Does It Scale? And, What If It Doesn't?

In today’s issue…

  • Call the detectives ‘cuz we can’t remember what happened!

  • 351 words, total reading time under 2 minutes

Editor’s note: this is a reissue of a previous coffee, first published as “VITAL Question #69” on June 16, 2015. The message still holds true.

As companies grow, they typically confront challenges to one or more of the daily processes they have long used. The process(es) in question have become chokepoints in the daily routine. Designed for a lower level of activity, they are now creating inefficiencies that must be overcome for the company to continue growing.

The process(es) don’t scale.

A classic CI example is how companies track a project. The daily routine is to get goods onto the trucks and get the team out to the jobsite, as quickly as possible. It feels like the fastest, most efficient way to do things. But because there is no daily policing of project progress – what goods went to the jobsite, how many hours were spent on the project – it can be a time-consuming task to reconcile job status.

Many CI business owners can make this work for a small number of projects. They track stuff in their heads, using their memory to manage a project to completion. But this process isn’t perfect, even at a low activity level. And past a certain point, the process becomes chaotic as an increasing amount of detective work is required to verify where things stand.

When you sense chaos in your company, it is likely because your activity level has outpaced your process. Chaos doesn’t scale. You need to stop, take stock of the issues, and design a better process that clearly defines who does what, when. And then ask the question, “Does this new process scale? Will it hold up if my business doubles in size?”

Designing a scalable process on your own can be pretty tough. It becomes a lot easier when you have ready access to a group of companies, some of them much larger than you, willing to share how they do things. Maybe you can find this by belonging to CEDIA, and maybe a buying group could bring you some help.

For sure, joining VITAL Management’s BRAVAS Group would help. No other CI organization delivers the financial planning, process guidance, and management coaching our members receive. Please call us if you’d like to learn more.

BRAVAS Group is a collaboration of growth-oriented CI companies focused on operating efficiencies & financial strength. Thru process sharing, co-funded services, and common financial metrics, members are able to benchmark and improve their productivity to a degree seldom achieved by companies working on their own. Executive Directors Paul Starkey and Steve Firszt provide full-time guidance for Group initiatives.

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