June 20th, 2018

Business Beat: Improve business efficiency and profitability in five areas

By Medicine Hat News on February 28, 2018.

Healthy things grow. You have enough to know how to run your business, but do you have the tools to grow? What is the best environment to nurture growth in your business? Growing a business can be difficult, but with the right people, tools, leadership, vision, planning and strategy it is possible to move your business to the next level.

APEX Alberta is continually working with an experienced network of professionals and is connecting business leaders and entrepreneurs to tools, programs and resources in our network to help businesses in their journey to start, grow and innovate.

For decades, companies have been following the methodology of a popular approach to running their business called Lean and Six Sigma. The concept of Lean was made popular by Toyota and it is defined as a method to improve efficiency through improved workflow processes. Motorola developed Six Sigma, which is a set of techniques to reduce defects and errors that occur during work processes. Lean Six Sigma, then, is a combination of the two approaches: a commitment to quality management along with the efforts to reduce wastes within a process.

From May 8-10 there will be three full days of training (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) at the Medicine Hat College campus. APEX Alberta will be bringing Lean Six Sigma expertise training to Medicine Hat. This three-day seminar, delivered by GO Productivity, is designed to help teams consider their operations and understand how the Lean Six Sigma methodology can be applied to their work. Even a small change in a process can improve business efficiency and profitability over the long term.

Companies that have participated in Lean Six Sigma training have reported tremendous benefit when participants are ready and prepared to engage and apply the lessons learned in their own work setting.

These five areas in a business show the most improvement when Lean Six Sigma initiatives are applied:

1. An increase in productivity. If a process cycle time can be reduced by refining a process, this can lead to increased productivity allowing you to deliver more with the same resources.

2. Development of your team. Individuals who are trained in Lean Six Sigma understand the concepts and tools and then can use these to improve their work. If a process is easier and the method is satisfying, you will have a happier team that will take a more proactive approach to doing the job and solving problems on the spot.

3. Increased customer satisfaction. If you can provide an excellent product or service at the right price to your customer, your customers will be happy.

4. Reduce waste and cost in your business. If you could develop effective processes to reduce unnecessary costs and waste in your business, this will lead to higher revenues for your business in the long run.

5. Reduce cycle time. If you could reduce the time that it takes to get your product or service delivered to your customer, without compromising quality, this will help drive profit to your business.

Business owners can register their employees and can also apply for the Canada-Alberta Job Grant and may be eligible to receive 66 per cent of the cost for the program back.

Community Futures Entre-Corp has been supporting small business since 1988. We provide the tools and guidance you need to run your business. For more information about our programs and how we can connect you with helpful resources, please call Community Futures at 403-528-2824.

Elizabeth Blair is the regional innovation network coordinator for APEX. APEX supports the growth of innovative and technologically-oriented businesses in Southeast Alberta. APEX is a collaborative initiative between three core service providers: Community Futures Entre-Corp, Medicine Hat College and Alberta Innovates.

 

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