Continuous Improvement Metrics – That Matter the Most
An ongoing improvement of products, services, and systems is called continuous improvement. The process can be incremental for overtime implementation or a breakthrough for immediate results. Continuous improvement works as a tool to maximize profit. It is, however, needs to be taken as an “ALL Improvements” basis to reap the real benefits. Below we explore the factors that can help in measuring the impact of continuous improvement in an organization.
The financial aspect is the easiest way to measure the impact of improvement. In other words, it is a comparison between cost and benefit derived from the improvement process. Things are so simple that if the earning has increased, improvement is beneficial, but it needs a review if it is otherwise. The effort fails if its cost is more than the benefit.
A continuous improvement process seems to work if the quality of products and services has improved. Customers are concerned about quality. It is the most vital factor that brings the customer back. A returning satisfied customer is an asset for any business. Quality, therefore, becomes the prime metric to assess the continuous improvement process. Improving quality is itself a continued process. Its impact sometimes can not be measured on a short term basis. There is absolutely no doubt that the quality delivers.
“A penny saved is a penny earned” The same is true, with saving a single moment. The time saved is time earned. Increasing the speed of production or service delivery means smartly satisfying your customer. The result is increased output and the extra available time for attending more customers. Saving time means avoiding overtime. It is a profit if speaking in financial terms.
The safety of customers and employees is the responsibility of an organization. Then, the scope of safety changes with the change in circumstances. Companies need a set of measures in routine, but in times of turmoil, the whole definition of safety changes altogether. Safety does serve as a metric to measure the process of continuous change. Improving safety measures means a decrease in lawsuits and insurance costs and other financial claims. It has a direct impact on profitability.
Every business claim to deliver quality to convince its customer coming back. Returning customers develop a bond with the business called brand loyalty. It is not an isolated factor, but a combination of quality, timely delivery, and reasonable price of the product or service. Creating brand loyalty among customers is the ultimate objective of any business. This factor rightly serves as a metric for an assessment of continuous improvement. Organizations making efforts of continuous improvement can only expect loyalty from their customers.
Only a few organizations have concerns about employee engagement and satisfaction. Companies working on a continuous improvement plan need to engage employees to keep them satisfied. A job description and company policies are vital areas to involve employees. The higher the level of satisfaction of an employee, the higher is his productivity and work output. It counts towards the overall company-wide quality and efficiency.
Improving and upgrading technology is also an important factor in measuring continuous improvement. Technology up-gradation sometimes is a costly affair. The required results take a longer time to emerge, making it hard to measure the short-term effect of continuous improvement efforts. Technology updating is a sure way to improve quality and efficiency. It also helps in reducing the workforce and controlling the costs in the long run. The metric can provide a measurable difference in output for a continuous improvement analysis.
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