Bridg­ing the gap in pro­duc­tiv­ity

Jamaica Gleaner - - GROWTH & JOBS - Jodi-Ann Gilpin Gleaner Writer

DOU­GLAS: We want to build a mea­sure­ment cul­ture where peo­ple are aware that if we mea­sure, we can com­pare what we did this year as op­posed to last year. DR CHARLES Dou­glas, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO) at the Ja­maica Pro­duc­tiv­ity Cen­tre, be­lieves a major ob­sta­cle that hin­ders busi­nesses in Ja­maica from grow­ing and de­vel­op­ing is an in­abil­ity to mea­sure.

Dou­glas told The Gleaner that this is one of the many gaps in the world of busi­ness that his or­gan­i­sa­tion has iden­ti­fied and as such, is cur­rently work­ing to ad­dress.

“We are work­ing with pri­vate-sec­tor or­gan­i­sa­tions to re­ally strengthen their ca­pac­ity to em­ploy pro­duc­tiv­ity im­prove­ment tech­niques. One of the pow­er­ful tools that we em­ploy is mea­sure­ment, it is a sig­nif­i­cant tool for or­gan­i­sa­tions,” he said.

“Build­ing the mea­sure­ment cul­ture is re­ally say­ing to them (com­pa­nies) that when you mea­sure, you can com­pare. So, if I am pro­duc­ing tins and I don’t have a feel for what my com­peti­tors are do­ing, the only time I get a good feel of what they are do­ing is when my buy­ers say to me, we not buy­ing from you any­more be­cause we have an­other sup­plier who maybe is im­port­ing, be­cause it’s cheaper. Of­ten­times, this is be­cause I am not mea­sur­ing and try­ing to bench­mark against my com­peti­tors glob­ally,” he said.

MEA­SURE­MENT CRIT­I­CAL

Dou­glas, who is a trained econ­o­mist, said that mea­sure­ment is a crit­i­cal tool that should be cap­i­talised on if busi­ness are to re­main rel­e­vant, es­pe­cially with height­ened global com­pe­ti­tion.

“We want to build a mea­sure­ment cul­ture where peo­ple are aware that if we mea­sure, we can com­pare what we did this year as op­posed to last year. We can mea­sure and com­pare what we did this year with what com­peti­tors did. If we are be­hind in key mea­sure­ments, we know that we need to do some­thing about it; we don’t have to wait un­til cus­tomers buy from some­body else,” the CEO said.

“Mea­sure­ment is crit­i­cal in ev­ery as­pect of the busi­ness. If you mea­sure the per­for­mance of your em­ployee, then you can use that as the ba­sis to com­pen­sate them. You can use it to de­ter­mine who needs train­ing. So, re­ally and truly, we are into mea­sure­ment and we be­lieve it is crit­i­cal,” he told The Gleaner.

Dou­glas added: “We have worked with com­pa­nies that have re­ally em­braced the mea­sure­ment cul­ture. When we com­pare them with com­pa­nies that have not em­braced the mea­sure­ment cul­ture, we find that they are miles apart.”

He also stressed that the ba­sics of good cus­tomer ser­vice and net­work­ing should never be ig­nored, and urged busi­ness own­ers to seek ways of en­hanc­ing foun­da­tional skills.

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