FIP 122: How to build processes and systems for scale, with Boston Nyer of BURN Manufacturing 

This week on the Finding Impact Podcast, we are talking to Boston Nyer, co-founder of BURN. Boston’s played a wide variety of roles during his 8 years at BURN, including COO, where he was tasked with setting up processes in their factory in Nairobi that makes more than one stove per minute. It’s the largest of its kind on the continent.

On this episode you will learn:

  • An intro to his background, to BURN, and how BURN is structured. 1:48. 
  • How BURN is split up by departments. 6:00.
    • Four pillars: 1) Innovation (ie. new product development, piloting sales models, distribution schemes, etc.), 2) Operations (ie.manufacturing and supply chain), 3) Commercial (sales marketing), 4) Finance and Business support (Admin, IT, and HR). 
    • Which of these four areas Boston realized he needed to formalize by establishing systems and procedures. 7:00. 
  • How Boston would start making a procedure. 10:32.
    • Start with and have the right vision on how you’re going to succeed on the market as well as operational side. 
    • Find expertise externally if you do not have it internally. Find two or three experts who disagree with each other, and where they disagree is the spotlight of the area that you can play in. 
    • Avoid the trap of making systems to make systems. 
    • Start early and often. 21:50.
  • How Boston introduces new processes to staff without too much pushback. 18:02.
    • Skipfab? – Why, How, What
  • How often he revisits procedures. 23:10.
    • It’s continuous, although some things have more of a natural cycle, like launching a new product. 
  • Create a forum for conversation of sharing of ideas which might or might not be winners. 25:10.
  • How Boston gets people to follow processes. 27:37.
    • Make them and refine them so that they are inherently obvious. 
    • Bonus system to pay people for quality. 
  • Resources that Boston would recommend: The Finding Impact podcast, conduct research via google, be self driven, go find external experts, d-rev. 32:10.

Resources from this episode:

Connect with Boston: