Compression Circles in Your Company

Compression circles in your company

If you’ve been following the amazing articles on this website I think you will agree that that any organization can do many things to reduce waste, cut cost, and improve the effectiveness of their organization. Investigating Compression Thinking has no downside except for the time invested to see if it is right for your company.

The first problem is just starting the thinking. Progress toward any far out vision starts by just doing something, so here’s an idea on how to start.

Why not suggest to your top management that there may be opportunities to reduce waste, improve productivity, and become a leader in several important areas of change. Ask if you can recruit at least two other members of the organization to help you review the possibilities of this program and in 30 days report back whether or not it makes sense to go forward.

If possible select the team from different areas of your operation. Let’s say you are a manufacturer. You would want someone from the production side, someone from the engineering side, and maybe somebody from the office management or sales side to work together to see where changes could be made.

If you have not done much with environmental sustainability, maybe you can set up something simple like recycling inside the company. However, a more ambitious program that would involve all functions of a company is a review of how your products are packaged to reduce the amount of resources involved – and not just inside your company, with your customers and suppliers besides. At this point your objective is not to come up with any specific plan, but just to suggest areas that might benefit from a Compression Circle. Report back to your administration the reaction of your three-person team in the areas that they thought worthy of their own compression council.

If possible find three areas that are worthy of top management consideration from your initial review. Have one of your three person team head up a Compression Circle on that prospect, and in turn recruit two or three other members of the organization – again from different departments – to think it through.  The value of this exercise is to build teamwork and communication as well as delivering cost cutting and market saving results.

My guess is that each project would involve three or four two-hour sessions to come up with their results and a proposal for administration. For example, recently many companies had to review their packaging in order to meet the goals of major purchasers such as Wal-Mart. Many of them were able to reduce costs, and of course it is well documented that Wal-Mart had major reductions. When’s the last time someone from sales, manufacturing, marketing, and engineering took a look at how your product is packaged for sale and use? In my company it’s probably 10 years, and a lot has changed in those years. The type of customers we have and their needs have changed. So have the capabilities of our factory, but for most of us, if things are going well right now, we just go along.

You know the popular saying is if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. But those of us who follow the teachings of Doc Hall and the Compression Institute know that this is a path to failure rather than a key to success.

Every organization, from nonprofits to the largest manufacturers in our nation know that changes and improvements are required in order to survive, but it’s hard to break inertia and get going – and keep going. Management might not go along with your request, but my guess is that they will be glad you are thinking of how to make them more successful and volunteering to lead the evaluation process.

Marvin Klein

Co-founder, PortionPac Chemical, Chicago

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