The Keys to Successful Operations
March 23rd, 2018 by Bo Ristic, VP of HSEQ
“Success comes from an integration of safety, quality and accountability into one sustainable business system.”
To achieve successful business operations, executive vision must be prevalent. In addition, top-down leadership that believes in the vision and implements practical ways to achieve it must exist. Leadership should be adaptive and partnerships should be embraced. And while every company is different, we at Chet Morrison Contractors (Morrison) believe success comes from an integration of safety, quality and accountability into one sustainable business system. In general, you can’t improve if you don’t measure, and you can’t measure if you don’t set a benchmark.
An effective safety management system must have the ability to benchmark important outputs. It is advantageous to recognize the outputs that are important for your business case. A company’s risk model, fluctuating profit margins, cyclicality of businesses and market conditions all add to the complexity of the individual business case. At Morrison, we measure safety key performance indicators (KPI) per man-hour worked.
For instance, we manage jobs of all sizes; some are small projects with as little as 2,000 man-hours, while others are in excess of 200,000 man-hours. A big project typically involves an influx of man-hours, and when the project winds down, those man-hours suddenly decrease. The importance of safety should not decrease with the activity. When activity slows, safety should remain at the forefront. Subsequently, when activity increases, safety shouldn’t be pushed aside because people are busier. When measuring safety performance, it’s important to take these fluctuations out of the equation. At Morrison, we break down every safety KPI per man-hour of work, which allows for a more accurate reading of our performance on every job, no matter the size.
The purpose of a quality management system is to meet or exceed the customer’s expectations. Our operational tactic is to try to complete every task the same way every time, with the intention to eliminate variation from the work process. If there is a need for variation, every variation is assessed, validated as a better solution, implemented and, in the end, verified for effectiveness. Then, the change becomes a work process. It is a continuous circle of work improvement. Our formula is: Quality = Results of work efforts / Total cost. We believe if there is repeatability in operations and if changes are managed properly, quality tends to increase and costs typically fall over time. The company’s visionary and top-down leadership are key to implementing a successful quality management system.
To obtain successful operations, a business must know its end results. In order to know end results, someone must be accountable for the output. Every business and operation has information or inputs that are captured and classified through tools and processes in an effort to derive certain outputs. The information going in is key; however, if someone isn’t accountable for the end result, success can’t be achieved at the ultimate level. The results and who’s accountable for them have to be crystal clear and highly defined. And those outputs must be known in real-time today! Safety and quality management systems are dead if you don’t have accountability for the results and outputs.
The purpose of every company is to stay in business. Therefore, the company can then generate more business. There are arguably many factors that go into achieving sustainability. For instance, achieving customer satisfaction, thus leading to customer retention, is one. Being responsible stewards of the community and having the ability to operate in real social environments is another. These objectives are only consistently attained through practical safety and quality management systems. We believe when these systems are functioning properly and accountability is in place, sustainability and longevity are achievable.
For more information, visit www.chetmorrison.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (985) 850-2621.