Welcome to Flat Creek! I hope you find this an informative resource for thoughts and trends regarding business operations management. My company, Flat Creek Management, provides a range of operations services for small businesses in the Washington, DC metro area. Along the way, we have found some great products and vendors to help our clients do their jobs better and worry less about the administrative tasks that so often bog us down.
How do you define operations management for service firms? Sure, product development people know operations management inside and out, but in terms of service firms – small service firms – what is it? We believe it’s a lot like outsourcing, but more hands-on. For instance, a small law firm might be blessed with some terrific talent, but they spend too much time trying to get the computers to work, or the copier to work, or they really need some new office space, or the Web site hasn’t been updated in years… you get the picture. What we do is go in and talk with them, learn about their business, and then take care of those problems. We contract with a copy repair shop, or even find them a new copier that’s more reliable. We pull in IT and networking people to make sure they have the technology in place to help them handle cases and clients more effectively. We research new office spaces and negotiate their lease, help them pick out new office furniture, pack and move their belongings, and get them all set up in their new space. We bring in Web designers and developers (there is a difference – more on that later) and give them a Web site that not only brings in new business but also serves their existing clients.
So operations management is a lot of things to a lot of different people. Our goal is to bring together the many vendors and contractors and businesses who provide these services, and then pool the best resources available to make their lives easier.
Enjoy the blog, feel free to comment, contribute, agree, or disagree. We look forward to sharing the view from Flat Creek!
Flat Creek Management