forgot to deliver it for the 20th time, to control each other’s work remove mistakes. But the more control you have in the process, the more mistakes can be made, because everybody’s expecting someone else to remove them. So they don’t have to do their work very well.  This kind of activities you see all around in every company and that’s why my clients, although they are established, although they make nice profits, want to do more. They want to take the next step. You can take the next step as well, go to herku.com/contact, enter your data there and we will get in touch to see whether we can help you not to be frustrated, not to be held hostage by inefficiencies all over your company. Help you to have people working on efficiency improvement every day, reducing lead times, reducing the time it takes to deliver the work, improving the quality, reducing variation among colleagues, making sure customers get predictable consistent quality. This is especially important in health care businesses.

The lesson of the fruit tree

I thought of you seeing this old fruit tree. I was about to cut it down as it didn’t bear any fruit, but decided to only cut off some dead branches in spring. The result was amazing- unexpectedly the tree is full of fruit this year. This tree is like your company, it’s full of dead branches. Those branches symbolize activities that don’t deliver any added value to your customer and to your profitability. The tree just grows by itself and you might think, oh I’m a great, efficient and productive company. Think twice, because saying it demonstrates that you don’t know it. Everywhere in your company there are branches growing by themselves and if you don’t cut them, those dead activities will suck up energy, they will suck up time. Your people will spend time on things that don’t deliver value. There will not be enough time, money or energy left to bear fruit, to really deliver the best product in the most efficient way, against the lowest cost possible. You need to look at your operations in every area. I mean in every area, not only in production, not only in customer service, but also in administration, sales, marketing, inventory management – everywhere you have to look and find those dead branches, those dead activities. Instead of only adding activities, you have to cut others so there will be enough fluid and nutrients, there will be enough energy and money going to the activities that really do deliver the product that your customer needs. If you really serious about this, if you are like my clients who really want to improve their operations even though they are above average, if you want to work on continuously improving your processes and cutting those dead branches –  go to  herku.com/contact and we will get in touch with you to see if we really fit and if we really can make a big difference to your operation, not only for now, but also in the future.

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