1. Start your year as you mean to go on – plan together for success
If like many, you have returned to work with a few New Year's resolutions, you'll feel like you're starting 2019 as you mean to go on. But the devil as always is in the detail and resolutions are often easier made than kept. Behavioural Science shows that resolutions and goals are more likely to be achieved if they are shared. It's something we all see in the health fitness industry but may not be applying in our own corporate lives. Engaging your supply chain in your 2019 agenda and reviewing contract terms may contribute towards the performance increases you're searching for, particularly if your partners weren't involved in last year's strategic planning and budgeting.
2. It's never too early to ask big questions and take bold decisions
The first couple of weeks in January can be slow and a little disrupted by staggered returns of colleagues to work from the holidays. You are likely to have some outstanding strategic questions that need answering and step-change performance gaps that need filling. Looking afresh, will your current supply chain deliver for you in 2019? Why not hit the New Year hard instead of easing in? 2019 is more likely to be your best year ever if it's your smartest year ever. Use the rare head-space of early January to turn 2018's lament of "if I only had some time to think about...." into "January: analysis done, solutions identified, problems solved, decisions made".
3. You will never truly know what will happen next (but it's nice to know what might)
If your company does business in or with the United Kingdom, 2019 brings some significant sources of uncertainty related to Brexit. Hopefully, the conversations related to this event have been had already, plans and contingency plans made. Brexit aside, most companies dedicate relatively little time to scenario planning and deciding what preferred responses might be in advance. Much of our modern working lives are spent instead reacting to and firefighting what's happening around us: customer demands, emails, competitor actions, regulatory and technology changes. So, while most of us are competent at re-planning and re-forecasting ad-hoc, scenario planning comes less naturally. Time invested understanding "what if..." is seldom wasted. How prepared is your supply chain for what lies ahead in 2019? Have you asked? Will it bring you additional risk or new opportunities?
4. It's the time to grab a bargain (and to get ahead of target)
Anyone who has worked in sales knows that it's good to get off the line quickly in a new performance period. This applies to your suppliers' account teams too. Your 2019 deal, extension or renegotiation could be that early start for your existing supplier or indeed a new partner. They will love you for it and you may be surprised by both what they're prepared to give you and by the impact you'll see from enjoying benefits over more of your performance year. Go for the win-win and jointly get ahead.
Notes about SRM Europe
Strategic Resource Management (SRM), Europe, is a subsidiary of SRM Inc. SRM provides its clients with expertise in cost reduction, increasing revenue, organisation re-design, process re-engineering, programme management, wider transformation and the latest in AI and robotics technology support. To learn more, visit www.srmeurope.com.
This post originally appeared here.