min read

Sustainability … Is it More than a New Business Diet?


As a middle-aged consultant who spends hundreds of days a year traveling to work with clients, my diet and food intake concern me and my loved one. In an average year, I eat between 700 to 800 restaurant meals. As a young consultant I did not have as much trouble maintaining my body weight, but as the years have passed an age has come upon me, sustaining an appropriate weight has become more difficult. Checking the scale of the hotel exercise facility and exercise helps but is it enough to sustain an appropriate body weight?

Business Sustainability is more than a project and more than a Business Diet

At Revel, we use our oVo, ongoing Value optimization methodology to help optimize raw materials used to improve business performance and improve cash utilization. When we work with our clients, we educate them on how to optimize their raw materials using changes to their people, processes, and technology. Through our work with our clients, we reduce inventory spend and we educate them on how to sustain the inventory optimization after we leave. We have all heard how diets do not work. To sustain reasonable body weight, we need to change our lifestyle which means persistent changes in diet, exercise and healthy living. If you go on a diet and do not change your lifestyle, you will gain more weight than you lost. The same applies to inventory optimization. If you do not change the way you manage inventory, your inventory spend will increase over time. It must become a new way of conducting your business.

All consultants tell us to change, but after they leave we revert to past behavior

Most companies we work with worry about sustainability after we leave. Owning the change and managing the change is the responsibility of our clients. At Reveal, we work with our clients on monthly basis to help them own and manage the change in business practice. Each month, we review the key inventory metrics via the SAP system to assess how are clients are doing with their continued optimization efforts. In some cases, we find that inventory begins to increase after we leave. We meet with our clients each month for 6 months after the project ends to discuss what we are seeing in SAP and how to address the increase in inventory. In some cases, the increase in inventory is warranted for business reasons. In most cases, it is because they have stopped following the oVo tenets that they were taught and they may need an additional reminder or further education to restore themselves to proper inventory levels.

Sustainability takes time and constant attention

Like the middle-aged traveling consultant managing his body weight, it takes time and effort to continue to reduce body weight and keep the weight off, it takes time and persistent effort to change business behavior over the long term. To sustain business performance, our clients embrace the notion that they do not want to revert to how they managed inventory before working with Reveal. They are committed to a new business lifestyle and all the changes that are associated with changing business behavior. Like a body scale and a personal trainer, we stay with our clients to ensure they sustain business results.


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