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X5 Crops Report: Operational Efficiencies – Feb 2013

2013 continues to be a great year so far for X5. We are looking forward to hosting Darren Hardy on March 5 for his session on “Productivity Strategies of Super Achievers”.

Customer Satisfaction
Customer SatisfactionWhen was the last time your customers connected with you to inform you of how satisfied they are with your product or service?  If this isn’t a regular occurrence for your business, perhaps its time to reach out to the people you value most.

Consistent customer connection can be the quickest way to create rapport and a sense of mutual respect and trust.  This may be as simple as picking up the phone and making a 1 to 2 minute call. It is also the most effective way to receive feedback and make timely improvements to your sales process.

Risk Management

Risk Management
Business risk comes in many forms and an unproductive workforce poses great risk to an organization.  A lack of role clarity and general misunderstanding of responsibilities can threaten an employee’s productivity and ability to contribute to the bottom line.

What is your business currently doing to ensure your greatest assets – your people – are productive on a daily basis? Have you outlined clear expectations for deliverables? How are you holding people accountable? Do your people know how they fit into the big picture and company goals? Set your people up for success – an informed workforce is a productive workforce!

Operational Efficiencies

Operational Efficiencies
In this month’s CROPS report, we are pleased to highlight Operational Efficiencies.


As mentioned in Risk, a lack of productivity in your workforce can be detrimental to your organization. Productivity is a key element in employee engagement. How are you challenging your employees? Have you protected and developed your greatest assets through cross-training and educational opportunities? Many employees welcome opportunities to grow and evolve in their positions and move up the organizational ladder. Are your employees up-to-date on the technical skills in their field? Do you have a succession plan for replacing your leadership team? In order to stay competitive in business, you need to invest in the on-going development of your workforce and plan for tomorrow’s success.

SalesHow effective is your sales force? Is this a question you could easily answer and quantify? It is important to understand and define your sales management process if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your sales team. If your team doesn’t understand where they are struggling it is almost impossible for them to figure out why they are struggling, and improve. A sales management process that is well defined and monitored with specific KPI’s, (Key Performance Indicators) is much more consistent and responsive. This makes it much easier to develop your team’s effectiveness and incent them to reach their potential.


X5 believes in improving business process through people. We believe that productive relationships between systems and people are key to business success. The approach of X5 is to ensure all aspects of business (CROPS) are aligned and systematic.

Within our monthly CROPS report we enjoy featuring one area within CROPS.  This month we are pleased to highlight Operational Efficiencies.


Written by:   Mike Mack, MBA, X5 Management, Inc.

After reading a recent edition of SUCCESS magazine and also enjoying listening to the audio CD that accompanies the magazine, an “aha moment occurred” for me. The lesson uncovered how team members within a business generally have many responsibilities. Some of those responsibilities we love and some we don’t love so much.  An observation made by the X5 team in speaking with many companies is that as business evolves and grows it is very common to see more tasks piled onto people, regardless of whether or not they are the right person or not for the assigned task.  This can have many negative effects on business and team performance. One area of concern that can happen is  “job creep”. Job creep is an extension of a person’s job into that person’s leisure time. An example of job creep is someone doing work at home after working hours are over, during weekends or when on vacation. This is more and more common and sadly easier to do because of new technologies like smartphones and the Internet.

It is X5’s belief that job creep occurs because of two basis reasons:

  1. There are too many tasks assigned to one individual and they don’t have  time or proper training to effectively complete tasks within the day.
  2. A lack of team productivity can cause work to carry on beyond regular business hours.

The reality is that both causes of “job creep” are not good for your organizational health.  Assignments aren’t completed on time. Burn out or resentment may occur. So what do you do?  Some of the solutions are discussed in Risk Management above.  Nicolle shares some brilliant insight into Role Clarity and how we must protect our greatest asset -people!

X5 is passionate about our new tagline: “Improving business process through people” In the example above, business leaders must be aware of “job creep”, and support the improvement of business process through people.  For X5, this is about engaging the employees in better business process discussions.  It also is about holding employees accountable for tasks assigned.  If they can’t complete a task, they need to ask for help, and also find ways to continually focus on priority tasks. Avoid taking the assignment home and creating your own “job creep”.  It is not productive or efficient and it will eventually become a poor habit that can be hard to break.  Break the habit before it breaks you!
(X5 is aware that from time-to-time it may be necessary to work longer for a big project or valued customer.  The key is to not do this 24/7.)

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