“Sustainable Solutions” — Real Biz?
Tough question: Are “sustainable solutions” real business?…or just buzzwords?
We’ve all heard biz-school jargon. Years ago, everyone stopped talking, started “interfacing.” Later, people stopped selling products and services, started offering “solutions.”
Lately, we’ve seen “green” everywhere. We’ve been hearing “Six Sigma” for a decade and a half.
In any business or non-profit, when a new term comes along, you’ll sooner or later hear: Is this just another ‘flavor of the week’?
From that cynical start, let’s look at “Sustainable Solutions”—at practical concepts and methods that affect the 3BL, or “triple bottom line.”
Sustainable Solutions Must Be Truly Sustainable
Key #1…The sustainable solution must be truly sustainable.
No business escapes foreign competition, international outsourcing, and a sluggish, cash-poor economy. We can’t afford to buy, implement, redesign or relocate, just hoping it works out. The plant and equipment you build, buy, or lease has to last. The quality improvement system you adopt must deliver measurable product or process improvement that not only endures but builds continuing improvement. Re-tooling costs—those changes have to work over the long haul. Changes you make in supply chain management have to work now and next year, and next. Your people have to carry more and more as time goes on, building new skills constantly. The quick fix era is gone. The time’s here for strategically planned, long-term solutions that work.
Sustainable Solutions Must Truly Be Solutions
Key #2…The sustainable solution must truly be a solution.
No point seeking “solutions” if you have no problems. What are yours? How do we make our supply chain faster, leaner? How can we get the job done with fewer people, but better? Where can we trim costs to compete abroad?
Needs—problems—aren’t always defects. Sometimes they are—your plant’s not shipping product as it should, as it once did. But sometimes needs crop up in new territory, new opportunities you want to seize and develop. How can we get raw material from Mozambique to Florida fast? How can our workforce develop skills to add new products or services? Whatever your problems and opportunities, you need lasting answers—sustainable solutions.
Sustainable Solutions Must Answer Your Needs
Key #3…The sustainable solution must be an answer to your needs.
One size never fits all. No elixir will “cure what ails you.” Your organization’s needs are different, your own. Yes, you share problems and opportunities across your industry, your region. You may be a wallboard production plant—one among many. Or a non-profit hospital among others in a big city. But you’re different. You have your plant, your landlord, your product and packaging, your services and client service style, your production and shipping methods, your workforce, your accounting, your culture. And with those, your own track record and best practices, your own threats, your own troubles and special opportunities.
Your Sustainable Solutions
The sustainable solutions you adopt must also be yours. The consultants who study, recommend and deliver those solutions must likewise have a track record, with broad, deep, and expanding skill sets, all focused on you.
Our invitation…Consider partnering with us to find sustainable value for your business through and beyond today’s troubles and extraordinary opportunities. As a team, we will find your sustainable solutions.
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