2007 | 509 Pages | ISBN: 9780470081822 | pdf | 3.79Mb
A chief executive ofﬁcer (CEO) spends months deciding on a corporate strategy. The plan probably includes a mix of changes in products, customers, and markets, as well as demands for increased efﬁciencies or information in a number of existing areas. The CEO then hands off the plan to a group of managers who are quite capable of implementing many of the changes, but who scratch their heads over how to squeeze greater efﬁciencies or information out of existing departments in order to meet their strategic goals. This is where best practices come into play.
A best practice is really any improvement over existing systems, though some consultants prefer to conﬁne the deﬁnition to those few high-end and very advanced improvements that have been successfully installed by a few world class companies. This book uses the broader deﬁnition of any improvement over existing systems, since the vast majority of companies are in no position, in terms of either technological capabilities, monetary resources, or management skill, to make use of truly world-class best practices. Using this wider deﬁnition, a best practice can be anything that increases the existing level of efﬁciency, such as switching to blanket purchase orders, signature stamps, and procurement cards to streamline the accounts payable function. It can also lead to improved levels of reporting for use by other parts of the company, such as activity-based costing, target costing, or direct costing reports in the costing function. Further, it can reduce the number of transaction errors, by such means as automated employee expense reports, automated bank account deductions, or a simpliﬁed commission calculation system. By implementing a plethora of best practices, a company can greatly improve its level of efﬁciency and information reporting, which ﬁts nicely into the requirements of most strategic plans.