As Bob Weston and I outlined in Process Mapping: The First Step in Unlocking Supply Chain Value, Process Maps visually document the actions and decisions required to move a product or service across its supply chain. The next step in supply chain optimization is measuring each action against relevant targets to verify completion or success, followed by mastering those steps to create incremental value.
Last week, Dennis Trchka laid out Four Steps to Unlocking Supply Chain Value. The first step, documenting current processes, is the foundation from which opportunities to realize both bottom line savings and top line growth begin to appear. A Process Map (PM), quite literally, gets everyone on the same page. It’s a great visual aid that helps everyone in the organization “see” how a product moves through the supply chain, identify gaps and pain points, and begin to brainstorm new approaches and solutions.
Every year, in every industry, companies challenge their organizations to increase productivity and margins, as well as grow the business. While the first few productivity and margin “wins” may be relatively easy to identify and implement, it becomes increasingly difficult year after year. Returns per project become smaller, requiring more initiatives to be deployed in order to reach the goal. The focus becomes cost cutting vs. value creation; big ideas with the potential to drive step-change are missed or overlooked. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The single most important value an R&D organization contributes to a company is its know-how – the source of the company’s competitive advantage. An effective Intellectual Property (IP) process that manages the organization’s know-how and is integrated into the innovation process is essential for success. A disciplined IP program offers several benefits, including: