What is Process Management? Monday, Jan 12 2015 

Process improvement is the desire to design a new or improved methodology to make the customer happier by ensuring you, the company, is able to continue delivering the same product/service in a more efficient and/or effective manner. During this process you may also create an improved or new product. A car is an improvement of the process of transportation (increased speed over horse carriages), the internet an improvement of the way people access information (more people can access more information now), and the cell phone an improvement of the way people connect (the range of the phone increased from the cord to many places on the planet). The intended goal (desire) is efficiency in the building of the product and/or effectiveness of the product. Using the car as an example, the goal is to build a car with the least parts necessary and minimum time required (efficiency) and/or that performs as expected with minimal or no recalls so that it meets and hopefully exceeds the customer’s needs (effectiveness).

When you determine a need for an improved process also consider what you’re looking for a new or improved process-improvementproduct, efficiency in building product, or effectiveness of product. As stated above efficiency means less time, inventory, and/or cost to build and effectiveness means less complaints/recalls. If your goal is to build a new or improved product/service then process improvement can still be the appropriate path as the higher quality and/or easier to produce product/service can be marketed as a new product/service.

Once you determine what you’re looking for the proper metrics will keep you on track. Ineffective metrics will prevent the company from determining whether their goal is being met. Improved quality of a product (six sigma) will require a metric of testing the improved quality such as cutting through metal to test its properties. Fewer resources used to build a product (Iean thinking) will require metric of determining resources used such as time for build each component or the finished product.

After establishing a need for change and what that change is a company should determine how they will get everyone on board for the change which is change management.

Author

James Webb

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How do Certifications affect your Business? Thursday, Sep 18 2014 

Certifications could benefit your business! Your company could greatly benefit from certifications if you invest time to learn, understand, and market the certification(s). Federal, state, and local municipalities have established certification initiatives to assist small businesses in securing contracting opportunities. Certification initiatives have designated contracting goals on each project. As a certified firm, you could be the prime contractor or a subcontractor on the project. As the prime, you have the majority percentage of the total value of the contract. For example, a construction project with a total value of $250,000 could have a designated 20% or $50k goal for a certified business. If your company is certified, then you meet the 20% as a subcontractor or you could be the prime. Conversely using the same scenario. Another company could be the prime and you could be the subcontractor doing 20% of the total value of the contract, which is set-aside ONLY for a certified business.Certified Certifications

 How does a business get certified? All certifications have an application process and they vary from agency to agency. Most applications are available online and some can be submitted electronically while others have to be mailed in. Some certifications have interview task attached.

 Length: The length of being certified varies.  Some certifications have an end date such as the federal 8a Certification – 9 years. Some certifications have an annual re-certification process, which requires submitting information to get initially certified and the submitting updated information that proves that your company still qualifies for the designated certification. Submission information could include business tax returns, personal tax returns, and financial statements.

Cost: The majority of certifications are free, your only cost is the time it will take to package your application. Federal, state and local certifications are free. Third party agencies, or agencies that administer the certification process on behalf on another agency, charge a fee to obtain certifications.  These certifications range between $250 -$350, on average.

 Research: I recommend that you research ALL certifications that your company can qualify for and evaluate. If you decide that certification is an option your company would like to pursue, then consider doing the certifications you select at the same time. Most certifications will ask for the same or similar information – so maximize time and do it all at the same time.

Remember, just because you have a certification does not mean that new business will simply start appearing. Certification is another tool for you to use in your arsenal of marketing strategies.

 

Author:

Tiya Scroggins, MBA

Assessing Staff Thursday, May 22 2014 

Staffers are essential to the success of any firm and assessments are recommended at least once per year. This process is a team effort involving both the manager/supervisor and the staffer. Assess each staffer individually, never as a group. Staffers should also know when the assessment will occur. Staffers should know what you expect of them via an agreement Imageestablished when they were hired. The assessment addresses areas expected via the employment agreement. The assessment may include some of the following: performance report, job description, employee self-evaluation, employee handbook, and if need be, an IDP or Individual Development Plan.

The assessment provides the staffer with his or her strengths, outlines major accomplishments during the review period, and provides suggestions on improving the employee’s performance. If there are issues to improve, then use an IDP.  The IDP is used to address short and long-term career goals and development goals for the next review period. Both manager/supervisor and employee agree on the assessment.

Are You Ready to Build Capacity? Monday, Mar 3 2014 

Are You Ready to Build Capacity?

Are you ready to build capacity in your business? Perhaps you would like to grow in one or more of the following areas: clients, revenue, employees, product or services, or geographic area. All growth requires some cost factor: time, money, practice, or sometimes pain. In order for you to grow your business’ capacity, you have to assess where you are, visualize where you want to be and develop your action plan to get there.

Capacity_Building

If you were to build capacity that means more is needed. You need more resources, more opportunities, more staff, more avenues, more policies, more agreements, more traveling, more regulations, or simply more tasks for you or someone to complete. All of this more has to be planned, organized and executed. If it is not, then the consequences can be overwhelming to you and the business. Some businesses do not recover from not adequately building capacity or deciding to launch into the deep and not being prepared. For example, let’s say your company is a one-person operation. You decide that you want to grow into a full-service consulting firm. To accomplish this task, you bid on a job and are awarded the contract, but remember the operation is only you. After initiating the contract, you realize that you do not have proper support staff to execute the contract, you do not have the necessary money to meet payroll, and you don’t have proper workmen’s comp insurance that is required on employees. The challenge for you is most of the tasks needed to build capacity take time to put into place. There are numerous tasks that have to be accomplished to build capacity. Just remember, count the cost, research, seek out information and resources, and assess the real needs of the business before you launch.

Author,
Tiya Scroggins, MBA
CEO of Scroggins Consulting, LLC

 

Are You Financially Fit For Business? Monday, Feb 17 2014 

To establish and maintain a business, finances are needed. Needed finances could include cash, loans, lines of credit, equity or access to family or friends who have financial means. All businesses need finances and will always need finances. Finances are needed to file applications, open bank accounts, purchase equipment, lease or purchase of buildings, licenses, payroll, marketing, professional consultation, and additional cost to do business, etc. This process is ongoing for the life of your business.

Do you have money saved, equity in your home, a loan, good personal and/or business credit or a rich relative? To be successful in business, you should address how you will pro

financially_fit

cure your start-up money and generate enough income to meet the ongoing financial needs of the business.

If you assess that you do not have the financial resources needed initially, then simply address this necessary issue and adjust your start-up time by launching your business at a later time.  This will help you with the unnecessary stress of not having enough financial resources and paying the cost of not having enough money. If your business is already in existence, maintain your financial fitness by obtaining a line of credit, business credit, invest/save-generated income, or obtain a business loan if needed.

Author

Tiya “Ty” Scroggins, MBA

CEO of Scroggins Consulting

Dreaming Of A Business: Starting Your Own Business Thursday, Dec 16 2010 

You have always dreamed of owning your own business, nevertheless, you have never taken the intuitive to follow your dreams because you just do not know how. In order to effectively become a business owner, there are some steps that you must follow in order to achieve your goal.

First, take the dream and make it a vision on paper. This is simply determining what you desire to do, but making sure that it is something that you love doing. If you are doing what you love, you will enjoy what you do! This assessment will allow you to be open to being the first one in, and the last one out. All business owners love their business enough to spend as much time, as they need to in the business, but loving every minute.

Research is always a positive. If you love baking cookies, research the different types of cookies. Perfect the cookies that you do good, making them great. Then find information on others who have started cookie companies. Evaluate what makes them a successful business and elaborate on what you feel can make them an even better business. This information is conducive to writing a brilliant business plan.

Now, lets get down to the brass business of starting a business. After choosing what it is you want to do, determine what you will name your business. You name is the first component to doing your legal paper work for your business. Then, it is now time to determine what type of business like whether you want to become a sole proprietorship (having the least taxes but greatest liabilities), a general partnership (consisting of having two or more people partnering with you in business), a limited liability corporation (LLC), which is only available in certain states, or a corporation (having the suffix INC, which insures the best protection).

After securing and establishing the type of business you will have, the next step is registering with the Secretary of State. Go to your local government state web page to pull forms on registering your business. There you can also find other information that can be truly helping to a new and up coming business owner. Then it’s insurance time. Insurance is always your assurance in the case of emergencies. These are the types of insurances that are available and needed when starting a new business: liability insurance, property insurance, business interruption, key-man insurance, automobile insurance, and home office insurance, if you are running your business from your home. The last step is getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number can be obtained by going to the IRS website and down loading form SS-4. You can either call this information in at 1-800-829-4933, or by faxing it in to the IRS. After you have finished all of these steps, you now are the owner of a legitimate business. Your next step is developing a marketing plan and next week we will assist you with this. Until then, have a wonderful time dreaming and bringing your dream to life!

Scroggins Consulting, LLC

Tiya Scroggins is the founder of Scroggins Consulting, LLC . To find out more about Scroggins Consulting go to http://www.scrogginsconsulting.com or email her at ty@scrogginsconsulting.com. The article is forwarded by Author Danyelle Scroggins.