Tips on synchroniziong management across locations

When companies skip important groundwork, like instituting effective systems of management within their organization, they can very easily collapse inward. Companies managing teams and operations across multiple locations, jurisdictions, or countries are at the highest risk of this happening. Making sure that all the moving parts of your organization function well together is a much more future oriented approach, and will set up your business for long term success. 

How should a company go about synchronizing their operations? It’s critical to balance local knowledge with company-wide systems and data. 

Local knowledge is something that cannot be taught, so making sure that team leaders have an understanding not only of the job at hand but also experience with the regulations and local company culture can be a huge asset.  

But it’s not enough to have these people on your team- making sure that these local team leaders have some level of autonomy is always a good way to create effective teams and run your operations smoothly. The sort of experience they bring to the table is often the difference between a team operating poorly and operating well. Provided they have clear direction on the goals and objectives of their team and their role within the organisation, they will be able to manage their operations well. 

Starbucks case study 

Starbucks has become synonymous with coffee in many locations around the world. Originally based in Seattle, Starbucks is now a global brand. There is no doubt that Starbucks’ expansion and management strategies have contributed to the success of the company. In 2000, Starbucks started its entry into the Australian market. From 2000 to 2008, the company opened over 85 stores in the country. Starbucks, however, never took off in Australia, and more than two thirds of its stores closed in 2008.  

Why did this happen? Well, the subprime lending crisis in 2008 may appear to be the reason for closures at first glance. But Starbucks has consistently struggled since its establishment in Australia. Why hadn’t the Australian market embraced Starbucks’ offerings like much of the rest of the world? 

Simply put, Starbucks failed to adapt its operations to the market it was entering. Australia already had a rich café culture. The way Starbucks positioned itself did not align with the way that Australians were used to drinking their coffee, so the Australian market never developed a taste for it. 

Can we learn anything from this? Part of Starbucks’ global success can be put down to consistency in both management and their product. But, by consulting with local experts and giving local management some autonomy, Starbucks may have been able to present themselves to the Australians in a way that appealed to their tastes. No matter the size of our business, big or small, local experts are an invaluable resource. They can help guide your business endeavors in different locations, and this relationship can prove vital to the success of your business. 

Balancing autonomy and standardization within management  

Although autonomy within a team plays an important role, managing multiple locations can be challenging when systems differ across locations. There can be a lack of consistency in the information coming from different locations, leaving head office in the dark about what’s happening on the ground. The fact that different formats and types of reports are received from different locations makes holistic analysis and reporting on company operations a nightmare. The management of a company opens itself up to a host of issues when it is unable to monitor operations effectively.  

With the help of modern technology, companies can create standardized systems and manage their operations more effectively. Tracking larger trends is much easier when all of your organization’s systems are the same.  

Additionally, experts on the ground are able to do their jobs more effectively with the right systems in place. Integrated task management systems allow local team leaders to know exactly what is expected of them and when. As a result, they are able to lead their teams effectively and independently.  

How information mapping can help  

As your business expands, you’ll find that there is a lot of information to link to each location. Location-specific laws, regulations, and obligations will apply. As companies grow in complexity, operations expand and this spider web of information becomes larger and larger. When companies try to juggle all this information within spreadsheets, things always get missed. 

It makes sense to apply GIS to visualize this information since it is location-specific. GIS visualizes your operations on a map, so that you can see exactly what is going on and where. Your management team can view all relevant information related to those locations in real-time. All the relevant tasks and information is linked directly to the location and connected with the individuals, teams, and locations responsible for it.  

Using a GIS interface allows for easy navigation to the information you need, ensuring it will never get lost in a spreadsheet again. 

About Totum  

Our system here at Totum is designed to help companies to standardize their management practices across locations. It allows head office to enable sites or locations to operate autonomously, while keeping a finger on the pulse. We help you to strike that important balance between letting the experts on the ground handle things the way they know is best, while keeping teams accountable and their daily activities visible through our system. And we make navigating this information easy with an intuitive GIS interface. This unique balance of features helps our clients to run their companies at a consistently productive pace.  

If your organization has trouble managing various teams across multiple locations, integrating your operations into one unified system may be the best solution. Get in touch with us to learn how we can help your company run more efficiently.