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2018- Priorities and Disruption Distraction

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Often times as Quarter 4 comes to an end, companies reflect on 2017 accomplishments, then quickly focus on 2018’s Priorities and Goals.  The corporate mantra seems to never change, even as workplace technologies and environments continue to evolve.  Today, we aim to make goals “S.M.A.R.T.”.  

S.M.A.R.T. goals are defined as those that are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and timebound.  The S.M.A.R.T. acronym first appeared in 1981 in a paper by management consultants George Doran, Arthur Mille, and James Cunningham , and we accept the general premise. Unfortunately, as we diligently review the past and focus on the future of our workplace activities, our daily tasks may not have been wrapped so neatly.  Considering the number of hours, we focus on work tasks and our ultimate connectivity to what we really do, are we in total control of our day? 

Often as we go about our daily tasks, we are derailed by emergent business priorities.  These priorities were not forecast or predicted.  Similar to getting a knock in the back of the head! These likely surface in businesses as a result of changes in the competitive landscape and management directives. 

So how can we focus on the important tasks, embrace disruption and achieve demonstrated results? There is an adage “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”.  Doesn’t it seem like it gets tougher each day or year?  I remember managers telling me, “this is a difficult change, but it will be better in the next quarter”.  Invariability, something else, a task or project appeared which seems to have stolen our creative thinking time once again.  I can’t offer any magic strategy or process, but it may be time to actively manage your time. 

Making Changes for a More Efficient Year

Expectations from Boards for Employees grow higher each year because of technology and innovation.  Executing these enhancements in business is increasingly difficult for various reasons, most notably resistance to change. The romance of the theory (as a new process is sold) is greater than the actual outcome, and persistence to execute the outcome is not on everyone’s priority lists. 

2018 – Provides us yet another time to perfect our own workplace resolution and focus on balance in the new year, which will cause a fair amount of disruption. The priorities need scrutiny and relevance.  Time in your day is a vanishing commodity, and when we look at business services or suppliers they need to be managed in order to avoid wasting time inefficiently. Critical suppliers and services should be your priorities. Vigorous supplier management to expectations within contracting is overlooked as a necessary priority to capture the true value of the services provided.

Managing Suppliers as a Solution

Unmanaged suppliers lead to disruption distractions in the workplace.  These can be issues of rework, price or cost disparity, quality or production.  The time spent reworking these supplier agreements or managing issues often have an effect on your day or personal reputation.  The day, week or longer period is now a business priority to resolve. 
Good suppliers continue to engage in your business, understanding the priorities and anticipating needs with measured, yet good communication.  If you use data and document results, these suppliers should never cause disruption.  Supplier reviews provide market understanding and continue to align with your business priorities.  These supplier reviews should be governed by your S.M.A.R.T. goals and priorities to ensure company alignment.   
Many people don’t truly understand the strength of the supply chain and when a weakness becomes critical.  This time of the year gives us a chance to reflect on 2018 priorities and be mindful of suppliers that can be disruption distractions in the year ahead.  The Indirect Services suppliers that perform a little managed but important service seem to be unmanaged because of the low spend, may impact your goals and objectives.  It’s time to consider the governance priority of these suppliers as we begin 2018.               

Start off the New Year stronger, click here to learn more about the services supply chain solutions that SDI offers.

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