Setting Standards for Business Success

By Dean Seavers

“How can I get faster access to the data I need?”

“Do we have organizational charts?”

“When can I tell my vendor their invoice will be paid?”

Maybe you’ve heard some of these questions, or even asked them yourself.  One thing is for sure – they are justifiable questions that deserve good answers.

For a long time – too long – we have operated without adhering to documented minimum internal business standards. I don’t have to tell you that this has created some inefficiencies and confusion in the way we run our business.

Our Business Management Systems (BMS) team is addressing this, using our values statement as a starting point.

Our values statement is clear: Every day we do the right thing and find a better way. However, it does raise some questions:  how do we know what the “right thing” is? And, what does a “better way” look like?

The BMS team is creating mandatory internal business standards that will effectively bring together best practice from across the company and regulate the way we run our business. You could say they are standardizing what it means to do the right thing and find a better way.

The team is focusing on 18 areas of the business that create the greatest value or highest risk. Some of the standards are function-based and others are capability-based. So far, they’ve gotten approval for four pilots:  Data Management, Procurement, Human Resources, and Asset Management.

BMS expects to stagger the rollout of our new internal minimum standards by the end of FY18, and we know it will take some time for all of us to start implementing them.

We should all get involved now though by keeping up with the new standards, and sharing our ideas about how to meet minimum standards.

I, for one, look forward to the day when the above questions aren’t asked anymore, because we have standards in place that make them unnecessary.  Working together, we will find a better way.

Watch the BMS video.

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