The Recipe for Throughput Success
Throughput is an ideal mode of business behavior. Yet, it can be hard to pin down just how a company can be optimized agility. Follow these rules, and you may find that your company can move at the speed of need:
Communicate with the Customer: Constant contact with a customer prevents the dead space that can build when wait times get too high. And, if a customer becomes too antsy, there is a change for annoyance and a lower return rate. National food chain Panera has addressed this issue by adopting a communication process that allows customers to take a vibrating alert device. Customers get to wait at their table until the device goes off, and they can pick up their food immediately. The device, even without going off, is a constant communicator to the customer. Even if you offer a longer-term service, communication keeps the customer focused on a real timeline, and the wait shrinks much faster.
Stack Your Service: A company cannot move quickly if its working parts are not in sync. By dilineating not only what every employee’s role is, but who they are in service to, order will dictate function. Thus, everyone will know who to answer to, what they’re responsibilities are, and how to move effectively within the structure. This is especially for interdepartmental matters, where multiple managers do not know who is supposed to handle issues. Imagine your flow, and connect all of your employees by whom is in service to whom. You may be surprised to find a circular flow, or break in communication, or a bottleneck that is lurking because no one knows who to speak to.
Accept New Angles: Sometimes though, stacking is not enough. Embracing throughput means accepting that in an eagle-eye view from the top, your leadership may not give you the best vantage point to all problems. Listen to employees, managers, and all the company players, especially if a complaint is raised. You may find that they have a different view on the issue that proves valuable to the problems you face. Leadership is a gift, but also a curse: don’t remain blind problems just because you can’t see them from the top.
These are three major points in throughput, but there’s plenty more to embrace. Rethink your strategy, and you may reap the benefits of a faster, smarter company.