A wise man recently told me that “99% of problems are process problems”. While the hyperbole is evident, the point is not. Most organizational problems are not a result of bad people or products, but of bad process. This includes both macro-level procedures that we define to deliver our unique advertising solutions, and micro-level individual communication and issue resolution techniques.
We’ve grown RMM from a five person shop in 2005 to a national company with fifty-seven employees in six states. I thought it would be valuable to share some of the keys that have propelled our growth over this time.
We’re big believers in process definition & continuous improvement. We’ve gone through almost everything we do as a company and have defined the process to ensure that we offer consistently high levels of customer service, including minimizing “dropped balls”. By clearly defining our procedures, everyone involved knows exactly what to expect from each other & we find that we can offer consistent excellence in running campaigns for customers. Defining procedures also helps us identify inefficiencies and continuously make changes to ensure maximum effectiveness. This has become critical as we run hundreds of client campaigns per month, and our growth is a testament to our teams’ ability to deliver excellence consistently.
Another key component of our process definition is employing the KISS principle. I don’t mean dressing up like Gene Simmon’s band, but the adage “Keep It Simple, Stupid”. Online advertising involves lots of complexity; each of our display campaigns has over twenty steps from initiation to fulfillment across six different teams. There is a significant amount of work that goes into defining & refining procedures, but the bulk of the work really comes from keeping it simple: defining the mechanisms to simply handle the majority of cases, while allowing the flexibility or having exceptions for the edge cases. The hard work is to simplify a complex process.
We love automation. We use it not for the purpose of abstracting human contact & intelligence, but for mechanizing rote or routine tasks so our talented team members can focus their efforts on what they do best! We have found that investing in automation results in happier team members who are more productive and can offer more creative, “solution-oriented” responses to our advertising clients.
I’d love to hear more thoughts & ideas on how others are finding results by focusing on improving operations.