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This week I had a coaching call with a large U.S company regarding the rewards and risks of running global operations. The call centered around a simple model I use with many of my other coaching client; People, Process & Tools.

First, it is critical to get the people part correct. This involves clearly communicating expectations and timelines while respecting fear of the unknown. Whether its decentralizing operations or off-shoring certain activities, all of your employees will need clear and consistent communication. It is also important to respect each individual as you go through the transition and ensure they are clear on any role transitions.

Before any change occurs, all business processes should be defined, documented and measured. If the team doesn’t understand the work transition at a sufficient level, increased distance will magnify existing issues. As supply chains become more complicated the linkage between the local sales person, the regional operations team and the manufacturing plants will become strained and more difficult to manage. Setting measurable expectations, continuously improving documented processes and conducting operating rhythms will ensure success.

Finally, the correct tools to connect your business teams must be implemented or improved. It is also important to ensure a robust tool that connects as many business processes as possible is implemented. The process knowledge mentioned above will help ensure the correct technology decisions are made. When different tools are implemented, simple interfaces and clear data feeds are a must.

Building a global operation can leverage the regional strengths and create centers of excellence for business operations. However, when implemented without proper care, customer and financial metrics will underperform. A clear roadmap that contains all three elements combined with clear accountability will provide a successful transition and ongoing operations.

If you want to make the most out of your manufacturing assets and build a world class team, download my free report at Or better yet, contact us and we will provide world class coaching that will take your business and operation to the next level.

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