The Value of Systems

Published by Susan Lubega,
“The Systems Builder”
Systems have eluded most local businesses in the developing world.
Entrepreneurs though desirous to have their businesses run even in their absence are still afraid to
give out their authority mistakenly thinking that it takes a piece of the action from them. In the end it
is through their own doing that they fail to evolve from small traders to a chain.
At the heart of this is the lack of understanding of the benefits which can be derived from having well
developed systems.
In simple terms systems guide day to day operations. They show how things are to be done in order
to meet the overall organizational goals.
The systems that exist in organizations are not formalized. This informality is what causes a lack of
consistency and continuity.
Formalising a system entails clearly defining the policy to guide key operations of the organization.
The policy embodies the principles to guide these operations.
Key operations include quality management, human resources management, financial management,
environment management, health and safety, social responsibility, food safety, etc.
From this policy objectives are set and from these objectives the journey to be followed to achieve
them are mapped out in the procedures and work instructions.
These documents mainly answer the question of what is to be done, when is it to be done, who is
responsible for what, what are the controls, who is responsible for verifications, how often should
these be done, etc.
As long as these documents are coherent, then they can successfully educate and enlighten those who
do not know.
The value derived from this arrangement includes:
– Moving the organization from depending on individuals who can move on any time to ensuring that
their experience is always built into the system which stays and takes care of the product / service
– Consistency in the way things are done regardless of who is doing them. This is usually because the
documents give step by step guidance on how to undertake the activity;
– Because of the guidance given in the procedures, staff become more competent & confident in their
work which translates directly in increased efficiency;
– Improved organisational image as a direct result of the joy derived from working with the
organization by both customers (this stems from consistency in products and services) and employees
(this stems from a clarity on roles, responsibilities, performance indicators ie: nothing is subjective) ;
– Lower operational costs as a direct result of efficient use of resources & reduction in rework;
– Management time is freed to focus on issues of a strategic nature rather than operations;
– The icing on the cake is international recognition as an organisation with systems in place to ensure
consistent delivery of products and services. This happens when the system is audited and certified.
Save Yourself Stress, Time, Energy and Money (SYSTEM). Build SYSTEMS and let your
business thrive.
2006 ©

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