Focusing on operational excellence can be revolutionary when applied in any industry, be it healthcare or manufacturing. It is no secret that achieving excellence in operations is a long-term strategy that may be challenging to achieve without clear goals. To keep your organization on the right track, you can choose one of several popular methodologies to attain results.
At the core of operational excellence is improving workflows and processes that, in turn, add value to customers. As the value goes up, your products or services have a greater likelihood of retaining their validity and importance.
Why Does Operational Excellence Matter?
The term gives an obvious hint that points toward the way an organization works. Operational excellence focuses on enhancing a company’s performance, primarily through its processes and the way work gets done. Let’s imagine an organization implementing the lean manufacturing management method. Provided core principles are followed, a company can benefit from:
- Bringing down operational costs;
- Eliminating waste;
- Enhancing team cooperation;
- Empowering employees;
- Adding value to products or services.
Although “lean” is not a one-fits-all method, it can be applied in most industries. Manufacturing organizations, in particular, can boost productivity and reduce waste, along with minimizing downtime.
Healthcare organizations can reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of patient care. In the construction industry, it is crucial to create a safe work environment for employees and to provide effective communication channels to support that safety. Deploying operational excellence methodologies helps drive achievement of these kinds of outcomes in the most efficient and effective way.
Why Is Operational Excellence Valuable for Any Industry?
Operational excellence matters, as we’ve just outlined. It can be applied to any industry, even in the most sophisticated niches. Emphasizing better execution with an “excellence” mindset helps organizations stay competitive when they are rapidly developing and when they go through challenging times. Key elements of the concept explain why operational excellence is worth implementing:
- Effectiveness: One of the core elements of operational excellence is the continuous improvement of processes. Once every step of any given process has been optimized, work will run smoothly without management intervention. Employees get to focus on higher value activities as a result.
- Workforce: A company’s greatest asset are its employees. They should be motivated and empowered to deliver great results. And in an environment that truly believes in excellence, employees are typically happier and more productive. At the end of the day, those on the front line of getting things done are the ones working directly with existing processes, and they should be involved in improving them. Engagement is critical.
- Efficiency: Operational excellence is based on continuous improvement, and flexibility is an integral part of that. Key elements of the concept guide you through cutting down on operational costs without sacrificing quality. The needs of your customers and increases in demand can be more readily met as your business expands. Not only can you do more with less, but you can more effectively deploy limited resources.
Roles and Responsibilities of Operational Excellence
Achieving operational excellence simply can’t be done without a committed group of professionals who want to elevate your company. Depending on the size of your organization, you can assign multiple teams to tackle different processes. The key factor is that you’ll want subject matter experts on each of the teams alongside those who might need a bit more training and guidance.
Ideally, you should train your staff so that they know how to work according to the methodology you have selected. It will guide them in how to effectively carry out their work in support of operational excellence objectives. By deploying a “train the trainer” model, for example, you’ll start to build capability across a larger group of individuals. The end game is to have all employees embracing some aspect of achieving operational excellence and, in turn, having it woven into the fabric of your company.
The responsibilities of your teams will range from monitoring KPIs, OKRs, and goals in general. While others will supervise process implementations or mentor team members and work on planning improvements.
Operational excellence is a strategy that helps your organization stay ahead of the competition. It also helps reach goals and objectives while working flexibly and adaptively. If you want to boost your profits, decrease downtime, or invest in better and clearer communication, then operational excellence is imperative.
You need to remember that it is a long-term strategy. It is a mindset or a work culture that strives for excellence in all aspects of a company’s execution, to be better than the day before. The core principles promote better problem management, adding value to products or services, empowering your employees, and more.
Today, it’s never been easier to focus on taking operational excellence to a whole new level with the availability of technology tools specifically designed to help you drive better business performance. Workflow automation and process management platforms, like HighGear, have enabled many companies to accelerate improvements across the enterprise. The solution is a true no-code platform that has made it easy to develop and deploy workflow solutions in just days without the need for developers. The intuitive platform is highly customizable and readily integrates with other systems making it an invaluable part of driving operational excellence in any organization.