Less people = more productivity: let’s get rid of redundant management…

Scott is the controller at a food ingredients importer and distributor using my employer’s inventory management software. The company also engages in food production, blending ingredients. Here’s what happened recently, in Scott’s own words: “I had to cover off production in the back during the holidays myself, and was surprised to find out that with me running the production we doubled the production each of the 3 days. We determined that the team would do better without the existing manager, so we terminated his employment. They are up 60% without either me or the old production manager.  He was actually holding them back…”

What I take away from this is that, when there are bottlenecks in a business process, they should be examined from all angles – including the managers and supervisors. Too frequently, managers will blame production issues on a convenient scapegoat – the software, the production workers, or the physical environment. But sometimes it’s the supervisor who’s the bottleneck. Particularly in a smaller environment, one should consider carefully how many levels of management are necessary at all.

If you have good people on board, they should not need much by way of supervision. And if you don’t have good people, then no amount of supervision will paper over those cracks.

<…holds breath and awaits verbal abuse from management…>