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Employees: Your Biggest Headache or Greatest Asset?

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employee management


Employee management doesn’t have to be hard. Overall, I think it has to do with perspective. There are certain managers and owners who are employee-first thinkers. And there are some who don’t really consider employees at all. They are very different manager styles and they each lead to problem solving and decision making with very different outcomes. 

I’ve heard an owner once ask where the employees were when he looked out at the production floor. It was a break time, but he was thinking about numbers, not people. He was often heard making comments about employees being his biggest headache. 

If you’ve never heard of the DiSC Assessment, it’s a four-quadrant personality test used by organizations to show a bit more about how people behave. It shows us that some people really value tasks and numbers while others value relationships and feelings. 

This same owner had a manager who was on the opposite side of the spectrum, focused on employee relationships. I personally tend to fall more on this side, even though as a lean consultant I am always looking at numbers and productivity. Maybe the term ‘human capital’ can come into play here as well.

I see employees as one of the greatest assets in a company. It’s true they can be a headache, but that’s only if the right processes aren’t in place to set them up for success. Lean methodology looks at waste and efficiency. If we hire right, train well, and focus on setting employees up for success within the larger framework of productivity and outcomes, we create an organization-wide win. These win-win scenarios are what makes employee management easier.

A Real Life Example 

I once worked with a large local car dealership where the owner made sure to walk through all the buildings and departments each morning to great each and every one of his 250 employees. He knows everyone by name and asks them about their families. The employees love him as an owner and would do anything for him. Many of his employees have been working there for an average of 10 or more years. 

He also asks about their jobs and what could make business even better, then he listens to them and works on making business improvements based on their feedback. His dealership is one of the best in the state. 

He sees his employees as an asset, and therefore has an asset. 

The owner who sees employees as a headache, has a headache. 

It’s all a matter of perspective. What’s your perspective? Could it use a shift? Sometimes a different view can make all the difference in seeing an employee as an asset rather than an obstacle, and I can help facilitate that. Working together, we can merge the worlds of productivity, process and expectations to the asset that is your staff, in order to build win-win-win scenarios. 

 Employee Management and Human Capital

Have employees been a headache or an asset to you? Are you ready to change your perspective? PBEX, LLC helps by providing a complete review and analysis of your employee processes. We look at the numbers and systems in place that create efficiency and profitability, or that set the employee up to fail. Then, we offer consulting and lean process improvement training to support your organizational goals. Contact us to learn more about lean methodology as it relates to employee management and to schedule your review today and learn more about employee management.

A Roast, a Business Process, and a Lesson

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business process

Since Thanksgiving and other winter holidays are upon us, I thought I’d remind you of a story you may have heard that illustrates an important principle… it’s the story of the Holiday Roast. 

The Holiday Roast Story 

One Thanksgiving, Wendy was preparing for the big mealseasoning the roast she was about to place into the oven, when her husband Mark came into the kitchen to help peel potatoes. Wendy was chopping carrots to add to the pan, when Mark noticed something peculiar and asked, “Why did you cut off that chunk of roast?” 

“Oh,” Wendy answered, “I don’t know. It’s a family tradition. We always cut the end off of the roast.” 

“Hmm, I wonder why,” Mark asked aloud, prompting Wendy to call her mother. 

“Mom, why do we cut the end off of the roast?” 

“Well, I did it because your grandmother used to do it. I think it makes it more tender,” Wendy’s mother replied, prompting Wendy to call her grandmother. 

“Grandma, why do we cut the end off of the roast?” 

“Wendy, I don’t know why you do it, but I did it because I was feeding a family of 6 and the roasts we would buy never fit in my baker. I cut off the end so it would.” 

The Frankenstein Process 

In this story, we see the origination of a tradition, that was built out of a necessity for a single person’s “process”. The next person to observe and learn, simply went through the motions of repeating what they saw, without knowing the “why” behind it. By the time it got to the third person, she took it for what she thought it was – tradition. 

This happens all the time in business, and leads to what I call a “Frankenstein process”. Often one person creates or tweaks a process that better fits their needs, and this gets passed on without anyone asking why. 

As a lean consultant, it’s part of my job to ask why. Together, we look through what’s working, and what isn’t and follow problematic processes back to the beginning, like Wendy did in the above story. We uncover why something isn’t working, and go back to the roots, so we can address it at that point, making it more effective and efficient going forward. 

Wendy’s grandmother came up with a solution, and the solution worked for her, but when a solution begins creating waste, lean methodology dives in and creates a better solution for current productivity – not just what worked in the past. If you frequently say (or hear), “I don’t know, we’ve just always done it that way,” it’s probably a good time for us to chat. 


PBEX, LLC provides a complete review and analysis of the business processes that create efficiency and profitability, and the barriers to them. Providing consulting and lean process improvement training, we are ready to support your organizational goals. Contact us today to learn more about lean business management and to schedule your review with a process improvement expert. 

3 Business Process Management Strategies

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business process management

(c) photo credit: wisegeek

Business process management is the starting point for an enterprise looking to improve efficiency and add value to the end consumer. There are several options in creating a robust business process management strategy, and knowing what is best for you will depend entirely on your goals, budget, culture, and leadership.

What is Business Process Management?

In general, business process management is an system of activities that seek to discover inefficiencies and create automation, systems, and processes to close the gap between what is happening and what the desired result is. Several strategies can be implemented to reach this goal including:


There are several software solutions on the market designed to address a variety of needs. Cloud-based technology has allowed more connectivity then ever before, streamlining connections between departments, locations, vendors, and even customers.

Application development has made it easier to integrate with legacy systems and don’t require heavy programming requiring significant IT support or coders. Easier to understand and use, and faster to implement, BPM software solutions are a great tool.

Complete software packages are available, or they can be implemented on a smaller scale for specific business work flows such as HR, AP/AR, Inventory, Customer Management, or Manufacturing Processes, among others.

BPM Consultants

Business Process Management Consultants can work in a variety of ways to support an organization’s needs. Sometimes when a software solution is implemented, a consultant from the software company is assigned and works through the integration process. This can be very robust and time consuming, or, it can be quick and minimal, and it’s important to know what you need, and what you are paying for.

Other consultants are “software agnostic”, meaning they aren’t tied to a specific software, but may offer a methodology that discovers what business processes exist and how to best manage them.

BPM Consultants who specialize in Lean Manufacturing Concepts (ie. Six Sigma, Kaizen, TPS), are specially trained in strategies that reduce waste while maintaining high standards of production, safety, and morale.

A Combination of Software and a Business Process Management Consultant

While some industries may need only software, or only a consultant, most businesses will benefit from a combination of both. A Lean BPM consultant helps in uncovering, understanding and documenting business processes in ways that reduce waste and add value. Implementing software solutions without first getting  clear  the processes on paper will result in an ineffective fix and unforeseen errors that will have to be corrected.

Outside eyes, or the objectivity of a consultant, allows for adoption of new solutions that those within the organization have likely gone “blind” to. This objectivity allows for changes without the sometimes messy emotions, history, politics, or other behaviors that have halted progress in the past.

This also allows for the best decision-making as the entire strategy is pre-planned, implemented, tested and revisited. In essence, the support of a consultant makes the software options cleaner and more effective.


Looking for business process management from a skilled, lean consultant? Ready to dig in and really understand your processes and prepare them for a software implementation? Contact PBEX, LLC today to learn more or to get started.