80:20 Management Consulting

80:20 Management Consulting
part of the 80:20 Group

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Risk Assessments are not a one person job

I've been working with quite a large business over the last few weeks and during that time there have been a number of workshops undertaken. One of todays workshops was focused on risk and I have to say it produced a great result.

If you are performing any form of risk assessment (safety, environmental, commercial, technical etc) it pays to do it with a group of people all brain storming and making suggestions as opposed to one OH&S, Environmental, Financial Manager sitting at their desk nutting it out.

I have performed both kinds of risk assessment and it's easy to see which one is more beneficial.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Timeframe for building a Management System

One of the first questions I am always asked by potential clients is "How long will this take?" It is a difficult question to answer because if I say too short, I run the risk of not giving myself enough time to build the system and having to work for free for part of it. Or I can say too long making my price unrealistic.

Some people also expect you to be able to build a system within 3 days and pass an audit no problem.  Funnily enough these are also the same people that don't want to have any involvement in it and generally cause headaches. I tend to turn down those jobs.

In order to build an effective Management System I would suggest at a bare minimum without the assistance of a consultant 1-2 days a week for 2-3 months. This would take into account documenting your system, implementation, auditing, corrective actions and review. With the assistance of a consultant you can shorten this as the learning curve is not as steep. This is assuming you are a small to medium business with around 5-25 employees. 

The main variable however is how complex your business is. For example you may be a large business with a lot of people, however your processes are very simple as opposed to a small business with complex processes. As an example a cleaning business with 250 employees would have less complicated systems than a microchip manufacturer employing 10 people. 

These days I err on the side of caution. I would rather say more time than I think it needed and come in under budget than get halfway through and realise there is no way I will be able to finish the system with the amount of time I've given myself. I've done both and I know which one feels better. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Reduction of petrol consumption as an Environmental Objective

If you are building a new Environmental Management System and one of your high impacts is the use of vehicles, I highly recommend against using the reduction of petrol consumption as an environmental objective.

It's a pain in the butt to measure and it can also be majorly effected by the growth of your business. 

As an example if you run a small manufacturing business and do a lot of deliveries, you may have vehicle use as one of your aspects. You could set reduction of petrol consumption as an objective but if you have a high growth period and need to do more deliveries you aren't going to meet those objectives.

you're better off setting reduction of unecessary travel as an objective which will give you the same result but allow for growth.

The way I have structured this with one of my clients is by printing the most efficient route to each of their major clients using the www.whereis.com website. This tells you exactly how far it is from the office to the client. The driver then writes down their start and end km's on their delivery docket and it can be matched to how far they should have travelled. Set the objective that no trips should exceed 2km's from the designated route.

This way you can be sure there is no unecessary travel and keep fuel consumption to essential travel only.