In a Flat World, Operational Excellence is Strategy

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Operational Excellence is a philosophy of leadership, teamwork and problem solving resulting in continuous improvement throughout the organization by focusing on the needs of the customer, empowering employees, and optimizing existing activities in the process.

It involves reaching a pinnacle in the execution of business processes, allowing you to conduct business in a manner that satisfies customer demand, improves quality, and generates higher yields, faster output, and less waste.

Operational Excellence is now as relevant in commercial and service sectors as it is in traditional product manufacturing industries.

According to the Mr. Nandan M. Nilekani, over the last 25 years, IT has been the prime mover in creating millions of jobs, not just in IT firms but in all the industries and services needed to support it.  But the next five years are going to be critical for the IT revolution. It is becoming increasingly clear that this is not just about a few back office jobs.

The flat world created by the confluence of technology, globalization, demographics and the rising economic power of India and China is making companies fundamentally alter their business assumptions. What and where they produce, whom they sell to, at what price, and how they manage it all the fundamental tenets of their business model are being entirely revisited. So the company who performs better on every chart will succeed in the “tough times”.

There are various improvement plans deployed by successful business houses such as the 5S Program, Kaizen strategy, Six Sigma program initially implemented by Motorola and Trotter Matrix, a tool employed by GE business units.

The crux of all the programs defines five key stages, which are:
1. Assess: Analyze and assess the current situation, including business strategy, processes, resources and assets. Define the future vision of what operational excellence can deliver.
2. Design: develop a clear route map showing the actions and milestones for the operational excellence, including both short and long term actions.
3. Optimize: Select the methods, tools and techniques to be deployed.
4. Deploy: Apply the tools to the improvement areas identified. These can be applied sequentially or simultaneously as required.
5. Sustain: The most important objective of any Operational Excellence program is not just the achievement of excellence, but establishing the fundamental process and cultural changes necessary to sustain excellent performance. For this reason, we focus on continuous improvement, skills transfer to client teams, continuous performance measurement and the use of appropriate IT support tools.

Hewlett Packard
In march, 2009 Hewlett Packard, better known as HP has received certification from the Service and Support Professionals Association (SSPA) for providing superior technical support and services to business notebook and desktop PC customers in the Americas region.
HP is currently the only PC manufacturer with the certification.

HP earned the Excellence in Service Operations certification for 2009 following a comprehensive evaluation of its phone, field service and web service operations for business PC customers. HP is a major manufacturer of computer hardware in the computer industry. The computer industry serves a variety of customers, ranging from typical home users who surf the web to multinational conglomerates.

To conclude, I must say that in this new environment, companies that are able to increase productivity, use technology intelligently, globalize their talent base and practice financial discipline will derive sustainable competitive advantage and will run a smooth long run.

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