How to identify and overcome bottlenecks
Submitted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Jeani Ringkob founded StoryBuilt Growth Strategy & Marketing after nearly a decade in the asphalt paving business and has helped several businesses grow and develop in the construction world. In the presentation she gave during World of Asphalt 2022, “Overcoming the Bottleneck in Your Business: How to Identify It Fast and Fix It Right, Every Time,” she explained that businesses are a lot like airplanes.
Ringkob explained that both businesses and airplanes require constant attention, regular maintenance, periodic enhancement and dutiful repairs to keep themselves up in the air. Identifying bottlenecks in a business is just as important as identifying faults on an airplane – failing to do so could result in a crash.
Ringkob broke the anti-bottleneck process down to three stages:
When it comes to identifying bottlenecks, she said a lot of it comes down to examining decision-making. Are the business’s leaders making the right decision at the right time? If not, she explains that can lead to wasted resources, missed opportunities, mediocre employees, costly mistakes – bottlenecks.
The reason inefficient decision making can lead to bottlenecks is that it can take leadership’s focus off growth, confident decision making, investment, new products and more, and instead force leaders to focus on survival. Successful businesses focus on growth, stalled companies focus on keeping the lights on tomorrow.
Once the problem is identified, Ringkob says the next step is to investigate what has been found. Was alignment found between company, product and customer? What was found about the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and those of the competition? What does the company’s pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase strategy look like? What can be done to improve what has been found?
Whatever the investigation has found to be a potential solution to the identified bottleneck, that solution is going to need to be implemented strategically. Ringkob recommends the “O.M.E.N.” test:
- Objective: Set the result the business intends to achieve
- Measurement: How will progress be measured?
- Evaluation: The frequency at which measurement will be reviewed
- Nurture: How the business will tweak things as new data comes in
Ultimately, Ringkob emphasized that a lot hinges on communication. She says communication must be simple, and it must work, both internally and externally.
For more from Jeani Ringkob, she will present on “Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent at Every Level” and “Strategic Decision Making for Increased Margins” at CONEXPO-CON/AGG, running March 14–18, 2023 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. CONEXPO-CON/AGG offers entire education tracks to help businesses “Attract, Engage & Retain Talent” and “Business Best Practices.” Visit conexpoconagg.com to learn more. The Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association is a supporting organization to CONEXPO-CON/AGG.