iSixSigma

help!!!

This topic contains 20 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Bonacorsi 12 years, 5 months ago.

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
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  • #46868

    Vaughn
    Member

    I own a specialty construction company with 3 stores or operations in 2 states with annual sales of about 5 million. We have averaged a little over 45% growth for the past 5 years and it looks like it will continue. My life is stressed because I don’t have enough processes in place to adequately manage a business this size and one that will be 20 million in 4-5 years. I am trying to create ‘systems’ to manage the growth but I think I need help.
    Thanks,
    Vaughn
     
     

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    #155564

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Vaughn,
    That is a pretty ambiguous request. Actually it isn’t even a request. What are you asking for?

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    #155565

    Vaughn Stuart
    Member

    Mike,Because I have never run a company the size mine is now and will become I feel like totally overwhelmed. I have read 4 or 5 books (E-Myth Revisited, Execution, Good to Great, etc) and I know I need systems in my business. I have all these ideas I believe will help my business – I’m just not sure. And the success or failure of the whole business I’ve spent 13 years building depends on making the right decisions. I need direction from someone or some system that has successfully taken a 500 thousand dollar business that can be run with a check book and gut instincts to a 20 or 30 million dollar business.Vaughn

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    #155566

    qualitycolorado
    Participant

    Vaughn,I can see that you tried to respond to Mike’s posting, which asked that you clarify what your are requesting help with.Unfortunately, when I click on your response, it does not show up — very odd.Please re-post. Thanks!
    Best regards,
    QualityColorado

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    #155567

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    QC,
    When I click on the response it takes me back to the Discussion Forum. It is strange.
    Thank you for jumping in.
    Regards

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    #155568

    MC
    Participant

    Looks like a small “bug” in the system. Check out the full thread at https://www.isixsigma.com/forum/showthread.asp?messageID=117353 and your can read Vaughn’s post.Update [5/1/2007 11:00:16 PM ET]: It’s fixed now.MC

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    #155569

    Vaughn
    Member

    Thanks Colorado for your reply. I guess my message got lost. Basically I am frustrated. I have an awning company that has grown from 500 thousand in sales to 5 million in sales and now expanded to 3 stores in 2 states in 6 years. At 500 thousand or a million I could manage it with my gut instincts and a checkbook. We will be at 20 million in 4 years. My problem is that I am a visionary person and find it relatively easy to grow the sales but my mistake has been not having the systems in place to manage that growth. I have read several books (Good to Great, E-Myth Revisited, Execution, etc) and know what I want – I just lack the confidence and knowledge to make it happen as fast as we are growing. I have hired consultants, accountants, etc. but am frustrated because no one seems to be able to say emphatically: DO THIS, THEN THIS, THEN THIS, PERIOD, and you will be on your way. I am looking for direction in how to get the very clear results I envision. I have a very clear vison of what I want my company to look like. I just don’t know how to get there from here.
    Vaughn

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    #155570

    Bonghanoy
    Participant

    Firstly – stop complaining.
    Secondly – develop a business plan that will outline the growth you want. Note, the growth you want, not what you end up with. Look at outsourcing / contracting, etc as a way to ease the burden of too quick expansion.
    Thirdly – Document your processes. Start at the high level, and work your way into detail. Look at the dependencies and inter-dependencies, overlaps and inefficiences.
    Fouth – now hire a professional……….
    Good Luck!

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    #155571

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Thank you. You ready for Pinnacle Peak?

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    #155572

    Yadav
    Participant

    Vaughn
    You seem to be in panic. You have mentioned your problem and also the solution.
    Solution 1: You have mentioned that you want to have the systems in place to manage the growth. Probably you are not sure on how to go about it. I recommend that you hire a professional with the desired expertise.
    Solution 2: You have mentioned that you are looking for direction in how to get the very clear results you envision. You need to break down your goals into short term goals and long term goals. Once you do that identify the resources needed to meet those goals and do a gap analysis of current state with the future state. Take appropriate action to eliminate the gaps so that you are able to meet the short terms goals. You can use VSM (Value stream mapping) tool to understand the current state and future state.
    Hope this helps. All the best.
    Ajit
     

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    #155573

    lin
    Participant

    Hello Vaughn,
    There are a couple of people on this site who are very good.  Mike C. is one of those.  But I have some concerns about you.  You are now a $5 million company, up from $500,000.  Hmm.  You believe you will be at $20 million in 4 years.  Won’t happen, but OK, let’s assume it does and good for you.  I always root for success.  You have hired consultants and accountants but they haven’t help you.  Hmm.  Yet, you are visionary. So, basic question, what are you doing on this discussion forum?  There are some good people here (aka, Mike C.), but most just attack each other for their views.  80% ( closer to 90 probably – a sad state for this group) of the posts here are not helpful to the person looking for assistance.  Why does the owner of a $5 million a year company come here looking for advice?  I have no doubt there a few here that can help you, but very few.  You say you have a clear vision.  Then search for someone to help you.  Lots of people in the world have the skills to help you.  I just don’t think many of them are here.  I wonder if you are real.  Good luck to you and I hope you are at $30 million in  3 years.
    Bill

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    #155574

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Vaughn,
    I am giving you my opinion. Do with it what you want and if you want to talk about it you can email me at mike.carnell@CSIntlInc.com.
    Good start knowing what you want it to look like down the road – your future state. Start out mapping what you have now. All of it. The problem you get into when things grow fast is that processes iterate uncontrolled. People are going to insist on what type of map you need to do – don’t worry about it – do the one that makes sense to you. You need to separate the things that are adding value from the things that are not. Improve the one that support the future state and eliminate – as practical the one that do not. Get some metrics in place on the stuff that supports your future business. You can’t move what you have forward until you understand what you have. At 5 million in sales it is still small enough to get under control pretty quickly.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck

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    #155575

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

    Hello Vaughn,
    First let me congratulate you on your success to-date- Bravo, you obviously are a hard worker with a solid client base that has supported your growth.
    Second, your not alone, many Leaders, such as yourself, are challenged with growing pains (which can be just as hard as downsizing pains), and your spot on that a process focus to ensure your business is capable of supporting a growing workforce is needed. There are special challenges as well if your business starts crossing state and government lines, different contract types, benefits, and please forgive me for saying “unions”, but they are something to consider as you grow to that size.
    I have worked with many executives that have faced the same dilemma and often hear them say, “What got me where I am is not what I need to get me to where I am going”. You could use a consultant to help mentor your business at a part-time bases until you grow large enough that you can support a business manager to help you out. A Master Black Belt can help you but more so for their process knowledge, buts it’s their business knowledge that is needed to help you with your growing pains.
    My advice to your “good” problem is to use a mentor, hire a business consultant that will earn their keep! (By this I mean, they should help you continue to grow while you spend your time where the most value can be created! (Such as the golf course where many a construction deals are closed!).
    Best of success to you on your endeavor
    Steven Bonacorsi

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    #155577

    MC
    Participant

    Yeah. Be sure to bring good shoes…you’re going also. I’ve already signed you up.
    See you Monday.

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    #155585

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    I am meeting with some RSA guys in Denver and we are driving in over the weekend. Mayweather/De la Hoya in the Rockies. Getting that altitude adjustment before Scottsdale.
    Take care.

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    #155603

    Vaughn
    Member

    Bill,
    Thank you for your honest response and your referral to Mike C.Let me reply to some of your comments. #1 I came here for the same reason I have gone to many sources, including consultants, – to find answers and direction that are REAL and not influenced by some other motive, usually money. Frankly, I think 80% of the consultants out there are just people who weren’t willing to pay the price to be successful themselves in business but they know how to talk and they like charging $250.00 and hour to spout their opinions. #2 If you wonder if I am real then go to my web site (http://www.stuartawning.com) or call me at the number on the site. I have been in this business since college (34 years ago). #3 As I stated, our busines has averaged over 45% growth for the past 6 years and with our new stores in the Phoenix, Az. and the Salt Lake City, Utah markets I see no reason why we won’t continue to grow. At that rate we will be at 32 million in 4 years. I hope we don’t grow that fast but I either have to do something to slow it down or plan for it happening. Not to would be stupid and maybe disasterous. #4 You say Lots of the people in the world have the skills to help you. I’m on this site to maybe find one of those people. So far, my experience has been frustrating trying to find the right help. By the way, if anyone thinks I am just wining, come and try to keep up with me for a week and we’ll see who wining and crying to quit. I’m not interested in anyones sympathy, I’m just smart enough to know that I don’t have all the answers and would benefit from other more experienced and wiser people.Thanks for your time
    Vaughn

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    #155606

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    Hey Vaughn,
    Thanks for opening up and sharing with us.   This is a real-world example of how to implement the methods/tools.
    It sounds as though you are on the right track, considering your explosive growth of late!
    Not sure if you knew, but Mike C. is one of the “Founding Father’s” of the 6S methodology.   His experience will serve you well.   Take advantage of his offer and advice…
    -Wish you well as you transform your business.
    Heebee

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    #155641

    somo
    Member

    Vaughn,
    Great product — how far do you ship?
    Concerning the issues that you face, what you find is that most here are problem-solvers.  But the issue is that some will start with the tools  that you can use rather than understanding the problem, and then applying the right tool.  First the problem(s) that you face have to be better identified.  Bassically, a problem is the gap between your current situation and the desired sitituation.  As I said before, the product looks great, and it sounds like your market shows more opportunity for growth — so there doesn’t appear to be problems in these areas.  You also state that you have a good vision of the companies future state, so the problem isn’t in having a direction for the company.
    So all in all, it sounds like the problem is somewhere at the execution level — do you see issues in the sales processes, product design, or are the growth problems related to being unable to keep up with new business?, or is there another phase of business where there appear to be issues?
    Good luck with your company. 
     

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    #155652

    Craig
    Participant

    Did I hear someone say Pinnacle Peak? Next week?
    Give me a call Mike!
    HACL

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    #155734

    lin
    Participant

    Hello Vaughn,
    I stand corrected.  You are for real.  There is one approach you might consider.  You want to create systems to manage your growth.  You can also look at that in terms of creating or improving processes for growth.  While every company is unique, there are many processes that most organizations perform.  The American Producitivty and Quality Center (http://www.apqc.org) has developed the Process Classificaiton Framerwork to aide in benchmarking of organizations.  This framework actually provides a great method for process management and determining what your company needs.
    There are twelve primary processes.  Five of these are operating processes.  The rest are management and support processes.  The primary processes are:

    Developing Vision and Strategy

    Designing and Developing Products and Service

    Marketing and Selling Products and Services

    Delivering Products and Services

    Managing Customer Service

    Developing and Managing Human Capital

    Managing Information Technology

    Managing Financial Resources

    Acquiring, Constructing, and Managing Property

    Managing Environmental Health and Safety

    Managing External Relationships

    Managing Knowledge, Improvement, and Change
    If you download the Process Classification Framework from their website, it will give the secondary and work processes under each of these. 
    http://www.apqc.org/portal/apqc/ksn?paf_gear_id=contentgearhome&paf_dm=full&pageselect=detail&docid=121388
    The place to start, if you haven’t already, is with the vision and strategy piece. 
    With each primary process, I would use a five step model to ensure the process is developed as best it can be for your company and growth.  The model is Define, Document, Measure, Manage and Improve.  This five-step model helps you implement process management.  But enough on this for now.  I think you might find the process classification framework interesting.
    Bill
     

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    #155739

    Steve Bonacorsi
    Member

    Hey Mike,
    I’ll be in Scottsdale – let me know if you want to have a beer. Not sure about Pinnacle Peak, maybe after the beers :-)
    sbonacorsi at comcast.net
    Steve Bonacorsi

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