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Monday, May 17, 2010

The Silo Effect

Every business, no matter how big or small, has three primary functions that are essential to it's success: operations (production and services), accounting, and marketing.  As a business grows other functions are established like customer service, human resources, shipping/receiving, and more.  These functions are usually grouped into departments, each with their own sets of concerns and procedures.

Departments often have trouble working together to achieve common goals.  The people in these different departments have been given objectives that sometimes conflict (marketing wants to improve quality; accounting wants to reduce costs).  This is called the silo effect, and it can destroy a company.  When something goes wrong in a business, many managers try to determine which department screwed up.  Often it's a failure in how the company processes its products, services, and information.

Blaming a department manager is easy; fixing the system is much harder.
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