The Perfect Time for Business Development

The latest fall in the Global Dairy Trade has put further pressure on Fonterra's pay-out forecast and options for reducing farm working expenses will be front of mind.  Although times are difficulty on farm, we'd like to remind our clients of a quote from Winston Churchill:

 

"Difficulties mastered are opportunities won."

 

Now is the perfect time to focus on the opportunity for business development.  When things are going well, it can be easy to overlook savings in time and money that could be made by tweaking the system.  We'd like to suggest that you use this opportunity to make some changes that will put you in the best position to bounce forward from these tougher times.

 

How?

As the quieter time of year approaches, it is time to take a look at what works well and what could be better.  A good business will be continually looking to improve and now is a great time of year to direct your focus improvement and growth.  As people performance professionals we suggest you consider:

  • Are your rosters working well - consider signing up for the new DairyNZ roster builder (www.dairynz.co.nz) or talk to us to help you determine your best options.  A well designed roster will ensure the team works reasonable hours, has regular breaks and rostered time off and that annual leave is planned.  You may identify labour savings by reducing the need for casual or fixed term employees which will help reduce farm working expenses.
  • Are there opportunities to make gains by minimising waste and inefficiency?  Progressive Consulting is excited to be participating in DairyNZ and Venture Southland's Farm Tune programme.  This is based on the Lean principles which have been used successfully in many industries to reduce waste.  DairyNZ has some great materials on its website to start you on the Waste Hunt.  Things to consider include:
    -  Do your team members know their roles?  Are they trained to complete their tasks in the correct way?  If not, time may be wasted waiting for instructions or
       redoing tasks  which were not completed satisfactorily the first time. 
    -  Is equipment where it should be or does your team waste time looking for tools?  Do you have systems in place for communication, to ensure equipment is 
       maintained and people are accountable for their actions?
    -  Do you have clear, visual, standard operating procedures which show "how we do things here" - these will ensure tasks are done properly the first time and 
       reduce defects e.g. fences not put up correctly or milk contaminated with antibiotics which result in wasted time and money.
  • Is your team engaged and supported?  Do you know their strengths or the areas they need to develop?  Do you have job descriptions and performance appraisals to ensure you grow and retain your talent?  Reducing staff numbers and therefore costs may seem like a good option, but retaining your team and ensuring they are engaged and reaching their potential will reduce the significant cost of staff turnover.  Retaining quality people and ensuring good and great employees stay in your business can save you significant cost in the long run.

Progressive Consulting is able to support you with all your people needs, including identifying your business goals, facilitating team communication, engaging and developing your team, developing training plans and standard operating procedures, getting the right people into their roles and keeping them there.  Give our team a call to make sure you turn your challenges into opportunities won.