How your business can achieve operational excellence
Updated: Oct 20, 2021
Imagine for a moment that your company worked like a finely tuned Swiss watch.
Communication works smoothly. There is no resistance to necessary changes. Team members work perfectly together in harmony. Every part of your different departments works in sync exactly as they are meant to.
Regrettably organisations do not experience this because they don't understand operational excellence. You might think this sounds like a utopian vision, but it’s absolutely possible to achieve. Or at least move very closely to this ideal state of operational excellence.
And In this guide we will be covering 5 steps that will move you in this direction.
At the Digital Evolution Forum, our experienced team is always on hand to help you discover how your business can utilise data to maximise your business’s operational success.
If you read this and want to get a tailored approach to how your business can achieve operational excellence, please contact the team who will be ready to support your business's digital evolution.
What is operational excellence?
Don't let this term confuse you as really it's as simple as it sounds. It's making your business teams perform tasks better, quicker, more creatively, and faster all whilst enhancing the quality of the decisions you make on a consistent basis.
We define operational excellence as your ability to execute on your business strategy more consistently and reliably than your competition. All whilst lowering operational risk and operating costs while maximising results that have a positive impact on the business.
There are popular and widely used frameworks for companies of all sizes. These range from processing mapping, one or all parts of six sigma, kaizen, lean manufacturing, or using project management methods such as PRINCE2.
Let's take this a step further together.
When we look at operational excellence we see it as a standard that a business, and its teams such as yours, set as a benchmark for quality.
As your business goes through change, a digital evolution, welcomes new team members, or onboards new customers the operations of the business will likely need to change.
You will also have more data to bring into your business, share with clients or partners, and consider specific team decisions. Which is why the operations become increasingly important to make sure the business and its teams run smoothly.
What impact does data have?
You might have heard the recent analogy of data being the new oil. And that's because it is already having an important impact on nearly everything operational in the world today. And that's only growing larger.
Statista reported that the total amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed globally reached 64.2 zettabytes in 2020. Only 2% of this data produced and consumed in 2020 was saved and retained into 2021.
Highlighting the importance of why you need data to achieve operational excellence but also what data you need to pay attention to.
Data is being used, measured, and analysed in limitless ways imaginable across the world and industry. It's being used in government, the public sector, businesses, local communities, schools, and every industry currently in existence. Data is what drives new products, policies, what account or advert you'll see on Instagram, and tailored offers you get for your next holiday.
To give you an example, data is what was and still is constantly used and televised to different countries to visualise the impact of COVID. This data has made decisions for when countries come out of lockdown, how businesses can operate, and so much more.
If your business is going through a digital evolution, you might find you or the teams using technologies such as Robotic Process Automation, Intelligent Automation, Augmented Reality which will likely be combined with the use of AI. This will be making use of the data you have available to deliver the results you're after.
Maintaining operational excellence
Achieving it is one aspect. Maintaining is another. This is where your business requires continual process improvement to make sure you're consistently meeting that benchmark of quality set.
The benefits your business can realise from maintaining smooth and well oiled operations are many.
They include being agile, giving the team speed and the ability to adapt to changing market conditions, adopt new technologies that are implemented as part of your digital evolution, outperform competition as a result of these two, and being able to onboard customers quicker while also retaining a high approval process.
Training the team
Arguably the most important part to achieving operational excellence is having a team who are brought into the vision. Alongside this it means that they have the right tools, technology, and training available to them in order for it to be a fantastic success.
We always highlight this as it's such a fundamental area of ensuring that you get to achieve operational excellence. Not only this but when you get there, you can maintain that standard.
You can get a focussed look at why training the team is important by reading articles such as '3 steps to prepare your business for a successful digital evolution', 'Digital Training: Is It Really Worth It for Your Business?', and 'Why Your Digital Transformation Strategy Needs A Human in the Loop'
Where can you start with achieving operational excellence?
It's important to consider all the above aspects when aiming towards operational excellence. We want to reinforce that operational excellence isn't a finish line, it's a constant benchmark or standard to meet as your business changes.
Although we've looked at various ways your business can use data to help you achieve operational excellence, we haven't looked specifically at your business.
That's why the Digital Evolution Forum exists, to provide you valuable insight on the ways you can fast track your journey for operational excellence, no matter what stage of your business's digital evolution you're at.
If you've enjoyed reading this article, we think you'll enjoy speaking with our team who are on hand to help you. You can contact a member of the Digital Evolution team to discover impactful strategies your business can start implementing to achieve the vision while implementing the operations that will support that journey.