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As long as we continue to struggle against high rates of employment, loss of homes through bank foreclosure, and loss of investments, we will continue to lose small businesses that have created the strength and diversity of our financial base. Subsequently, small businesses must become hardened against those pressures and become more competitive in world markets as well as in US markets to survive. To do this, every business owner must analyze their business practices and procedures.
Most companies today lack the business structure that is required to operate as a world class company. Business owners must exercise a great deal of flexibility to meet quickly changing business requirements levied by government policies and regulations and the conditions they cause. To gain that degree of flexibility, business owners must be able and willing to re-invent themselves overnight by learning how to market new products in heretofore unknown markets. They must learn about the capabilities of their employees, be able to apply their knowledge and skills in different ways, and be willing to hold them accountable for how they carry out the organization's business mission and goals, however they may be changed. Every aspect of executing the business must be understood and documented so changes can be made quickly and precisely without disruption and the loss of human capital.
Business systems come and go with the energy of the most popular electronic game fads. Some of these business systems are known by tags such as Quality Circles, Total Quality Management, Lean Six Sigma, and Knowledge Management. Each of these systems has to some degree or other proven effective in increasing productivity while driving down the cost of doing business. But they don't last â€“ why? Because there is no continuity in their application, and because business owners become impatient with the lack of anticipated results after only one or two business cycles.
So what is the answer? Just like everything else, get down to basics. Many of the most popular business systems are overly complex so they appear to be new and offer different ways of doing business. The basics involve the activities that each employee performs while making products or delivering services. The basics have been executed since the invention of business: I will trade you two fox furs in return for you giving me 10 pecks of potatoes. As the sophistication of trade and bartering has increased, considerations of cost, schedule and quality have been factored into the business equation. These factors increase the need for keeping track of best practices and procedures.
Today, the practice of Business Process Management (BPM) has gained a great deal of value. BPM is a focused collection of techniques and methodologies for conducting business more economically while enabling production and delivery of higher quality goods and services. The problem is, not enough businesses are playing the same tune from the same sheet of music. Please see the articles at http://bpm-main.blogspot.com for help in understanding what is involved in BPM and how to implement it. Time is running out for deciding the course of action that must be taken to save the American Dream.