Your Salmon Story: Plan for Continuous Process Improvement

Salmon SushiSalmon and Costco can serve up a good reminder of how good organizations can become great: By planning for and executing on continuous quality improvement.

This morning I had the pleasure to hear Mr. John Matthews, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Risk Management for Costco, speak to the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club.  John’s message featured the Costco Salmon Story.

Quite simply, in the 15 years since 1995, Costco has improved the quality of the salmon sold in its stores no less than five times by working with vendors based on customer feedback.  The result of these improvements is that the fish costs 25% less per pound than it did before, and the chain sells 12 times as much, netting out more than 130 million pounds.

The thing I like about John’s story is your business doesn’t have to be Costco and your product doesn’t have to be fish.  The question is what proactive steps can you identify today in order to make your product – your entire business – better?  What action can you take right now to improve?  And after that?

For suggestions on getting started, check out DWA’s Leadership Action Points™, our blueprint for turning leadership into profits through action.  And for a truly fast kick-start, try out our Business Diagnostic Check-up which will show you where to focus your energies first for fast growth.