What Small Companies Can Learn from Big Ones.

We’ve all seen lists like these: “10 Things That Large Companies Can Learn From Startups.” These days, startups are synonymous with innovation and flexibility. Because their organizations don’t have rigid, fossilized structures and hierarchies, they can react quickly and stay agile. Large organizations would do well to break up old structures and get some inspiration from the way young startups are doing things. But what about the other way around? Can small companies also learn something from large ones?

Absolutely! Especially whenever small companies are feeling overwhelmed by their day-to-day tasks, if inspiration from their own field seems to have dried up, or if they just can’t seem to get off the hamster wheel, they can benefit from larger companies’ know-how and learn from their business structures:

– Have the courage to think outside the box and look to other industries for inspiration.
– Define clear areas of responsibility based on the principles applied in larger corporations and organizations.
– Create guidelines and workflows to improve efficiency and quality.

As a hospitality consultant, I work with companies from all kinds of industries. I often learn things that inspire me, that give me a new perspective on my work, or that I can apply in other industries.

The business consultancy Förster & Kreuz shared a great example of how companies can benefit from being open-minded on their blog. They tell the story of a leading Swiss mattress producer that supplies luxury hotels. The company recruited a CEO from the automotive industry. This may seem like a strange choice at first, but the former automotive CEO had a brilliant idea: He knew that some car parts had built-in microchips that would alert the driver when the part needed to be changed. The CEO transferred this idea to mattresses. High quality hotel mattresses were then equipped with a built-in chip that carefully monitored the wear and tear, which ensured that only worn out mattresses were exchanged. The mattress producers stood out because of the unique service they offered, and the hotels saved money.

In the second part of this blog article you will find out how structural changes and clear guidelines help to improve quality and customer satisfaction.