Thursday, September 27, 2012

How It Can Give Your Business A Competitive Edge

Hoshin Kanri is one of the many immensely useful management techniques that Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers have given to the corporate world. You don't have to have a large manufacturing company in order to use this technique. Companies of varying sizes and different industries have been using it to get a competitive edge.
The term Hoshin means 'setting an objective' and Kanri means 'management'. Therefore, the two terms when used together loosely mean "the management of objectives or direction". Most people take these terms to mean 'planning'. However, this is more than just planning and it is extremely essential for a company's success.
If you decide to adopt this management technique then you will have to
- Plan your strategy over a three-to-five-year period in order to move your company in a particular direction.
- Devise activities that will help you achieve your long term objective.
- Establish a variety of monitoring processes in order to ensure that you are on track to achieve the long term objective. These monitoring processes will also help you understand if the plan needs to be changed before it becomes too late and resources are wasted.
- Identify an annual plan that helps you achieve short term business goals.
- Give people specific responsibilities to ensure that they meet their individual goals. Each individual goal then helps the company achieve its overall target.
- Put in place a good system of communication so that all people in the organization understand clearly what is expected of them.
What makes this style of management different from conventional planning is that it comprises of both long term and short term goals. Employees have a clear understanding of how their individual performance can help the company succeed in the marketplace. As is to be expected, this has a very beneficial effect on productivity and morale. This is also a very good way of identifying various opportunities for training.
If you are looking for a fail safe way of improving your business then you should adopt various Lean management techniques including Hoshin planning. You will then be able to identify various business opportunities and take good advantage of them. Not only will your productivity increase but wastage will also reduce. You'll need to start by getting the right training, both for management and employees so that they can make good use of this management style. You'll see a dramatic improvement in business within the first year itself.

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