The Most Comprehensive Study of Critical Challenges and Future Trends within Operational Excellence

With nearly 1000 respondents, 37 insightful questions, detailed analysis & insights from 40 industry thought leaders, and the BTOES Insights executive team, this 140 page report is recognised as the most comprehensive study of critical challenges and future trends within Operational Excellence, and is considered a key resource for the industry. Areas covered include:

  • The Critical Operational Excellence Challenges faced by executives.

  • The Current Scope of Operational Excellence.

  • How is Operational Excellence success measured?

  • Key Findings & Roadblocks.

  • What are executives focusing on over the next 12-18 months?

  • What have been the greatest developments?

  • What are the key drivers pushing change in Operational Excellence?

  • Industry Perspectives.

  • Small, Medium & Large Corporation Perspectives.

  • Detail Analysis & Insights from BTOES Insights Executive Team.

  • Detailed Analysis & Insights from 40 Industry Thought Leaders.

  • Analysis of key themes, including Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding.

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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Learn all about The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

 

 


 

Table of Contents

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Executive Summary

The key challenge facing Operational Excellence programs remains squarely around changing & improving company culture, with over 53.1% citing it as their top critical challenge. 

This makes sense as cultural transformation, changing mindset and behaviours, is the hardest thing to do, and consequently it is the greatest progress limiter. Click here to read the full Survey Report 2018/19.

 

To highlight the difficulty of cultural transformation, many change initiatives don't achieve their objectives or are deemed unsuccessful, resulting in wasted resources and diminished moral. Research shows that amongst the many factors that contribute to poor results are change fatigue, too many priorities to focus on and poor employee engagement; which in turn leads to passive aggressive behaviors down the chain.

 

Culture is critical to the success of a change management program. Culture is shared values and “how things get done around here” it is how your people think, believe, act, feel. Companies need to get good at these cultural aspects, or they are likely to negatively impact the change.

Cultural transformation is critical to increase the pace of teams and organizations in order to make deep-rooted process changes required to gain advantage of digitization, automation and advanced technologies. Results are the major output of a company, and culture is the major input.

 

 Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

 

The results speak for themselves, the companies in the “Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For” happen to achieve a double-digit return in market annualised growth of 11.08%, twice the average return of companies in the S&P 500 and the Russell 3000 indices. This is why culture matters.

Currently, the average lifespan of a company in the S&P 500 is only 14 years. To stay relevant companies more than ever need to adapt to changing business environments, and continuously improve and innovate.

 

23.18% of respondents cited leadership buy-in and understanding as their top critical challenge. Leadership buy-in and understanding is a must to achieve a successful change management and cultural transformation program. Conversely its absence is considered a major cause for failure in operational excellence programs. Having a strong Global Leader at the corporate-level who is banging the drum for the VP and Directors in the business and functional units, ensuring executive leadership see the value of Operational Excellence as an investment with substantial reward, will ensure the right resources and budgets are put in place to deliver the necessary sustainable results.

 

Furthermore, the messaging on continuous improvement needs to be consistent, so everyone is rowing in the same direction. Leaders need to walk the talk and act the change in a visible way.

Sustaining Operational Excellence improvements came in at 2nd as the biggest challenge for a quarter of all respondents; with most environments having a tendency to move on to the next challenge once they feel they have implemented an improvement without any plan to sustain it, thinking once implemented it will not fail, or they fail to incorporate new advanced technologies to support it, which leaves them redundant. Leaders need to hold their departments accountable on the new process designs to ensure they sustain, and dedicated coaches need to ensure improvements and process reengineering remain a constant focus.

 

Driving an end-to-end Business Transformation program came in 3rd as the biggest challenge for 30.7% of respondents, which if you take a moment to think about it makes complete sense. If process re-engineering is not end- to-end, it will always be sub-optimal. Disparate continuous improvement efforts do not provide meaningful impact. It is key to bring together all relevant functions across the organization and maximise collaboration, and design systems to achieve flow between the relevant departments across the functional value stream.

 

The 4th biggest challenge for respondents was the willingness to embrace new technologies, a challenge for 28.5% of respondents.

Part of the solution is for organizations to evaluate current employees for digital knowledge. Companies must build a new inflow of digital talent in the organization that have a flexible, rapid decision making, agile mindset. They need to rebalance their team with digital enablers who are ready, happy and know how to embrace new advanced digital technologies. Digital talent must be obtained to fill the roles of quality professionals. The type of talent now required in operational excellence are software designers, agile scrum masters, agility coaches, full-stack architects, robotic process automation specialists, and machine-learning engineers.

 

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends  Results Survey Report 2018/19: What are the 3 most critical Operational Excellence-focused challenges affecting your job role right now?

 

I have touched on the importance of culture, leadership, a sustainable end-to-end transformation, and technology, but what is this all for. This report confirms, that we are in the age of Customer Delight, which should not surprise. Businesses need to ensure all their policies and procedures are focused on customer Delight, and their whole organization including their traditional sales and marketing departments are designed to focus on delight. Before your product had to be 10 times better than the competition, now it is your customer experience that has to be 10 times lighter than the competition.

 

As one respondent put it “Thanks to companies such as Amazon and Apple, they now expect every organization to deliver products and services swiftly, with a seamless user experience”

Operational excellence professionals need to focus on designing a low-friction customer experience, where there are minimal handoffs between people and departments. Customer delight, generates the power of word of mouth, in particular with the amplification of social media, and is where the biggest ROI is generated today. A new breed of technologies deeply rooted in knowing who your customers are and how they behave is already here, and need to be part of any process re- engineering and business transformation.

 

Operational excellence needs to involve Design thinking to understand customer needs and then design the “idea process” embracing new advanced technologies.

It is also important to understand the new trends and competitive landscape, as there is no point in having the best end to end operational excellence processes if they are the wrong processes and systems for the new business landscape. Adapting to new trends is critical.

 

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

 

The outlook is promising, a clear majority, nearly 60% of respondents have cited that Operational Excellence methodologies are growing in popularity. This supports the demand for process re-engineering and business transformation, adapting to new advanced technologies and the demands of the customer for a friction-free customer experience.

 

The report concludes that changing and improving the company culture is the single most important factor for success. In simple terms, it is the people who do the work through the processes, that are enabled by technology. It is only people that can make the different processes and parts work well together. processes will be simpler and technologies will get more advanced. Changing process and technology is the easier of the three to do, as they are more predictable, functional and controllable.

 

However, we all know that people's mindset and behavior is the most important factor in business transformation and process re-engineering initiatives, and this is difficult to manage. Arguably, it is the executives biggest challenge, and as this report suggests it is where they need to focus their time, but yet they don’t, they focus on processes and tools because it is easier. Instead, we need to double our efforts and invest and focus energy on people, as only they can tell us where to fix, simplify, and streamline the processes. Consequently, change management and cultural transformation will remain the single biggest issue facing operational excellence leaders.

 

A successful change management program with cultural transformation at its heart, will in turn drive a more sustainable and enterprise-wide operational excellence program, which will in turn drive a willingness to embrace new technologies and digital enablers. However, without leadership understanding and buy-in you can never achieve a successful change management and cultural transformation program. Leadership understanding and buy-in has to come first.

 

This report presents the new paradigm of operational excellence and the challenges that go along with it, where operational excellence leaders have to rethink their operations end to end, incorporating the numerous transformation drivers such as rising customer expectations, expanding markets, and digitalization activities along the whole value chain.

 

Operational excellence needs to be viewed as a critical strategic weapon by the corporate-level executive leadership teams. It needs this level of buy-in and understanding for any organization to truly strive for and deliver end-to-end business transformation and sustainable adoption in normal business activities.

 

I hope this report will support you and provide you with the necessary data to help you and your leadership team get fully behind an enterprise-wide operational excellence program. Download the full Report.

 

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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Key Findings

57.9% of respondents have cited that Operational Excellence methodologies are growing in popularity. This supports the demand for process re-engineering and business transformation to adapt to new advanced technologies and customer demands.

THE TOP 3 key drivers of growth in Business transformation & operational excellence are rising customer expectations, a more competitive landscape, and the impact of digitalization along the whole value chain.

53.1% of respondents cited their top critical challenge within operational excellence remains squarely around changing & improving the company culture.

44.3% of organization are utilizing operational excellence methodologies to achieve Customers Delight, which is now a front and center focus of operational excellence programs. Customers want all the friction taken out of their customer journey.

40% of respondents have an enterprise-wide Operational Excellence deployment program.

23.2% of respondents cited their top critical challenge was a lack of leadership understanding and buy-in. Without buy-in there will be no role models, no budget, resources and no commitment to a long-term program.

35.6% of respondents cited their top critical challenge was executing sustainable Operational Excellence projects. One potential reason, was due to lack of full- time OE leaders and coaches at the business unit level holding people accountable to new project designs.

To read the 'Closing Remarks' click here. 

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About Our Respondents

This report is the most comprehensive state of operational excellence report ever conducted with input from across 86 industry sectors, 42 job functions, 11 seniority-levels, all 10 major regions of the world, and organizations of all sizes and types from public, privately held, to government agencies and nonprofits.

Seniority Level

Seniority Level: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

The majority of our respondents are senior-level executives with over 29% at CXO, Global Leader, or head of level or other senior corporate level positions, and over 30% at VP & Director-Level. another key representation was Managers within continuous improvement roles at 17%, and business owners and partners at almost 20%.

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Key Operational Excellence Job Titles from the Survey:

CEOs, COOs, Chief Excellence Officers, Presidents, Managing Directors
Global Heads, Heads of, EVPs, SVPs, VPs, Directors & Managers of Business Excellence, Business Transformation, Innovation Excellence, Productivity, Operational Excellence, Continuous Improvement, Process Excellence, Process Engineering, Strategy Execution, Change Management, Customer Experience, Lean Enterprise, Capability Excellence, Process Optimization, Process Management, Process Analysis, Enterprise Risk Management, Production & Logistics, Lean Six Sigma, Process ReEngineering, Performance Excellence, Manufacturing Excellence, Plant Safety & Clinical Excellence.

 

Job Function

Your-job-function: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

The job function spread shows the leadership and deployment of improvement projects is across all key functions of the business. The significant ones being Operations at 15.6%, C-Level/Leadership Team at 14.6%, Dedicated Quality/CI Unit at 11.8%, followed by areas such as Engineering & Manufacturing & Production, Strategy, IT, Marketing, Accounting & Finance, and Sales.

 

Industry Sector

Industry-sector

With representation from over 65 industry sectors, this report presents the views from across most industries, as well as perspectives unique to individual industries. It further demonstrates the penetration of continuous improvement programs across most major industries.

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In which region are you based?

In-which-region-are-you-based:Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

Whilst North America represents over 53.6% of all responses, we have significant representation from the 9 other major regions of the world, including Europe at 17% and Asia at 14%.

 

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends 

Number of Employees

Your-organization-number-of-employees:Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

43% of respondents came from companies with over 5000 employees with nearly an equal amount from small companies, and 16% from medium sized companies with over 1000+ employees. Please see the section of the report with the responses presented from each of their perspectives.

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Annual Revenue

Your-organization-annual-revenue-USD: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

On analysis of the responses above one of observations that came out loud and clear is that size does not have any correlation to the maturity and success of an Operational Excellence program, Which varies greatly whatever the size of the organization, and interestingly varies by the industry sector, with some sectors being more advanced than others. For example, according to the data oil and gas companies are still at level 1, focussed on Operational Disciplines and improvement methodologies from the 80s and very silo orientated with no interest in enterprise-wide application; whereas software companies are focussed on Agile, Lean, Six Sigma and its application on Innovation Acceleration.

  

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Scope of Operational Excellence Programs

What is the current scope of your Operational Excellence Program?

What-is-the-current-scope-of-your-operational-excellence-program: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends 

Over 40% of respondents have an enterprise-wide Operational Excellence deployment program, which is impressive to say the least. However, Operational Excellence deployments have a long way to go before they are embraced across all industries and all departments. Leadership buy-in, cultural transformation, dedicated coaches, and sustainable execution are all key factors in this.

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Maturity of Your Operational Excellence Teams

What is the maturity of your Operational Excellence team?

Your-organization-maturity: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

The enterprise scope of a program is somewhat correlated with the maturity of the Operational Excellence team. It takes a long-time to establish a strong leadership team, that can then develop a successful Operational Excellence program across all business units, silo functions, and departments.

 

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Utilization of Operational Excellence Methodologies

Where in your organization are you utilizing Operational Excellence methodologies?

 operational-excellence-methodologies: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

 

With day to day operations and operations in general dominating the utilization of Operational Excellence, some interesting areas to note: Customer Service is still continuing to dominate and the other utilization areas are almost similar to the prior year, with the notable exception of HR which has moved up from 11th in the rankings to 5th place.

there is utilization across all departments which partly correlates to the large number of enterprise-wide programs. It is pleasing to see the spread from legal, finance, office environments, sales, marketing, and risk management.

 

 

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Demands Of The Customer Are Changing (Article)

by Vijay Bajaj, Founder and CEO, BTOES

Operational Excellence within Customer Service, Support, Experience and ultimately Delight is clearly a rising key focus area that should not surprise. Smart companies, predominantly in the B2C space are already focussing on the delight stage of the customer journey. They understand that this is where the biggest ROI is today.


Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

Focus on the Customer

AirBnB, Zappos, Purple, Warbey & Parker Eyewear, Spotify, Dollar Shave, Trunk Club, Lyft, Uber are just a few of the startups that are all less than 10 years old, and all essentially selling commodities and relatively undifferentiated products, but they are all growing at exponential rates, because they have taken out all the friction in their customer journey, developed a WOW customer experience, and reimagined their industries. Their businesses, policies and procedures are all focused on Customer Delight, and their whole organization including their traditional sales and marketing departments are all designed to focus on delight.

 

As three respondents put it:

“Serving our customers is a team sport and everyone in the value chain needs to understand their impact on our ability to win”

“Changing customer demand dictates the way we deliver our services, everything else follows”

“The market is being filled by new entrants, customers have many choices now. Previously only 3”

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future TrendsResults Survey Report 2018/19: What are the 3 most critical Operational Excellence-focused challenges affecting your job role right now?

Best Product vs. Customer Experience

Before your product had to be 10 times better than the competition, now it is your customer experience that has to be 10 times lighter than the competitionBefore, it was usually the best product that won, now the best customer experience wins. Before it used to be what you sold and now it is how well you sell.

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Companies like Apple and Amazon have led the way, providing a frictionless customer journey and experience, where there is no need to talk to a single human. As one respondent put it

“Thanks to companies such as Amazon and Apple, they now expect every organization to deliver products and services swiftly, with a seamless user experience”

 

In the B2C space the train has left the station, if you are not doing this, your business is already being disrupted. In the B2B space there is still massive opportunity to focus on customer delight and gain competitive advantage. By creating a low friction customer experience, where there are minimal handoffs between people, where close to 80% of customer interactions can be self-service. The key is to focus investment on making the customers more efficient, and particularly invest in automation, where humans now only handle the complicated cases, the exceptions, and employees have cross functional knowledge, to avoid hand- offs.

 

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

 

The age of the Customer

Customer delight, generates the power of word of mouth, in particular with the amplification of social media, and is where the biggest ROI is generated today; as compared to traditional marketing or sales practices. Word of mouth should be a key part of any business strategy, by designing a frictionless customer journey.

 

Simply put, we are in the age of the customer; customers expect you to know them, and Operational Excellence professionals need to be digital enablers. The pace of digital automation to enhance the customer experience, and reimage industries, and the new breed of technologies deeply rooted in knowing who your customers are and how they behave are already here, and need to be part of any process re-engineering and business transformation.

Executive leaders need to be aware that they are in a market where decisions or lack of decisions now on customer experience will have great consequence.

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Department Responsible for Operational Excellence

Which department is responsible for Operational Excellence?

 Which-department-is-responsible-for-operational-excellenceResearch Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

It was pleasing to see that over 52% of respondents cited their organization has either a Center of Excellence - Leadership Team or Strategy Team at corporate level HQ responsible for Operational Excellence. This ties in with the other reported data i.e.

  • The scope of the program, with over 40% of respondents having an enterprise-wide Operational Excellence deployment program
  • The maturity with over 33.9% having an established Operational Excellence team for over 6+ years
  • The utilization across all departments of the organization.

    Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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Perception of Operational Excellence Methodologies

Which do you think best matches the wide perception of Operational Excellence Methodologies right now?

Which-do-you-think-best-matches: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

Overwhelmingly, 58% of respondents have cited that Operational Excellence methodologies are growing in popularity. This supports the demand for process re-engineering and business transformation to adapt to new advanced technologies and the demands of the customer of a friction-free customer experience, and to create a framework, structure and discipline around top growth areas, such as innovation acceleration, customer journey mapping, strategy execution, sales and marketing and much much more.

 

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Critical Operational Excellence Challenges

What are the 3 most critical Operational Excellence-focused challenges affecting your job role right now?

What-are-the-3-most-critical-Operational-Excellence-focused-challenges: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

The challenges within Operational Excellence remain squarely around changing & improving the company culture with over 53.1% citing it as a critical challenge.

A successful change management program with cultural transformation at its heart, will in turn drive more sustainable Operational Excellence Projects, a critical challenge for 35.58% of respondents, and help drive an end-to-end Business Transformation program, a critical challenge for 30.7% of respondents, which will in turn drive a willingness to embrace new technologies and digital enablers, a critical challenge for 28.5% of respondents.

However, without leadership understanding and buy-in, a critical challenge for 23.18% of respondents, you can never achieve a successful change management and cultural transformation program. Hence, leadership understanding and buy-in has to come first.

Clearly, from the above, you can see the top 5 critical challenges are all interlinked, and having leadership buy-in, and developing a successful cultural transformation program will resolve a number of the other challenges identified in this report.

If you want to learn more read this article on 'The Critical Challenges Analysed'.

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

 

  

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Most Crucial Challenges

Which of these do you believe is the most crucial, critical challenge?
Featured Responses

20 % mentioned changing customer demands as one of the most critical OpEx-focused challenges that are affecting their job, read more in this 'BTOES ARTICLE - Demands Of The Customer Are Changing'.

"This company's culture would fit nicely about a decade ago. We cannot continue to ask for improvements in technology and support processes and allow for the rest of the company (HR and executive teams) to work under an Old Power model."

Associate Director - Video Operations
Information Technology Services

"Execution & Sustaining Operational Excellence Projects. This is most crucial for our company at this point because we have made vast improvements in our skilled workforce, company culture, and strategic planning over the last few years. Unfortunately, many of these plans fail to materialize for a lack of skill and methodologies for developing, executing, and sustaining operational excellence change plans (projects). More strength in this area could be revolutionary for us."

Director, Organizational Development
Computer Software

"End to End business transformation. We've locked value into how we do business via inefficiencies in our systems. Extracting that value is critical, and Operational Excellence is an element in the strategy to do this."

TES Director USGC and Maintenance Expertise Center
Chemicals

"At this point keeping up with new technologies and implementing them quickly has been a problem that prevented us from capturing the benefits of external innovation."

Business Integration - Associate Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Lack of Leadership: leaders are overloaded, it’s necessary to have a dedicated leader who can control the overall excellence program."

APU manager
Automotive Retailing, Services

Most crucial critical challenges: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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Committed leadership, changing and improving the company culture, sustaining the program and the new process designs, embracing new advanced technologies, and having an end-to-end business transformation program are currently the biggest challenges faced by Operational Excellence professionals. Cultural transformation is the hardest thing to do, it is currently the greatest progress limiter, hence why it is the top critical challenge Operational Excellence professionals need to address.

If you want to learn more read this article on 'The Critical Challenges Analysed'.

Below is a selection of the responses from the above open ended question. Responses have been selected to ensure they each add new impactful context to the question. For this question, responses have been grouped into key themes.


Changing & Improving Company Culture

"Changing & Improving Company Culture: We are at a crossroads in Canada, with large scale health authority restructuring to form effective governance structures that are aligned to serve a 4.7 million populace. Culture change is critical."

CEO & Founder
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Changing & Improving Company Culture, the elements are present but not every leader is consistent on the message of continuous improvement."

Site Director Operational Excellence
Pharmaceuticals

"Changing and Improving Culture. Your best assets are your people: You need everyone rowing in the same direction to drive this type of change."

President
Financial Data Services

"Changing and Improving the Company Culture: As a 50 years + company we have to adjust to the new, more competitive environment and need to get everybody on board to increase productivity and accountability of employees."

Special project and operational excellence manager
Metals

"Changing culture. If our culture is not one of continuous improvement and respect for individual, any tools or project we put in place will not be sustainable."

Director of Operational Excellence
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Changing/Improving Company Culture ...because culture trumps everything."

Vice President Operational Excellence
Medical Devices

"Culture of Excellence to create, maintain and sustain organisational development, performance improvement and sustain growth." 

Chief Executive Officer
Miscellaneous

"Culture: No matter how good your CI program is, if the company is not ready to adopt and transform, it will not fly."

AVP
Financial Data Services

"I believe that culture is the start and end of any company. the going concern requires that the company can adapt to changing business environments and continuously improves and innovates. If the mindset of the company is to stick with what is successful at the start, the company will fail with the passing of the founding team."

Management Consultant
Information Technology Services

"Improving culture as it holds us back and prevents new thinking."

Org design specialist
Chemicals

"This company's culture would fit nicely about a decade ago. We cannot continue to ask for improvements in technology and support processes and allow for the rest of the company (HR and Executive Teams) to work under an Old Power Model."

Associate Director - Video Operations
Information Technology Services

"To have senior management commitment; Many CEOs focus on customer needs and financing and do not see business transformation as necessary."

President
Miscellaneous

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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Execution & Sustaining Operational Excellence Projects

"Executing & Sustaining OpEx Projects: there are 5 strategic imperatives that need to be successfully implemented for our business strategy to work, and effective, consistent use of OpEx will be a key part of each one."

sr Director, Change Leadership
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Stock)

"Executing and sustaining - there are lots of great ideas but executing them, and ultimately sustaining the improvements is very difficult, as most cultures want to move on to the next challenge once the feel they have implemented an improvement, and they also feel that once implemented it will not fail, so won’t put any effort into sustaining."

President
Miscellaneous

"Execution & Sustaining Operational Excellence Projects. This is most crucial for our company at this point because we a have made vast improvements in our skilled workforce, company culture, and strategic planning over the last few years. Unfortunately, many of these plans fail to materialize for a lack of skill and methodologies for developing, executing, and sustaining operational excellence change plans - (projects). More strength in this area could be revolutionary for us."

Director, Organizational Development
Computer Software

"There is a strong tendency to start OpEx projects and then in 1-2 months decrease it down to several to-dos, without serious OpEx effect. Managers prefer to show off the activity and then neutralise whatever is external to their function even on cross-functional projects."

Head of Performance Improvement Back Office
Commercial Banks

"Execution and Sustaining OpEx - We spent a lot of funds and plenty of effort in the program, but we failed to see bottom line results - things just went back to the way they were."

CI Manager
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Operational Excellence as a function has reached its saturation peak and now it is the age of Digital Disruption. Leveraging Ops Excellence would involve doing Design Thinking to understand customer needs and then integrating concepts of variance reduction leveraging Lean Six Sigma to design the "Ideal process" - this should then go through the digital transformation."

Assistant Vice President - Operational Excellence
Diversified Outsourcing Services

"Sustaining OpEx programs. how to live a culture of consequence management with clear KPIs and empowerment."

Wepa
Financial Data Services

"Sustaining OpEx projects. Changing the behaviors of Managers and Leaders to support- the change in the systems they sit over."

Principal Consultant
Miscellaneous

"Ever-changing headcount and personnel continuously changes the dynamics of how our OpEx works effectively. Continuous retraining, and refreshers are necessary to bring new personnel up to pace, and encourage senior personnel to maintain."

Sr. Technical Specialist, Municipal Market Development
Industrial Machinery

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Need for end-to-end Business Transformation

"Business transformation in order to keep up with changing customer (internal and external) demands."

Continuous Improvement Program Manager
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Mutual)

"End-to-End Business Implementation Operational Excellence can't be grown to full potential and sustained if it is not part of the normal business."

Innovation Director
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"End-to-End Business Transformation is the biggest challenge. Managers have to come out of the short term "Cost Saving" mindset doing silo projects, rather should drive Value Stream Transformation to improve flow."

Director Lean Six Sigma
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"End-to-End Business Transformation requires thoroughly understanding of both the value chain impacts, critical paths and value streams to influence."

Owner and Co-Founder
Hotels, Casinos, Resorts

"End-to-End Business Transformation, serving our customers is a team sport; Everyone in the value chain needs to understand they impact our ability to win."

VP - Ops/Supply Chain
Household and Personal Products

"End-to-End Business Transformation. We've locked value into how we do business via inefficiencies in our systems. Extracting that value is critical, and Operational Excellence is an element in the strategy to do this."

TES Director USGC and Maintenance Expertise Center
Chemicals

"End-to-End transformation. Having our commercial team not on the same journey creates challenges on the ways of working and the priorities."

VP Opex
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Need for End to End transformation. We are on the way to doing this but it is painfully slow. We are integrating agile and Data science where needed to help accelerate."

Six Sigma Master Black Belt
Computer Software

"Implementation is critical in a company of our size (450,000 people). We need to look for sustainable ways to implement and gain buy in from operations people."

SVP BIGS
Food Services

"Good outcomes happen when business units are merged together. Some challenges do occur relating to the integration of cultures and expectation of business transformation. Business transformation, the recipe to continued success, is in my opinion most crucial."

VP of Operations/Site Lead, Analytical Instruments BU
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Small to medium businesses need end to end Business Transformation for massive net benefits but sadly less than 1 percent are doing it."

Founder
Computer Software

"We have people in our organization leading out Transformation without real knowledge of Lean...they can’t do it. And our senior leaders are very hesitant to incorporate a Lean expert into senior ranks."

Senior Lean Consultant
Financial Data Services

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'Keeping up' with New Technologies

"At this point keeping up with new technologies and implementing them quickly has been a problem that prevented us from capturing the benefits of external innovation."

Business Integration - Associate Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Keeping up with new technologies. New technologies are constantly being released into the corporate world without enough maturity, testing and validation. What used to be trustworthy standards are no longer being "favored" by the new culture of young "technology oriented" leadership found at all levels of customer companies. Just the fact that it is the "newest" or the "latest" makes these immature, incompetent managers think they have the solution to everything. However, results show the contrary."

President
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Keeping up' with New technologies - some key basic infrastructure shared globally is severely outdated, disrupts workflow and limits building bridges to new system/technologies."

Director, Operations Emerging Business Models
Publishing, Printing

"Keeping up with New Technologies - The processes are more digitized and need to be available on demand to the right stakeholder with the right info for effective decision making."

Global P2P Manager
Household and Personal Products

"New technologies are being introduced so rapidly that we must have a methodology for integrating them."

Managing Partner
Diversified Financials

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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Lack of/Need for Leadership Understanding & Buy-In

"Buy in from Management. No Operational Excellence journey can happen without Management leading it."

Quality Analyst
Forest and Paper Products

"C-level Leadership buy-in. Only their priorities can get done in busy healthcare."

SVP
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Lack of leadership understanding because the leadership team are role models for the rest of the business."

Director
Miscellaneous

"Lack of Leadership: Leaders are overloaded, it’s necessary to have a dedicated leader who can control the overall Excellence program."

Director
Miscellaneous

"Lack of/Need for Leadership Understanding & Buy-In - the CEO should initiate implementing operational excellence programs. at the same time, he should be a role model in operational excellence."

Senior Content Marketing Specialist
Information Technology Services

"Leadership buy-in the and the agreement flowing down to people on the floor is the most crucial aspect. If this doesn't happen OPEX cannot build a foundation!"

Sr Project Manager
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Lack of Understanding and/or buy in. Leaders know we need it but don't understand what "it" is and how to execute "it"."

Director Business Process: Marketing
Internet Services and Retailing

"Leadership understanding & buy-in; must recognize the value of OpEx as a long term investment with substantial reward, need commitment to maintain the conversion effort, and must "walk the talk" as leaders."

Founder & Lead Consultant
Education

"Leadership understanding and buy-in. Sustaining and Integrating the Operational Excellence methodology into the fiber of the organization would be smoother if and when there existed continuous & regular follow-up. Understanding and accountability on the leadership."

Business Improvement Manager
Airlines

"Leadership, without an understanding of and ability to drive Operational Excellence and the Culture to support and sustain, it will not happen."

Owner
Education

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Maintaining Key Priorities Consistently

"Maintain priority - client support is 1, prospects are 2, improvement and systems are down the list."

CEO/President
Information Technology Services

"Maintaining key priorities and deliver what has been planned. Change the management way of doing things by adapting the lean agile."

Principal
Information Technology Services

"Maintaining key priorities and monitoring the progress on those priorities is the most crucial for us at the moment. We have problems with focusing on what's crucial and also giving up on things that distract us."

Group Business Transformation Director
Publishing, Printing

"Reconciling competing priorities and agendas remains a top priority. Trying to execute OpEx initiatives without explicitly aligning well intentioned stakeholders with competing agendas makes things difficult."

Client Partner
Pharmaceuticals

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Adapting to Business Trends

"Adapting to business trends: The Software team is very slow to respond to innovation which has a ripple effect on the operations at all levels."

Chief Operating Officer
Information Technology Services

"Adapting to Business Trends- Continuous improvement and OpEx will usually optimize the present, but disruptive trends wll put the initiatives quickly into reverse gear."

EGM- Operational Excellence
Automotive Retailing, Services

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Demands of the customer changing

"The changing demand of customers dictates the way we deliver our services, everything else follows."

Partner
Information Technology Services

"Demands of customer - if they go away or we don't reach them, we lose them."

Director
Education

"Demands of Customer Changing: Customers demanding more customisation & faster delivery."

Business Mentor
Industrial Machinery

 

Integrating CI Methodologies

"Integrating CI methodologies. Because of bias for black belt status resistance to integrated approach of various better methodologies."

President
Education

"Integrating CI Methodologies. Many have had training in the tools, but choose to stop doing them after some time has passed. Difficulties in tying it to day-to-day priorities and work. Often still firefighting."

Continuous Improvement Manager
Forest and Paper Products

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Lack of/Need for Resources

"It is getting more and more difficult to find available resources with the skills required to work on initiatives which are out of the scope of the daily business."

CEO
Computer Software

"Lack of/Need resources: Looking at the specific situation in Venezuela, talent drain is a challenge and is impacting the capacity to undertake OpEx work coupled with business priorities. Nonetheless, it is a priority and we are attacking head on the work ahead of us."

Supply Operations Head
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

 

Lack of/Need for Skilled Workers

"Lack of skilled workers - takes time to train and educate them."

Regional Operations Director
Financial Data Services

"Lack of skilled workers- sapping capacity due to time taken to train."

Head of R&D
Medical Devices

"Skilled workers: particularly around machine learning."

CEO
Chemicals

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Lack of/Need to Improve Relationships Between Departments

"Department relationships. We keep reorganizing and the resulting fallout is a tendency to protect your own turf and not work as closely with others as you could."

Process Line Manager - Mineral Processing Mining
Crude-Oil Production

"Lack of/need to improve relationships between departments. Hospitals are very complex enterprises. The care of patients is nonlinear and should flow throughout several departments. Each department needs to understand their role in this flow and their interactions."

MD MBA
Hospitals

"Ability to bring together disparate functions across the organization."

VP Procurement / Real Estate
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

 Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

Failure to Innovate

"Failure to Innovate - Innovation breeds sustainability, there is a need to ensure growth is steady and continuous."

Head of Operations
Information Technology Services

"Failure to Innovate - still looking at incremental improvements vs transformational ones."

Executive Director
Telecommunications

"Failure to innovate: This lead to a lack of ability to develop new solutions for our changing customer needs, and inability to sustain our competitive advantage."

Risk Management Officer
Securities

"Innovation is the profitable exploitation of ideas. Whilst, innovation might be common currency in products, we see little innovation in operations."

Director
Education

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Lack of/Need for support from Employees

"Lack of support from employees, because everyone is heads-down to support their client engagements to absorb the philosophy of process-based organizational excellence."

Manager, Performance Improvement Advisory Practice
Pharmaceuticals

"Lack of support from Employees. Employee engagement is very important for implementing and sustaining the change. We want to do better in this area."

Lead Management Engineer
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Support of employees as they think new programs won’t improve performance."

Quality Manager
Industrial Machinery

 

 

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The Critical Challenges Analysed (Article)

by Vijay Bajaj, Founder and CEO, BTOES

Change management and cultural transformation is critical to increase the pace of teams and organizations to make deep-rooted changes required to align with the impact of digitalization and embrace it, including bringing on board more digital enablers. 

In essence, culture is every day core values and behaviors of each member of the team in pursuit of the company mission and strategy. It is a shared way of doing things.

 

A quote from Gandhi, “your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, and your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny”. In short, if you don't have a good culture in your company, your company won’t have a good destiny.

 

It matters because it become the first principals you go back to when your employees conduct their daily responsibilities, focus on projects and make decisions, including hiring decisions. If you have a good strong culture and core values, you will know who you want to retain, and who do you not want to retain. Culture has to be a daily habit.

 

The results speak for themselves, the companies in the “Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For” happen to achieve a return in market annualised growth of 11.08%, twice the return of the average return of companies in the S&P 500 and the Russell 3000 indices.

 

Good high trust company cultures are evident, particularly in meetings, team members do not focus on who’s right, they riff of each other, and generate solutions that are better for the company. They trust they can have a debate and disagree, and get to the right answer, hold people accountable to things they committed to, to achieve results.

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The Global State of Operational Excellence - The Critical Challenges Analysed: What are the 3 most critical Operational Excellence-focused challenges affecting your job role right now?Results Survey Report 2018/19: What are the 3 most critical Operational Excellence-focused challenges affecting your job role right now?

They focus on company first, then department, then team and then themselves. Results is the major output of a company, and culture is the major input.

Creating a culture aligned to the pursuit of the company mission generates a passionate team environment, you can see it and feel it when you visit companies that have done this well. As the old story goes, two people are laying bricks, and they were asked “what are you doing”, and the first replies “I am building a wall”, the second replies “I am building a cathedral”. The more people we have that believe in the mission, and not just a job, will strengthen the company culture.

 

Currently, the average lifespan of a company in the S&P 500 is only 14 years. To stay relevant companies more than ever need to adapt to rapidly changing business environments, continuously improve and innovate. If the mindset of the company is to stick with what is does, it will not flourish for long. Change is a necessity, and the right leadership buy-in and cultural transformation is at the heart of that. 

Click here to read the full Survey Report 2018/19

 

Cultural Transformation is Hard

Cultural transformation is the hardest to do, and it is the greatest progress limiter.

To highlight the difficulty of cultural transformation, most change initiatives don't achieve their objectives or are deemed unsuccessful, resulting in wasted resources and diminished moral. Research shows that amongst the many factors that contribute to poor results are change fatigue, too many priorities to focus on, top down dictating with no true employee engagement, this in turn leads to passive aggressive behaviors down the lower levels.

 

Culture is critical to the success of a change management program. Most companies do the formal change management items well, such as training, changing the reward structure, decision managements systems, process flows, performance management systems, but are poor at culture change. Culture is “how things get done around here” it is how your people think, believe, act, feel. Companies need to get good at these cultural aspects, or they won't impact the change process in the way they want to.

 

Some simple first steps would be to focus on the cultural strengths the company already has, and to unleash the power of the informal leaders who are trusted, motivated and believe in the mission. Another key is create an environment where all communication from all leaders and all channels is coherent, so each person in your organization knows what they need to do to make it happen.

 

As two respondents put it:

“The messaging on continuous improvement needs to be consistent, so everyone is rowing in the same direction”.

“It is critical to having the entire team on the same journey to avoid challenges on the ways of working and the priorities”

 

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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Leaders also need to walk the talk and act the change in a visible way, from the CEO and their executive leadership team, to the middle managers, so the entire organization can see we are going to do things different. Role modelling is critical. It is also important that the front line staff are engaged and they are part of the change team, and their culture and change counsellors are at hand to give expert advice. this will lead the organization closer to the all important culture of sustainability where employees are continuously practicing the right way of solving problems.

 

It is important that people fully understand the company mission, strategy and targets, and it resonates with them and means something to them. this is the all important why, and Operational Excellence will help put the right systems and processes in place to reinforce the new set of behaviors.

 

However, the transformation journey is long and hard, and you are bound to get a dip in energy, but things that will create energy will be the story, the why that resonates with each individual and the quick wins. It is also important to make tough decisions on people if they don’t have the right capabilities or fail to change their mindset and behaviors.

 

The organization should focus on bringing in the right new skills, this report shows they need to rebalance their team with digital enablers who are ready, happy and know how to embrace new advanced digital technologies. They need to develop leaders and getting the best talent to rise to the top, so they can focus on what is critical to the business.

 

Lack of/Need for Leadership Understanding & Buy-In.

Leadership understanding and buy-in is a constant challenge, and continues to be the number one cause for failure in operational excellence project and programs. Presenting strong ROI from Operational Excellence and process re- engineer programs aligned with key strategic objectives, will go a long way, as well as a strong Global Leader at corporate- level who is banging the drum for the business units.

 

Leadership buy-in is a must to shift the culture significantly, which then drives engagement. Leadership buy-in is critical to ensure Operational Excellence programs have the budget, resourcing and dedicated people available to work on the initiatives.

 

Importantly, the executive leader must be a dedicated Operational Excellence professional, but surprisingly many organization struggle with this, as one respondent mentioned “We have people in our organization leading out transformation without real knowledge of Lean...they can’t do it. and our senior leaders are very hesitant to incorporate a Lean expert into senior ranks”.

 

If dedicated operational excellence professional are struggling with leadership buy-in, they need to be clear about which leader to approach, why it would be worth their time, what actions they want them to take, and how they are going to put forward a strong business case to sell this to them.

 

No Operational Excellence journey can happen without leadership understanding or buy-in. The leaders must be the role models for the rest of the business.

The problem is leaders are overloaded and time-poor, so hence it is absolutely vital to have a full-time dedicated leader at executive corporate level who can control and direct the overall Operational Excellence program. They will ensure the board see the value, the results, and ensure the right resources and budgets are put in place.

 

It is not just leadership at the corporate level, operational excellence personnel at the business unit level need buy-in from the business unit GM's before there is any sense in trying to implement any improvements or cultural changes.

 

A key problem is a number of non-dedicated Operational Excellence leaders have little awareness and understanding of OE methodologies and where / how to deploy them. as a respondent pointed out “Leaders know they need it, but don't understand what "it" is and how to execute "it" they need to be educated to a basic standard, a beginners Lean workshop or Green Belt training will shed a lot of light on the value of these methodologies”. The key is they must recognize the value of OpEx as a long term investment with substantial reward, otherwise they will not maintain the commitment. They must "walk the talk" as leaders, otherwise cultural buy-in will not occur.

 

Leaders need to make a committed investment in Operational Excellence with a consistent strategy. Without this they are likely to change course, which would prove very disruptive to any OpEx programs and efforts.

As a respondent put it “Without the pull from the senior leadership, the rest of management will say their too busy to support and will not allocate the resources or budget to work on OpEx."

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Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

 

Execution & Sustaining Operational Excellence Projects

The key issue why sustaining continuous improvements is difficult is most people and cultural environments have a tendency to move on to the next challenge once the feel they have implemented an improvement and shown it off to the team. There is a thought process that once implemented it will not fail, and so why put in any effort into sustaining it. Also, there is a tendency for operational excellence projects down the line to be watered down and decreased to just a to do list, losing the major impacts of the original project.

 

Hence, it is crucial for the improvement implemented, and the serious investment that has been made in the skilled workforce, company culture, and strategic planning that they do not fail to stick because of the lack of focus and methodologies for developing, executing, and sustaining operational excellence programs and projects. A focus on sustaining could be revolutionary for many businesses. Importantly, improvements need to embrace new advanced technologies, otherwise they will be redundant very quickly, and hence fail to sustain.

 

Leaders also need to support the change in the systems they sit over, if they are not providing the resources or holding their departments accountable on the new process designs, that will never sustain.

 

Need for end-to-end Business Transformation

Business transformation is a "game changing" action by rethinking one or more business processes to redefine the businesses for survival and success. Business transformation at its core is business process re-engineering, and it is in response to significant industry changes resulting from, for example digital transformation, new advance technologies, regulatory changes and the global economic environment, as just a few drivers.

 

End to End Business Transformation is the biggest challenge. If process re-engineering is not end-to-end it will always be sub-optimal and it cannot be grown to its full possibility and sustained if the new process are not part of normal business. The reason end to end business transformation is important is because disparate continuous improvement efforts do not provide meaningful impact, but if achieved it will maximize performance across all business units and regions.

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An important factor is having a global leader of operational excellence creating standardization in areas such as hiring standards across all business units, and across all aspects of the program, ensuring all business units are focusing on the significant areas aligned with overall strategy; ensuring that managers are not just focussed on short term "cost saving" silo projects, but instead focussing on driving value stream transformation to improve flow end-to-end. This requires a thorough enterprise-wide understanding of the value chain impacts, critical paths and value streams.

 

Age of Digital Disruption and 'Keeping up' with New Technologies

Operational Excellence as a function has reached its saturation peak and is now it is the age of Design thinking & Digital Disruption. Operational Excellence needs to involve Design thinking to understand customer needs and then design the “idea process” embracing new advanced technologies.

 

Organizations need to evaluate current employees for digital knowledge that could be deployed in operational excellence projects. However, companies will need to face the new reality that they need to source the lion’s share of new capabilities externally. Companies must build a new inflow of digital talent in the organization, that also has a flexible, rapid decision making, agile mind-set.

World-class digital talent is scarce, which is a major obstacle to implementing their digital transformation.

 

Digital talent must be obtained to fill the roles of quality professionals, operators, and process engineers, whose skill set is being changed by disruptive technologies. The type of talent now required in operational excellence is software designers, agile scrum masters and agility coaches, full-stack architects, and machine-learning engineers.

 

So why is digitalization so important? Well in short digitized process shortens the time it takes from contextual insight to action. It speeds the delivery of a unique customer experience or response to inputs from the IoT, for example. In essence it involves using a highly intelligent process to respond in an optimal way to the unique context presented by business moments.

 

As respondents to this survey cited

“the landscape is changing very fast, and keeping up with new technologies and implementing them effectively and efficiently is key to capturing the benefits of external process innovation”

“the demands of operations changing are fast and operational excellence professionals must understanding how their organization can gain a benefit from aI/machine learning/automation/ Big Data, and Iot which evolves daily, and learn how to integrate new technologies to meet these demands.”

 

But a word of caution from another respondent “However, new technologies should be carefully selected for the right maturity with detailed testing and validation. The new millennial culture of young "technology oriented" leadership found at all levels with a tendency to bring the "newest" or the "latest" technology without careful selection or validation can be contrary and cause time consuming corrections. The operational excellence dedicated professionals need to be involved in new tech implementation as new technologies are being introduced so rapidly that we must have a methodology for integrating it correctly”.

 

Maintaining Key Priorities Consistently

Competing priorities is a constant challenge for busy executives. Organizations need a organization wide structure of dedicated Operational Excellence professionals and coaches to ensure improvements and process reengineering remain a constant focus.

 

The below respondent responses highlights this issue.

“Many have had training in the tools, but choose to stop doing them after some time has passed. Difficulties in tying it to day to day priorities and work. Often still firefighting. Need to have dedicated Lean Coaches etc in each department.”

“Reconciling competing priorities and agendas remains a top priority. trying to execute OpEx initiatives without explicitly aligning well intentioned stakeholders with competing agendas makes things difficult”.

“Key priorities in a world of constant change and moving focus, keeping focused on basic operational needs needs extra work”.

“Client support is 1, prospects are 2, improvement and systems are down the list”.

“We constantly shift our focus from one "flavour of the month" to the next!”.

 

Adapting to Business Trends

There is no point in having the best end to end operational excellence processes if they are the wrong processes and systems for the new business landscape. Continuous improvement programs and project portfolios must align to the changing strategic direction of the business.

 

Below are some great insights from respondents.

“Continuous improvement and OpEx will usually optimize the present, but disruptive trends will put the initiatives quickly into reverse gear”.

“Adapting to business trends: The Software team is very slow to respond to innovation which has a ripple effect on the operations at all levels”.

“Adapting to Business Trends is the most crucial, as it’s the key driver for getting the Operational Excellence well-done”.

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Primary Measures of Success of Operational Excellence Programs

What is your primary measure of success for your Operational Excellence program? 
Featured Responses

"Delivering a complex portfolio of specific in-function and enterprise wide improvement programs on time and under budget." 

Chief Transformation Officer
Miscellaneous

"A combination of quantitative and qualitative measures, providing mgt information that can be consolidated into a dashboard showing both leading and lagging indicators."

sr Director, Change Leadership
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Stock)

"Ability to attract and retain the best employees, leaders, and executives."

CEO & Founder
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"RESULTS. "Better, faster, cheaper". Increased profits. Reduced operating costs. Reduced waste. Increased quality. Increased customer satisfaction. "

President 
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"New value to the business - impact on margin, employee experience, employee agility and productivity."

Director of Operations - Workplace Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

Primary measure of success: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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Success of an Operational Excellence program can be measured in various ways dependent on the industry and the maturity of the program.

For example a measure in Oil & Gas, or the Chemicals industry, citied by one respondent, might mean a “Lack of injuries Operational cost Downtime”

In this survey customers delight, process improvements, and cost reductions were the top 3 citied measures of success. Process improvements, can also cover productivity, removal of waste, variance and errors, process simplification, process automation. Cost reductions can also cover a whole series of key financial indicators such as, improved margin, lower cost of quality and operating costs, specific $ savings, reduction in cost per activity etc.

To achieve the above project selection, and having more successful projects than project failures, with a strong focus on sustainability and embedding CI methodologies in the day to day work are some of the choices that you can make to help.

To support this you want to have the ability to attract and retain the best employees, leaders, and executives, supported by a strong culture and strong leaders as role models. All this should lead to delivering Customer Delight, which in turn will lead to greater ROI.

Below is a selection of the responses from the above open ended question. Responses have been selected to ensure they each add new impactful context to the question.

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"Customer satisfaction and a swift response to customer demand with the use of less resources."

Chief Operating Officer
Information Technology Services

"Customer satisfaction index, customer complaints, employees engagement score, reduction in non-added value activities." 

AVP- Quality, Safety & Performance Excellence
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Customer satisfaction and organic growth." 

SVP, Operational Excellence
Information Technology Services

"Meeting / anticipating customer needs and relentlessly delivering customer value."

Director-Lean Enterprise
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Client Experience Feedback, error rates, hit rates, STP rates, inquiry ratios, etc."

Head of Technical Solutions, Global Payments Services
Commercial Banks

"Increase in customer satisfaction index Reduction in cost of quality Reduction in operating cost and working capital."

Senior Vice President - Operations
Food Production

"Improved customer and employee satisfaction through global consistency of services, processes and systems and operational efficiencies."

Head of Supply Chain Operations
Education

"Increase in net recommendation rate."

Principal
Information Technology Services

"New value to the business - impact on margin, employee experience, employee agility and productivity."

Director of Operations - Workplace Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Retention / rejection rate of implemented improvements / methods."

Manufacturing engineer
Industrial Machinery

"I think the success in an Operational Excellence Program impacts directly on the incomes, but the primary measure we should be able to see on each KPI defined on a Balanced Scorecard."

Business Process Consultant
Chemicals

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

"Return on Investment - Tangible and Intangible; Also measured through 2 yearly employee surveys across a number of dimensions."

Head of Business Assurance & Improvement
Aerospace and Defense

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"Sales and Repeat Sales."

President/Owner
Hospitals

"No injuries, no defects passed along to customers, no late orders, nothing over budget."

VP - Ops/Supply Chain
Household and Personal Products

"Degree of eSales and Self Service mid-term."

Senior Expert Digitalization B2B Europe
Telecommunications

"RESULTS. "Better, faster, cheaper". Increased profits. Reduced operating costs. Reduced waste. Increased quality. Increased customer satisfaction."

President
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Self Healing: Full empowerment of the areas in continuous improvement."

Director of Quality and Organizational Excellence
Financial Data Services

"Achieving Topline and Bottomline Targets."

Associate Director
Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services

"Meeting requirements that are aligned to strategy."

CTO
Energy

"Productivity improvements in my functional area, also experience improvements."

Business Integration - Associate Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Lack of injuries operational cost Downtime."

Org design specialist
Chemicals

"$ cost Reduction (Budget reduction). FY18 showed ~5% - need to continue to DOUBLE this goal every year."

Six Sigma Master Black Belt
Computer Software

"Cost savings and synergies realized."

Vice President Business Transformation
Packaging, Containers

"Optimize expenses with customer experience in mind."

Black Belt
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Mutual)

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"Ability to attract and retain the best employees, leaders, and Executives."

CEO & Founder
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Workplace culture, demonstrated by employee engagement. 10 employees selected at random should all happily describe the active role they are playing in the operational success of the company."

Founder & Lead Consultant
Education

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

"Cultural change and acceptance by the employees. Improved Profit margins."

Lean Leader
Engineering, Construction

"An employee's desire to come to work each day."

Associate Director - Video Operations
Information Technology Services

"The start of a learning organisation. Autonomous in generating new improving ideas and auto-critical on current way of doing things."

Bpis
Miscellaneous

"A combination of quantitative and qualitative measures, providing mgt information that can be consolidated into a dashboard showing both leading and lagging indicators."

sr Director, Change Leadership
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Stock)

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"None so far. The CI or Operational Excellence was just established last year and no metrics were set. Still in its experimental phase."

AVP
Financial Data Services

"Harmonized Key Process Indicators (KPIs) metrics analytics shared across the regions - global metrics."

Regional Q&C - Americas
Miscellaneous

"NPS, Retention as business metrics for our focus."

Director process transformation and optimization
Financial Data Services

"Before we introduce the KPIs that we are now working on - reduction of complexity and increase of transparency."

Group Business Transformation Director
Publishing, Printing

"Revenue, Cash Flow, Customer Loyalty, Cost Savings."

EGM- Operational Excellence
Automotive Retailing, Services

"COGS, Turnover, CONQ."

Head of Quality, Operational Excellence, and HER
Industrial Machinery

"Everything is measured by sales results and time to sale."

Director, Operational Excellence
Financial Data Services

"COPQ and Added Sales."

Head of Business Transformation
Energy

"Customer & Employee surveys, then financial impact."

President
Financial Data Services

"Established goals, metrics and continuous improvement efforts."

President
Miscellaneous

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"Delivering a complex portfolio of specific in- function and enterprise wide improvement programs on time and under budget."

Chief Transformation Officer
Miscellaneous

"Evidence of process maps and metrics used post-project implementation."

Advisor
Financial Data Services

"Commitment and acceptance of pilot projects in each business and support unit."

Quality & Operational Excellence Sr. Manager
Oil and Gas Equipment, Services

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

"For the first year (4 months in) it will be having everyone trained in the basics and trying transformation with in their area."

Continuous Improvement Lead
Aerospace and Defense

"In our infancy it is the deployment and sustainment of daily management."

Supervisor
Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual)

"Silo reduction, productive collaboration within and across business unit locations."

Vice President Operational Excellence
Medical Devices

"An effective and streamlined business process across and within departments."

Senior Content Marketing Specialist
Information Technology Services

"Visual aides to ensure every day someone can walk through and see how the flow is doing in each department, and know if we are on track, or behind, and in Plan B."

Sr. Technical Specialist, Municipal Market Development
Industrial Machinery

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"Improved efficiencies leading to higher profits all round."

Managing Director
Education

"Efficiency, Effectiveness, External Benchmarking."

Global P2P Manager
Household and Personal Products

"Are we aligned with mid and long terms trends in our sector? Are we fit for competition?"

CEO
Computer Software

"A combination of production capability and cost."

Owner
Chemicals

"Increasing efficiency & effectiveness & achieving customer satisfaction."

CEO
Miscellaneous

"Internal environment, low turnover and reaching the goals."

Managing Director
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Investors in Excellence Standard, research- informed, Principles-led, evidence-based, outcomes-focused."

Chief Executive Officer
Miscellaneous

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"Involve people in training and achieve the finalization of projects."

Operational Excellence Director
Medical Devices

"It will be Customer Satisfaction, and Opex reduction or cost avoidance."

Dir. of Business Transformation
Wholesalers: Electronics and Office Equipment

"Patient throughput metrics and additional revenues to the organization."

Lead Management Engineer
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Quality of healthcare provided, access to critical services, and patient satisfaction. If we get these three right, the financial benefit will follow."

Director of Operational Excellence
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Quality, Cost and Delivery...better care of our guests, faster execution of systems & process and doing things cheaper by eliminating redundancies."

Owner and Co-Founder
Hotels, Casinos, Resorts

"Straight Through Processing; reduce manual touch."

President
Financial Data Services

"Sustainable top line growth, while maintaining customer satisfaction, Improving employee engagement and reducing waste."

CEO
Diversified Outsourcing Services

"Sustained Performance + Consistent Maturity Advancement."

Enterprise Principal Leader - Mgf. Excellence Transformation
Industrial Machinery

"This is a greenfield program and hence the short term objective is to build DnA to cater to project executions in the future."

Sr Project Manager
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Velocity, Efficiency."

Director Business Process: Marketing
Internet Services and Retailing


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Roadblocks

Roadblocks Highlighted by Respondents

So what are some of the road blocks respondents to this report have cited...

“The older generations are set in their ways, and struggle with change, and it is much harder to transform their beliefs, they prefer to stick to the old ways of doing things."

 

“Project leaders focussing on tools and not on behavior change."

 

“Not having a corporate-level enterprise-wide dedicated continuous improvement leader ensuring the entire organization is focussed on a common goal, as opposed to unhealthy internal competition."

 

“The whole organization/ business unit needs to be involved , if all are not involved it will not progress."

 

“Leadership buying-in and support for transformation activities is critical changing the thinking and culture transformation from the top first, to make them realise the need for change so then they can drive it, and provide resources, and budget.

 

“If our culture is not one of Continuous Improvement and Respect for Individual, any tools or project we put in place will not sustain."

 

“If you can't get the people behind you, it'll be very difficult to do any process re-engineering."

 

“No matter how good your CI Program is, if the company is not ready to adopt and transform, it will not fly."

 

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Operational Excellence Focus over the next 12-18 months

What will be your Operational Excellence focus over the next 12-18 months?
Featured responses

"Roll-out to cross-functional processes, internationally and company-wide."

Wepa
Financial Data Services

"Improving customer experience, creating consistent and measurable benchmarks and replicating results."

Head of Technical Solutions, Global Payments Services
Commercial Banks

"Establishing cost curves of major assets, identifying root causes of limitations and countermeasures, optimizing assets and reducing variation."

Continuous Improvement Manager
Forest and Paper Products

"Establishing new OPEX department, Ramping up RPA program, Driving Cultural change, Setting up reporting and data analytics."

Senior Development Manager
Securities

"Driving Innovating thinking, ideation methodologies, IDEO."

Head of Business Assurance & Improvement
Aerospace and Defense

operational excellence focus: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends Back to top 

Progressive organizations are focused on high impact improvements and innovation aligned to strategic goals, as opposed to numerous individual silo improvement projects, sometimes just done for certification reasons, with little or no strategic value.

Projects that are lead by the leadership team’s priorities and vetted for value by the business unit and project leaders (e.g. Lean Masters, MBBs and BBs) and then ultimately the corporate leadership team, ensure that all projects have strong strategic value across the entire value stream of that functional area and the overall enterprise.

The focus now is on improvements to deliver Customer Delight, and a friction free self service buying experience. as stated earlier, before your product had to be 10 times better than the competition, now it is your customer experience that has to be 10 times lighter than the competition. Before, it was usually the the best product that won, now the best customer experience wins. Before it used to be what you sold and now it is how well you sell.

Below is a selection of the responses from the above open ended question. Responses have been selected to ensure they each add new impactful context to the question.

"A focus on self-service will drive improvements in critical business processes."

Associate Director - Video Operations 
Information Technology Services

"Training, Systems, Process improvements, Understanding Customer needs."

Director and Chief Strategy Officer 
Miscellaneous

"Roll-out to cross-functional processes, internationally and company-wide. "

Wepa
Financial Data Services

"Creating standard processes and systems that everyone follows."

President
Miscellaneous

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"Establishing and consolidating critical operational systems."

Supply Operations Head
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Establish an effective management system based on work by process and not by tasks."

Quality & Operational Excellence Sr. Manager
Oil and Gas Equipment, Services

"Improve the utilization/throughput of the existing capacity in our hospitals."

Lead Management Engineer
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Improving culture and leveraging technology."

Group Manufacturing Excellence Director
Chemicals

"Improving customer experience, creating consistent and measurable benchmarks and replicating results."

Head of Technical Solutions, Global Payments Services
Commercial Banks

"* speed / cycle time reduction * s&op process enhancements * Materials Management capability Improvement * continuous Improvement Framework / culture."

VP - Ops/Supply Chain
Household and Personal Products

"Client journey excellence - focus on client ease of use."

Director Process reengineering and optimization
Financial Data Services

"Elevate the client experience."

President
Financial Data Services

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

"BPM, RPA all focused on improving customer experience."

Director process transformation and optimization
Financial Data Services

"Operational Excellence strategic planning and Value stream analysis."

Director, Operational Excellence 
Transportation Equipment

"Standardize Front Line Operations to deliver consistent high quality care across every clinic and department with decreased variability."

Medical Office Chief
Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services

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"Creating awareness and Bringing the management to embrace the operational excellence methodology."

business improvement manager 
Airlines

"Establishing 5S and visual management. training and manufacturing velocity are the current focus as there is no understanding of orders once they are in the system." 

Continuous Improvement Lead 
Aerospace and Defense

"Establishing cost curves of major assets, identifying root causes of limitations and countermeasures, optimizing assets and reducing variation."

Continuous Improvement Manager
Forest and Paper Products

"Focus on 500 million dollars of revenue enhancements and cost reductions."

VP of Operational Effectiveness 
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Reduction of cycle time."

Deputy Capability Leader
Aerospace and Defense

"Coordinating across teams and geographies."

Chief evangelist
Computer Software

"Changing the culture and total involvement of employees in the journey."

Director Production and Improvement 
Forest and Paper Products

"Awareness campaign, changing cultural barrier and start implementation at senior management."

Head OpEx
Publishing, Printing

"Conducting detailed operational reviews that will generate accurate and consistent workflows and procedures for key risk mgt, sales and account management workflows. "

sr Director, Change Leadership 
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Stock)

"Leadership development; Restructuring into a new governance structure for the province of British Columbia in fall 2018."

CEO & Founder
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Improving the plant throughput. Improving the first time right quality production and reducing the working capital."

Senior Vice President - Operations
Food Production

"Fully integrating the CI methodology into quality."

CI & Quality Director AWS EMEA - SFC
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"End to end business transformation."

Director, Global Strategic Pricing
Metals

"Integrate transformation technology into resource behavior."

Principal
Information Technology Services

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"Value stream transformation and measuring the right KPIs for Operational Excellence." 

Director Lean Six Sigma
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Alignment and Standardization."

Head of Business Transformation
Energy

"Dramatically reducing costs."

Chief Transformation Officer
Miscellaneous

"Launch a gamification approach to accelerate the implementation."

SVP BIGS
Food Services

"Re-Implementing the basic systems again, and develop the people to engage them."

Managing Director
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Lean/cost management supplier innovation smart buildings collaboration tools."

Director of Operations - Workplace Services 
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Driving Innovating thinking, ideation methodologies, IDEO."

Head of Business Assurance & Improvement
Aerospace and Defense

"Automation and Digitization, associate experience Improvements and operations productivity improvements."

Business Integration - Associate Services 
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

"Robotics process automation and improvement in customer experience and big data."

OPEX consultant
Financial Data Services

"Establishing new OPEX department, Ramping up RPA program, Driving cultural change, setting up reporting and data analytics."

Senior Development Manager
Securities

"Integration into a new merger company and aligning standards."

OpEx Regional Director
Aerospace and Defense

"Introduction of new globally aligned processes and single suite of integrated systems."

Head of Supply Chain Operations 
Education

"R&D, implementing OPEX in all Group facilities."

Global Industrial and Operations Director COO
Apparel

"Right first time, inventory accuracy, equipment reliability, cycle time accuracy and talent management."

Associate Director of Business Process Excellence
Pharmaceuticals

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The greatest development for Operational Excellence in the past 5 years

What do you believe to be the greatest development for Operational Excellence in the past 5 years?
Featured Responses

"Becoming a mandatory way to look at business if you want to improve your results."

SVP BIGS
Food Services

"Enterprise wide recognition that in a currently unpredictable healthcare environment, OPEX is the way to survive future market fluctuations."

Medical Office Chief
Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services

"The realisation that leveraging employee skills and talent is at the heart of any OPEX effort."

Group Manufacturing Excellence Director
Chemicals

"The integration of digitalized and realtime information for speed of decision making and changes."

Owner and Co-Founder
Hotels, Casinos, Resorts

"Increasing demand from customers has encouraged organizations to adopt operational excellence methodology."

business improvement manager
Airlines

Greatest development for OpEx in the pas 5 years: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future TrendsBack to top 

Operational Excellence has come a long way in the last 5 years, with some of the greatest developments being using Lean & Six Sigma to focus on fewer more impactful projects with strong strategic alignment and top-line growth impact. The drive towards Robotic Process Automation (RPA), with digital enablers integrating new advanced technologies has been the biggest change. There has also been a stronger focus on culture, change management and leadership buy-in to achieve. End-to-End Operational Excellence, end-to-end business transformation, innovation execution and ultimately customer delight.

It has also been embraced and adopted by more and more non-manufacturing industries such as insurance, healthcare, legal and office environments.

Below is a selection of the responses from the above open ended question. Responses have been selected to ensure they each add new impactful context to the question.

"A focus on Lean methodologies and a drive towards RPA."

LCI Director
Toys, Sporting Goods

"A shift to recognise the importance of leadership in making things happen - rather than simply tools and techniques."

Managing Director
Education

"Acceptance of the philosophy and the fact that change management is required at very short intervals of time."

Sr Project Manager
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Actually, none. The operational excellence field has been quite boring and stale these past years. Everybody is making money, so when the economy and profits are good, nobody pays attention to improving. Takes a crisis to motivate."

President
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Adoption outside of manufacturing - investment in OPEX by insurance and health care industries."

Founder & Lead Consultant
Education

"AI driven responses and iteration for improvement."

Founder/CEO
Advertising, Marketing

"Alignment of lean thinking and focus on business deliverables augmented by software."

Director process transformation and optimization
Financial Data Services

"Automation and adoption to Agile."

Associate Director
Information Technology Services

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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"Becoming a mandatory way to look at business if you want to improve your results."

SVP BIGS
Food Services

"Broader business adoption / awareness."

Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Information Technology Services

"Broader understanding of the need, versus global competitors."

Director
Chemicals

"Change of company culture from hierarchical to network organisation."

Regional Operations Director
Financial Data Services

"Cloud collaboration and innovation tools improving feedback cycles, everything is more agile and more immediate now."

CEO
Diversified Outsourcing Services

"Collaboration systems that allow for access and transparency to all stakeholders."

Advisor
Financial Data Services

"Company wide standards and ways of working that are enforced and followed."

Process Line Manager - Mineral Processing
Mining, Crude-Oil Production

"Consciousness by most of the employees in all sectors that operational excellence is not just for fun."

CEO
Computer Software

"Create the right environment to engage front line staff in identifying solutions to operational challenges and deploying consistently through a commitment to continuous improvement."

Head of Supply Chain Operations
Education

"Creating value with minimal resources."

Chief Operating Officer
Information Technology Services

"Customer experience focused on productivity."

Director Business Process: Marketing
Internet Services and Retailing

"Daily idea huddles for all ops staff."

SVP
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Data analytics combined with the lean methodology."

Quality Manager
Aerospace and Defense

"Data analytics, process Improvements and simplification."

Regional Q&C - Americas
Miscellaneous

"Deployment of AI into operational units."

Planning Manager
Metals

"Development of change management and sustainability practices."

Director of Operational Excellence
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Difficult to say."

Deputy Capability Leader
Aerospace and Defense

"Digital transformation (control, data analysis, communication and automation). "

Operations Excellence Manager
Miscellaneous

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"Digitalisation of operation processes."

Risk Management Officer
Securities

"Digitalization opportunities; e.g. Big data."

Vynova Excellence Deployment Leader
Chemicals

"Enterprise Is solution to support the improvement efforts. It will reduce the effort spent on tracking KPI's and reporting data and allow to focus more on utilizing the tools and driving performance."

VP OpEx
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Enterprise wide recognition that in a currently unpredictable healthcare environment, OPEX is the way to survive future market fluctuations. "

Medical Office Chief
Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services

"Flexibility in the methodology to meet new/emerging needs."

Black Belt
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Mutual)

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

"Focus on behaviours and embedding change; RPA."

Head of Business Assurance & Improvement
Aerospace and Defense

"Focus on people development and engagement."

Managing Director
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Focusing on delivering business results vs LSS tools."

Director Process reengineering and optimization
Financial Data Services

"Getting organizations to think more holistically...beyond "Lean six sigma"."

Vice President Operational Excellence
Medical Devices

"Hands on training classes direct to individuals for continuous refresher on steps, process, and methods."

Sr. Technical Specialist, Municipal Market Development
Industrial Machinery

"How it encompasses all aspects of operations - people, processes and tool."

AVP
Financial Data Services

"Have not been paying that much attention to OE development."

VP/Gen.Mgr.
Aerospace and Defense

"I really do not know."

QI Manager
Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care

"If all employees from bottom to top will understand 100% the target and reason of excellence, and will support it 100%."

APU manager
Automotive Retailing, Services

"Improved processes and cut cost in the Back office by 30%."

Head of Performance Improvement Back Office
Commercial Banks

"Incorporating the internal customer into the picture and not just the external customer. There has been more realization that operational excellence deals with both. "

Continuous Improvement Lead
Aerospace and Defense

"Increased understanding of leadership at most companies that investing in a coherent OPEX program will provide a solid ROI."

sr Director, Change Leadership
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Stock)

"Increasing demand from customers has encouraged organizations to adopt operational excellence methodology."

business improvement manager
Airlines

"Integration of AI/ continued predictive analytics/Data science."

Director, Performance Improvement
Health Care: Medical Facilities

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"Integration with Design thinking/ human centred design and automation."

OE lead
Diversified Financials

"It has become more about leadership driven processes rather than CI/Quality specialist."

CI Manager
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"It will create a seamless flow of activities in the shop floor. Lot of bottle necks /obstacles will reduce employees can take ownership and stop blame games Improve quality, no rejects customer satisfaction More revenue will come in."

Head OpEx
Publishing, Printing

"Leadership support for OPEX programs."

Director, Operational Excellence
Metals

"LEAN and AGILE more than six sigma."

Associate
Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual)

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

"Machine learning and automation."

Sr Manager, Strategic Programs Office
Pharmaceuticals

"Machine learning, advanced controls, tactical planning."

CEO
Chemicals

"Maturity model based improvements / one operating system."

Enterprise Principal Leader - Mgf. Excellence Transformation
Industrial Machinery

"More agile techniques for improving outcomes and less structured than six sigma or TWM."

Lean Innovation Champion
Construction and Farm Machinery

"More focus on customer."

Sr Quality/M&P/Process Manager
Telecommunications

"More organization trying to implement operational excellence in their organization to improve their revenues."

Lead Management Engineer
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Move away from tool specific approaches like Lean, six sigma."

SVP, Operational Excellence
Information Technology Services

"OPEX in people, not that much on process."

Strategic Management Director
Education

"Personal responsibility Drama reduction collaborative listening."

Business Recycling Coordinator
Waste Management

"Process performance, process outcomes and value generated through company knowledge, organizational structure, technologies, process execution and people in the organization."

Chief Engineer
Engineering, Construction

"Publicity without the hype that accompanied Reengineering."

CEO/President
Information Technology Services

"Reducing New product Launches from 80 days down to 27 hrs."

Site Director Operational Excellence
Pharmaceuticals

"Shift from focus on tools to focus on culture."

Senior Lean Operations Manager
Medical Devices

"Spread across business sectors to a tipping point along the diffusion curve of innovation."

CEO
Health Care: Medical Facilities

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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"Standardization at the enterprise level."

OpEx Regional Director
Aerospace and Defense

"Strategy execution over strategy planning."

Manufacturing engineer
Industrial Machinery

"Structured process Design and Reengineering, leveraging concepts of Lean and six sigma."

Assistant Vice President - Operational Excellence
Diversified Outsourcing Services

"Structured, very solid and proven tools that provide a systematic framework for business process improvements leveraging knowledge acquired in manufacturing."

Business Integration - Associate Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Taking a holistic business approach that focuses on all the different business unit interactions, and not just focusing on one area of the business."

President
Miscellaneous

"That at least some people are starting to recognize it's all about people."

Director of Continuous Improvement
Financial Data Services

"The cloud has forced an "on Demand" mentality and I believe that is driving a lot of this."

Dir. of Business Transformation
Wholesalers: Electronics and Office Equipment

"The demonstration that agile based simultaneous process and technology changeout accelerates the delivery of both by up to 45%."

Chief Transformation Officer
Miscellaneous

"The development of robotic process automation (RPA) which frees business operations from It timeframes and limitations."

chief evangelist
Computer Software

"The fact that it is essential to "be in business" and to "work continuously on improving the business"."

CEO & Founder
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"The integration of digitalized and real time information for speed of decision making and changes."

Owner and Co-Founder
Hotels, Casinos, Resorts

"The realisation that leveraging employee skills and talent is at the heart of any OPEX effort."

Group Manufacturing Excellence Director
Chemicals

"The recognition that successful transformation requires successful leadership behavior change."

Owner/Senior Transformation Expert
Miscellaneous

"The slow recognition of the value of strong PMO."

PGM
Pharmaceuticals

"The way KPIs are identified and discussed with senior leadership."

Senior Director, Strategy & Innovation
Financial Data Services

"The wider focus of deployment. Moving past purely operational processes to view the whole organisation."

Principal Consultant
Miscellaneous

"Two items are driving the interest inOE. the first is the company's understanding they must have a framework for transforming their business, not just make one-off patches. The second is off the shelf software such as RPA that enables rapid implementation."

Managing Partner
Diversified Financials

"Understanding of the end-to-end NEED."

Head of Business Transformation
Energy

"Understanding the business operations better. Doing more and better with less."

VP of Operations/Site Lead, Analytical Instruments BU
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

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Key drivers pushing change in the Operational Excellence Ecosystem

What are the key drivers pushing change in the Operational Excellence ecosystem?

"Customers are demanding it. We have partners that will fine us if we don't meet certain metrics."

Dir. of Business Transformation
Wholesalers: Electronics and Office Equipment

"Global growth of organizations. Increase in competition globally forcing a need for cost reductions or containment employees gaining more voice in workplace."

Senior Lean Operations Manager
Medical Devices

"Need to reduce cost as organisations are facing corporate-driven targets in cost and working capital reduction in an attempt to offset declining revenues. New technologies companies are scrambling to keep up with the latest technology, but these solutions are worthless without the right organisational culture to make the most of them. Cross-industry disruption as start-ups and technological innovation are making the market more competitive every day, across all industries."

Chief Engineer
Engineering, Construction

"Customer demands are more sophisticated. competitors are adopting and using op eX to meet customer demands. It's not efficient to conduct op ex activities in a disjointed, inconsistent manner."

sr Director, Change Leadership
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Stock)

"Leadership buy in and focus on long term gains through a change in the organization culture rather and strategic tie up with It for innovative solutions."

Sr Project Manager
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

Key drivers pushing change into OpEx Ecosystem: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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Summed-up in 3 words it is the customer, competition and technology.

The traditional business pressures are just getting more intense, maintaining competitive advantage, keeping up with technology shifts, and a war on talent, particularly digital talent. this changing environment requires business to be agile and flexible.

On top of this, higher expectations for increased business performance from operational excellence teams is being demanded. Methodologies are expected to evolve and improve to deliver even more, to deliver greater results and have a greater impact, in a shorter period of time.

The traditional drivers remain the same such as reducing cost, reducing cycle times, eliminating waste, reducing errors and variances in processes, and increasing the customer experience; and leadership buy-in will always be the major factor.

As a respondent citied “Leadership must transform from owning the process to allowing operators to own the process with their support and coaching. They cannot operate with the philosophy "Do what I say." Instead, they must have the philosophy of "how can I help you do a better job?”

Below is a selection of the responses from the above open ended question. Responses have been selected to ensure they each add new impactful context to the question.

"Digital expectations of customers, new competition in the market."

Black Belt
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Mutual)

"Demand from customers for Quality and cost competitiveness."

business improvement manager
Airlines

"Customers are demanding it. We have partners that will fine us if we don't meet certain metrics."

Dir. of Business Transformation
Wholesalers: Electronics and Office Equipment

"The next generation, larger than baby boomers. They desire open spaces, flexibility, a social business conscience, no borders..."

Owner
Education

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"New banking regulations. Growing competition from non-financial companies like Apple, Amazon and Google."

Advisor
Financial Data Services

"Global growth of organizations Increase in competition globally forcing a need for cost reductions or containment employees gaining more voice in workplace."

Senior Lean Operations Manager
Medical Devices

"Pace of change and trends, talent, data."

VP Procurement / Real Estate
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Further competitive pressures, disruptions, new product/service development... increased focus on innovation and agile development - e.g. Lean startup."

Director, Sales Transformation & Operations
Telecommunications

"Pace of change; war for talent, employees desire to do something meaningful."

Group Business Transformation Director
Publishing, Printing

"Changing environment that require our business to stay competitive, agile and flexible."

VP Opex
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Company's understanding that they must look at processes from end to end."

Managing Partner
Diversified Financials

"Creating meaningful connection between processes and technology."

Founder & CEO
Miscellaneous

"IoT, AI."

CEO
Chemicals

"DevOps, digital transformation."

Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Information Technology Services

"Industry 4.0."

Senior Manager,Operational Excellence
Miscellaneous

"Advances in technology IoT."

Vynova Excellence Deployment Leader
Chemicals

"Digitisation and the need for robotics."

Head of Process & Change Management
Financial Data Services

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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"The leadership must transform from owning the process to allowing operators to own the process with their support and coaching. They cannot operate with the philosophy "Do what I say." Instead, they must have the philosophy of "how can I help you do a better job.""

Owner/Senior Transformation Expert
Miscellaneous

"The more processes become automated, the more there is a need for OE! If not, organisations will be automating waste and wrong processes. Still need to get that message across to SMEs." 

Founder/Consultant
Transportation and Logistics

"Constant cost-downs and quality Improvement initiatives."

Quality Manager
Motor Vehicles and Parts

"It should be the recognition of the proliferation of ever-increasing complexity across all dimensions of business."

Senior Manager, Professional Services Enablement
Computer Software

"Higher expectations of business performance. Moving past 2-3% business improvements to the expectation 20-30% improvement in results."

Principal Consultant
Miscellaneous

"Business pressures - cost, competitive advantage, war on talent."

Director of Operations - Workplace Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Developing executable strategies that show measurable transformation."

Director Quality & Compliance
Education

"Data analytics evaluation and deployment every month across the globe with key top Mgt. For status and actions. support comes from the top."

Regional Q&C - Americas
Miscellaneous

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"Today's "short-term engagement" employees who prefer to change companies rather than climbing the corporate ladder, causing companies to need to invest more time & effort in ensuring their clients/customers are happy interacting with them in their purchasing decisions."

Founder/Owner-Operator
Education

"Convincing employees to support it (communication, education). Encouraging them to understand and own the importance of their ecosystem."

APU manager
Automotive Retailing, Services

"Agility and flexibility; diversity and inclusion."

Head of Business Assurance & Improvement
Aerospace and Defense

"Understanding and use throughout the organization as part of the culture and not just being pushed as a project du jour by a centralized department."

CEO
Real Estate

"Leadership buy in and focus on long term gains through a change in the organization culture rather and strategic tie up with It for innovative solutions."

Sr Project Manager
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Need for faster results & more sustainably."

Director, Global Strategic Pricing
Metals

"Need for value, increasing market pressures."

VP, Enterprise Transformation, Strategy Implementation
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Challenging healthcare market requiring different leadership mindset and adaptable and efficient management systems."

Medical Office Chief
Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services

"Change in cultural barrier Leadership support and full implementation of the program enabling tools to operate Introducing new technology. "

Head OpEx
Publishing, Printing

"Competition, Revenue and margin pressures."

Business Transformation Head
Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care

"Competitive landscape; customer relationship; Value chain integration; Focus on margins over revenue."

VP of Operations/Site Lead, Analytical Instruments BU
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

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"Customer demands are more sophisticated. competitors are adopting and using opeX to meet customer demands. It's not efficient to conduct OPEX activities in a disjointed, inconsistent manner."

sr Director, Change Leadership
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Stock)

"Customer retention, employee retention and margins."

CEO
Diversified Outsourcing Services

"Faster delivery of returns. the drive for robotics."

LCI Director
Toys, Sporting Goods

"In healthcare - Innovation, cost out, population health (keep people well)."

Director, Performance Improvement
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"More awareness. the success stories sell themselves."

Director of Operational Excellence
Health Care: Medical Facilities

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"Need more agility, need more data intelligence, customer focus, pressure on results."

SVP BIGS
Food Services

"Need to reduce cost as organisations are facing corporate-driven targets in cost and working capital reduction in an attempt to offset declining revenues. New technologies companies are scrambling to keep up with the latest technology, but these solutions are worthless without the right organisational culture to make the most of them. Cross- industry disruption as start-ups and technological innovation are making the market more competitive every day, across all industries."

Chief Engineer
Engineering, Construction

"Rapid improvements that sometimes basic tools like six sigma may be too slow to capture."

Business Integration - Associate Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Recognition by ceos of the tremendous net benefits of full implementation."

Founder
Computer Software

"RPA, BPM, real focus on the business drivers for success, client journey as primary focus."

Director Process reengineering and optimization
Financial Data Services

"For healthcare services, the drivers are quality, safety, accommodating an "older" population profile, the opioid, mental health & addiction crisis, & dealing with keeping cost increases to within 3% year over year."

CEO & Founder
Health Care: Medical Facilities

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Top Industry thought-leaders (Individuals vs. Companies)

Who are your top 3 industry thought leaders that you would want to hear from?

Top Industry thought leaders individuals and companies: Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends 

People are more interested in hearing from practitioners from progressive companies or have peer to peer interactions, than hear from inspirational keynotes. Though Jeff Bezos scored the highest, only 4.7% of the respondents listed him, compared to 9% for amazon. Notably 10 years ago over 30% of respondents mentioned Jim collins, and 15 years ago over 40% of respondents mentioned Jack Welsh. people are now looking for practical tactics, how to, what to, from practitioners who have done, in companies they admire.

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Operational Excellence in Action - Leading Companies

If you could do a site visit to see Operational Excellence in action, which organisation would it be and why?

1. Amazon 11.6%

Amazon, because their dynamic business model should be a reference for many other industries.

Amazon, to see how they have nailed customer service.

Amazon, to see how they manage sourcing and distribution so well on such a wide scale.

Amazon. They deal with millions of customers and most people have a very positive opinion of them. They must be doing something right.

Amazon. They tap into every industry and are able to capitalize and strive with it.

2. Toyota 10.6%

Toyota - due to their history and continued use of OPEX.

Any Toyota plant, because Toyota is the benchmark in terms of an effective production system.

Toyota to see their Lean Manufacturing in action.

Toyota, because still is the leader on the implementation and sustainability of CI.

3. Google 3.31%

Google - I believe they have a non-standard way of operating their business and yet so successful.

4. Apple 3.31%

Apple - Because of the passion around the brand, which must be a reflection of the internal culture.

5. Tesla 2.98%

Tesla - Massive innovation in everything they do. They are not just applying OPEX, they are blowing up all of what we know and expect from it and starting in a completely different way.

Tesla, for its diverse use of technology and processes.

6. Disney 2.6%

Disney. Building the right working environment, integrating fun within operations to achieve excellence.

7. GE 2.5%

General Electric. Because they, along with Motorola, were the original developers of six sigma principles and methodologies.”

8. Fastcap 2%

Fastcap - Because, not only the way OPEX activities are being implemented but the FASTCAP people are so highly motivated which is must for LEAN projects.

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Industry Perspectives

Below is a selection of the responses that were derived from all the open ended questions sorted by industry sector. A small number of responses have been selected from various industry sectors to ensure they add new impactful context to the question, which in this section has been included as part of the response to give it context. Responses have also been selected to give the unique perspectives each industry is facing.

Advertising and Marketing

"I believe the greatest development in operational excellence in the past 5 years is aI driven responses and iteration for improvement."

Founder/CEO 
Advertising, Marketing

Aerospace and Defense

"Our primary measure of success for the operational excellence program will be Return on Investment - tangible and Intangible; also measured through a 2 yearly employee survey across a number of dimensions."

Head of Business Assurance & Improvement
Aerospace and Defense

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be establishing 5S and visual management. Training and manufacturing velocity are current focus as there is no understanding of orders once they are in the system."

Continuous Improvement Lead
Aerospace and Defense

Airlines

"Our primary measure of success for the operational excellence program will be embedding CI methodologies in the day to day work and ensuring continual improvement across the organisation."

Consultant Business Excellence
Airlines

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as demand from customers for quality and cost competitiveness."

Business Improvement Manager
Airlines

" The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are Leadership understanding and buy-in. sustaining and Integrating the operational excellence methodology into the fiber of the organization would be smoother if and when there existed continuous & regular follow-up. Understanding and accountability on the leadership."

Business Improvement Manager
Airlines

Apparel

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as top management decision making over the changes to be made and middle staff acknowledgement of the needs."

Director
Apparel

Automotive Retailing, Services

"We would most like to hear from an expert about advanced tools for OPEX, incorporation of Design thinking approach in OPEX."

EGM- Operational Excellence
Automotive Retailing, Services

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Building Materials, Glass

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be to improve our production capacity and reliability in terms of quality and delivery."

Production Manager
Building Materials, Glass

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

Chemicals

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be Improving culture and leveraging technology."

Group Manufacturing Excellence Director
Chemicals

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as Global competition and need for more efficient operations and more agile teams."

Owner
Chemicals

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are end to end business transformation. We've locked value into how we do business via inefficiencies in our systems. extracting that value is critical and operational excellence is an element in the strategy to do this."

TES Director USGC and Maintenance Expertise Center
Chemicals

Commercial Banks

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be Improving customer experiences, creating consistent and measurable benchmarks and replicating results."

Head of Technical Solutions, Global Payments Services
Commercial Banks

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are Failure to innovate - the ability to adapt and use new tools and new technologies to improve operational excellence and efficiency."

Head of Technical Solutions, Global Payments Services
Commercial Banks

"Executing and sustaining OPEX projects. There is a strong tendency to start an opeX project and then in 1-2 months decrease it down to several to-dos without serious OPEX effect. Managers prefer to show off the activity and then neutralise whatever is external to their function even on a cross-functional project."

Head of Performance Improvement Back Office
Commercial Banks

Computer Software

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be Integrating agile and Data science with a highly successful six sigma program."

Six Sigma Master Black Belt
Computer Software

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are the need for Leadership Understanding & Buy-In. This is really about making an investment in operational excellence with a consistent vision. We are constantly changing plans."

Program Manager
Computer Software

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are Need for end to end transformation. We are on the way to doing this but it is painfully slow. We are integrating agile and Data science where needed to help accelerate."

Six Sigma Master Black Belt
Computer Software

Construction and Farm Machinery

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as top down & bottom up approach in implementing the change."

Sr. Operational Excellence Consultant
Construction and Farm Machinery

Diversified Financials

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are failure to innovate. employees are afraid of change, and any new idea reflects change."

Managing Principal
Diversified Financials

The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now is the need for end to end transformation. disparate OPEX efforts do not provide meaningful impact."

Senior Consultant
Diversified Financials

Diversified Outsourcing Services

" I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as customer retention, employee retention and margins."

CEO
Diversified Outsourcing Services

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are customer centric employee engagement, global alignment to value."

CEO
Diversified Outsourcing Services

Education

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be the introduction of new globally aligned processes and single suite of integrated systems."

Head of Supply Chain Operations
Education

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as today's "short-term engagement" employees who prefer to change companies rather than climbing the corporate ladder, causing companies to need to invest more time & effort in ensuring their clients/customers are happy interacting with them in their purchasing decisions."

Founder/Owner-Operator
Education

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as Developing executable strategies that show measurable transformation."

Director Quality & Compliance
Education

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

Electronics, Electrical Equipment

" Our primary measure of success for the operational excellence program will be meeting / anticipating customer needs and relentlessly delivering customer value."

Director-Lean Enterprise
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be Value stream transformation and measuring the right KPIs for operational excellence."

Director Lean Six Sigma
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be fully integrating cI methodology into quality."

CI & Quality Director AWS EMEA - SFC
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be enterprise wide agile and change management."

Director-Lean Enterprise
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as competitive landscape; customer relationship; Value chain integration; Focus on margins over revenue."

VP of Operations/Site Lead, Analytical Instruments BU
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are end to end Business transformation. Managers have to come out of the short term "cost saving" mindset doing silo projects, rather should drive Value stream transformation to improve flow."

Director Lean Six Sigma
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

Energy

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be alignment and standardization."

Head of Business Transformation
Energy

The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are need for end-to-end Business transformation (otherwise is sub-optimization)."

Head of Business Transformation
Energy

Engineering, Construction

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as the need to reduce cost as organisations are facing corporate-driven targets in cost and working capital reduction in an attempt to offset declining revenues. New technologies companies are scrambling to keep up with the latest technology, but these solutions are worthless without the right organisational culture to make the most of them. Cross-industry disruption as start-ups and technological innovation are making the market more competitive every day, across all industries."

Chief Engineer 
Engineering, Construction

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Financial Data Services

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be to elevate the client experience."

President
Financial Data Services

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as RPA, BPM, real focus on the business drivers for success, client journey as primary focus."

Director Process Reengineering and Optimization
Financial Data Services

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is the legacy core system. It's very difficult to transform 20th century database design & architecture to perform with 21st century efficiencies."

President
Financial Data Services

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is culture. No matter how good your cI program is, if the company is not ready to adopt and transform, it will not fly."

AVP
Financial Data Services

Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Our primary measure of success for the operational excellence program will be New value to the business - impact on margin, employee experience, employee agility and productivity."

Director of Operations - Workplace Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Our primary measure of success for the operational excellence program will be customer satisfaction index, customer complaints, employees engagement score, reduction in non- added value activities."

AVP- Quality, Safety & Performance Excellence
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be automation and Digitization, associate experience Improvements and operations productivity improvements."

Business Integration - Associate Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is end- to-end transformation. having our commercial team not on the same journey creates challenges on the ways of working and the priorities."

VP OPEX
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is execution and sustaining OE - We spent so much funds and effort in the program, but we failed to see bottom line results - things are just going back to the way they were."

CI Manager
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

Food Production

"Our primary measure of success for the operational excellence program will be increase in customer satisfaction index. Reduction in cost of quality. Reduction in operating cost and working capital."

Senior Vice President - Operations
Food Production

Food Services

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be to launch a gamification approach to accelerate the implementation."

SVP BIGS
Food Services

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are need more agility, need more data intelligence, customer focus, pressure on results."

Senior Vice President - Operations
Food Services

Forest and Paper Products

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be establishing cost curves of major assets, identifying root causes of limitations and countermeasures, optimizing assets and reducing variation."

Continuous Improvement Manager
Forest and Paper Products

Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Our primary measure of success for the operational excellence program will be the ability to attract and retain the best employees, leaders, and executives."

CEO & Founder
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be to focus on $500 million dollars of revenue enhancements and cost reductions."

VP of Operational Effectiveness
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem In healthcare - as Innovation, cost out, population health (keep people well)."

Director, Performance Improvement
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are lack of support from employees. employee engagement is very important for implementing and sustaining the change. We want to do better in this area."

Lead Management Engineer
Health Care: Medical Facilities

Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services

" I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as a challenging healthcare market requiring different leadership mindset and adaptable and efficient management systems."

Medical Office Chief
Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services

Hospitals

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is the need to improve relationships between departments. Hospitals are very complex enterprises. The care of the patients is nonlinear and should flow throughout several departments. Each department needs to understand their role in this flow and their interactions."

MD MBA
Hospitals

Hotels, Casinos, Resorts

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as Market challenges, competitiveness and adaptability."

Owner and Co-Founder
Hotels, Casinos, Resorts

Household and Personal Products

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is keeping up with New technologies - as the processes are more digitized and needs to be available on demand to the right stakeholder with the right info. For effective decision making. "

Global P2P Manager
Household and Personal Products

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is end to end Business transformation. Serving our customers is a team sport. Everyone in the value chain needs to understand their impact our ability to win."

VP - Ops/Supply Chain
Household and Personal Products

Industrial Machinery

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are ever-changing headcount and personnel continuously changes the dynamics of how our OPEX works effectively. Continuous retraining, and refreshers are necessary to bring new personnel up to pace, and encourage senior personnel to maintain."

Sr. Technical Specialist, Municipal Market Development
Industrial Machinery

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is the support of employees as they think new program won’t improve performance."

Quality Manager
Industrial Machinery

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

Information Technology Services

"Our primary measure of success for the operational excellence program will be customer satisfaction and swift response to customer demand with the use of less resources."

Chief Operating Officer
Information Technology Services

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is this company's culture would fit nicely about a decade ago. We cannot continue to ask for improvements in technology and support processes and allow for the rest of the company (HR and executive teams) to work under an old power model."

Associate Director - Video Operations
Information Technology Services

Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual)

"I believe the greatest development in operational excellence in the past 5 years is executing and sustaining is most crucial. The struggle of constantly seeking perfection has not yet been embedded into our everyday thinking."

Supervisor
Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual)

Insurance: Property and Casualty (Stock)

I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as customer demands are more sophisticated. competitors are adopting and using OPEX to meet customer demands. It's not efficient to conduct OPEX activities in a disjointed, inconsistent manner."

Snr Director, Change Leadership
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Stock)

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Internet Services and Retailing

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are Lack of Understanding and/or buy in. Leaders know we need it but don't understand what "it" is and how to execute "it"."

Director Business Process: Marketing
Internet Services and Retailing

Medical Devices

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be organizing and developing the engineering function and processes to be more integrated with the rest of the business."

Vice President Operational Excellence
Medical Devices

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as the Global growth of organizations. Increase in competition globally forcing a need for cost reductions or containment. employees gaining more voice in workplace."

Senior Lean Operations Manager
Medical Devices

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is Lack of skilled workers - sapping capacity due to time taken to train."

Head of R&D
Medical Devices

Mining, Crude-Oil Production

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be much higher expectations of business performance. Moving past 2-3% business improvements to the expectation of a 20-30% improvement in results."

Principal Consultant
Mining, Crude-Oil Production

Miscellaneous

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is Department relationships. We keep reorganizing and the resulting fallout is a tendency to protect your own turf and not work as closely with others as you could."

Process Line Manager - Mineral Processing
Miscellaneous

Oil and Gas Equipment, Services

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be to establish an effective management system based on work by process and not by tasks."

Quality & Operational Excellence Sr. Manager
Oil and Gas Equipment, Services

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as the need for rapid and sustainable results."

Executive Vice President
Oil and Gas Equipment, Services

Pharmaceuticals

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is lack of support from employees, because everyone is heads-down to support their client engagements to absorb the philosophy of process-based organizational excellence."

Manager, Performance Improvement Advisory Practice
Pharmaceuticals

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is reconciling competing priorities and agendas remains a top priority. Trying to execute OPEX initiatives without explicitly aligning well intentioned stakeholders with competing agendas makes things difficult."

Client Partner
Pharmaceuticals

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

Publishing, Printing

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are maintaining key priorities and monitoring the progress on those priorities is the most crucial for us at the moment. We have problems with focusing on what's crucial and also giving up on things that distract us."

Group Business Transformation Director
Publishing, Printing

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now are keeping up' with New technologies - some key basic infrastructure shared globally is severely outdated, disrupts workflow and limits building bridges to new system/technologies."

Director, Operations Emerging Business Models
Publishing, Printing

Real Estate

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as understanding and use throughout the organization as part of the culture and not just being pushed as a ‘project du jour’ by a centralized department."

CEO
Real Estate

Securities

"Our focus for the next 12-18 months in operational excellence will be establishing a new opeX department, Ramping up RPA program, Driving cultural change, setting up reporting and data analytics."

Senior Development Manager
Securities

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenges affecting my job role right now is a failure to innovate: this led to lack of the ability to develop new solutions for our changing customer needs, and inability to sustain our competitive advantage."

Risk Management Officer
Securities

Telecommunications

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as further competitive pressures, disruptions, new product/service development... increased focus on innovation and agile development - e.g. Lean startup."

Director, Sales Transformation & Operations
Telecommunications

"The most critical operational excellence focused challenge affecting my job role right now is a Failure to Innovate - still looking at incremental improvements vs transformational ones."

Executive Director
Telecommunications

Toys, Sporting Goods

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as faster delivery of returns. The drive for robotics."

LCI Director
Toys, Sporting Goods

Wholesalers: Electronics and Office Equipment

"I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as customers are demanding it. We have partners that will fine us if we don't meet certain metrics."

Dir. of Business Transformation
Wholesalers: Electronics and Office Equipment

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Perspectives of Large, Medium & Small Corporations

Perspectives from Large Organizations

Below is a selection of the responses that were derived from all the open ended questions sorted by industry sector. a small number of responses have been selected from each industry sector to ensure they add new impactful context to the question, which in this section has been included as part of the response to give it context. Responses have also been selected to give the unique perspectives each industry is facing. Click here to learn more.

 

Most Critical Challenges

"Lack of support from employees, because everyone is heads-down to support their client engagements to absorb the philosophy of process-based organizational excellence."

Manager, Performance Improvement Advisory Practice
Pharmaceuticals

"Failure to innovate: this leads to lack of ability to develop new solutions for our changing customer needs, and inability to sustain our competitive advantage."

Risk Management Officer
Securities

"Department relationships. We keep reorganizing and the resulting fallout is a tendency to protect your own turf and not work as closely with others as you could."

Process Line Manager - Mineral Processing
Mining, Crude-Oil Production

"Lack of Understanding and/or buy in. Leaders know we need it but don't understand what "it" is and how to execute "it"."

Director Business Process: Marketing
Internet Services and Retailing

"At this point keeping up with new technologies and implementing them quickly has been a problem that prevented us from capturing the benefits of external innovation."

Business Integration - Associate Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Need for end to end transformation. We are on the way to doing this but it is painfully slow. We are integrating agile and Data science where needed to help accelerate."

Six Sigma Master Black Belt
Computer Software

"End to end Business transformation. serving our customers is a team sport. Everyone in the value chain needs to understand their impact our ability to win."

VP - Ops/Supply Chain
Household and Personal Products

"Execution and sustaining OPEX projects. There is a strong tendency to start OPEX project and then in 1-2 months decrease it down to several to-dos without serious OPEX  effect. Managers prefer to show off the activity and then neutralise whatever is external to their function even cross-functional projects."

Head of Performance Improvement Back Office
Commercial Banks

"Improving culture as it holds us back and prevents new thinking."

Org design specialist
Chemicals

 

Primary measure of success of Operational Excellence programs

"This is a greenfield program and hence the short term objective is to build DNA to cater to project executions in the future."

Sr Project Manager
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Quality, cost and Delivery...better care of our guests, faster execution of systems & process and doing things cheaper by eliminating redundancies."

Owner and Co-Founder
Hotels, Casinos, Resorts

"Quality of healthcare provided, access to critical services, and patient satisfaction. If we get these three right, the financial benefit will follow."

Director of Operational Excellence
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Efficiency, effectiveness, external Benchmarking."

Global P2P Manager
Household and Personal Products

"Everything is measured by sales results and time to sale."

Director, Operational Excellence
Financial Data Services

"Revenue, Cash Flow, Customer Loyalty, cost savings."

EGM- Operational Excellence
Automotive Retailing, Services

"Harmonized Key process Indicators (KPIs) metrics analytics shared across the regions - global metrics."

Regional Q&C - Americas
Miscellaneous

"Ability to attract and retain the best employees, leaders, and executives."

CEO & Founder
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"New value to the business - impact on margin, employee experience, employee agility and productivity."

Director of Operations - Workplace Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Meeting / anticipating customer needs and relentlessly delivering customer value."

Director-Lean Enterprise
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Customer satisfaction and organic growth."

SVP, Operational Excellence
Information Technology Services

Information you most want to hear about from an expert

"Strategic drivers of a comprehensive operational excellence ecosystem."

Manager, Performance Improvement Advisory Practice
Pharmaceuticals

"Enterprise-wide OPEX transformation training Within Industry in healthcare."

Medical Office Chief
Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services

"Pushing operational excellence through large, lean organizations."

Project Consultant
Financial Data Services

"The path to drive a customer centric organization through the use of technology."

Dir. of Business Transformation
Wholesalers: Electronics and Office Equipment

"Best practices, actionable programs, success stories."

Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Information Technology Services

"How to apply what they learned in their transformation leadership journey and how it specifically it may be leveraged for my company? How to eliminate the perception of the incrementalism delivered by OPEX?"

Chief Transformation Officer
Miscellaneous

"How to drive sustainable improvement actions & results as a leader?"

Regional Enterprise Lean Sigma Lead
Packaging, Containers

"Approaches to innovate quickly, simplify and improve processes and experiences."

Business Integration - Associate Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"How to implement the best in class processes without much of impact to end users, but make a significant different in the process?"

Global P2P Manager
Household and Personal Products

"Measuring goals and addressing accountability."

Senior Director, Strategy & Innovation
Financial Data Services

"How do they sustain their program? How do they manage cultural change?"

SVP BIGS
Food Services

"Sustainability in a changing world of healthcare."

Director Business Operations
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Sustaining transformation and cultural change."

Enterprise Principal Leader - Mgf. Excellence Transformation
Industrial Machinery

"Innovation initiatives and how they are keeping those flowing."

Regional Q&C - Americas
Miscellaneous

"Driving Innovative thinking, Future of operational excellence."

Assistant Vice President - Operational Excellence
Diversified Outsourcing Services

"How AI can be leveraged to improve our process?"

Head of Technical Solutions, Global Payments Services
Commercial Banks

"Applying OPEX concepts to non manufacturing companies?"

SVP, Operational Excellence
Information Technology Services

"Advanced tools for OPEX, incorporation of Design thinking approach in OPEX."

EGM- Operational Excellence
Automotive Retailing, Services

"New tools that support operational excellence, building new skills and capabilities in operational excellence & new innovations."

Director of Operations - Workplace Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"How health care operational excellence will position the delivery of NA health care services to dramatically advance health care services quality, safety, effective resource use & manage cost to deliver VALUE?"

CEO & Founder
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Making operational excellence relevant & actionable to all teams."

Director, Global Strategic Pricing
Metals

"Steps to begin the OPEX journey. Not THEORY."

Director, Operational Excellence
Transportation Equipment

"Launching a corporate wide operational excellence program."

VP Procurement / Real Estate
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Being world class Being the best globally excellence in everything we do... each and every employee can see the flow of value to the customer, and fix that flow before it breaks down."

Chief Engineer
Engineering, Construction

"Mindset & Behavioral change as well as Driving excellence from the Boardroom (Leadership)."

Owner and Co-Founder
Hotels, Casinos, Resorts

"How to optimise operational excellence in spite of rapidly changing business environment?"

Risk Management Officer
Securities

 

The greatest development for Operational Excellence in the past 5 years

"Understanding the business operations better. Doing more and better with less."

VP of Operations/Site Lead, Analytical Instruments BU
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Understanding of the end-to-end NEED."

Head of Business Transformation
Energy

"The wider focus of deployment. Moving past purely operational processes to view the whole organisation."

Principal Consultant
Miscellaneous

"The integration of digitalized and real time information for speed of decision making and changes."

Owner and Co-Founder
Hotels, Casinos, Resorts

"The realisation that leveraging employee skills and talent is at the heart of any opex effort."

Group Manufacturing Excellence Director
Chemicals

"The cloud has forced an "on Demand" mentality and I believe that is driving a lot of this."

Dir. of Business Transformation
Wholesalers: Electronics and Office Equipment

"Process performance, process outcomes and value generated through company knowledge; organizational structure, technologies, process execution and people in the organization."

Chief Engineer
Engineering, Construction

"Integration of AI / continued predictive analytics / Data science."

Director, Performance Improvement
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Enterprise wide recognition that in a currently unpredictable healthcare environment, OPEX is the way to survive future market fluctuations."

Medical Office Chief
Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services

"Acceptance of the philosophy and the fact that change management is required at very short intervals of time."

Sr Project Manager
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

 

Operational Excellence focus over the next 12-18 months

"Integration into a new merger company and aligning standards."

OpEx Regional Director
Aerospace and Defense

"Automation and Digitization, associate experience Improvements and operations productivity improvements."

Business Integration - Associate Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Lean/cost management supplier innovation smart buildings collaboration tools."

Director of Operations - Workplace Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Launch a gamification approach to accelerate the implementation."

SVP BIGS
Food Services

"Alignment and standardization."

Head of Business Transformation
Energy

"End to end business transformation."

Director, Global Strategic Pricing
Metals

"Fully integrate the cI methodology into quality."

CI & Quality Director AWS EMEA - SFC
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Building culture of change, Lean and six sigma by imparting trainings and promoting ideation ."

Sr Project Manager
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Developing a lean culture. We are rolling out a training program for all employees, and will have dedicated lean leaders to facilitate projects."

Director of Operational Excellence
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Culture - building up capability and application of Lean."

Managing Director of the Lean Management Office
Miscellaneous

"Enterprise wide agile and change management."

Director-Lean Enterprise
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Standardize Front Line operations to deliver consistent high quality care across every clinic and department with decreased variability."

Medical Office Chief
Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services

"Improving customer experience, creating consistent and measurable benchmarks and replicating results."

Head of Technical Solutions, Global Payments Services
Commercial Banks

"Improving culture and leveraging technology."

Group Manufacturing Excellence Director
Chemicals

"Consolidation of back office support processes."

Manager, Performance Improvement Advisory Practice
Pharmaceuticals

 

The key drivers pushing change in the Operational Excellence Ecosystem

"Rapid improvements that sometimes basic tools like six sigma may be too slow to capture."

Business Integration - Associate Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Need more agility, need more data intelligence, customer focus, pressure on results."

SVP BIGS
Food Services

"Faster delivery of returns. the drive for robotics."

LCI Director
Toys, Sporting Goods

"Customer demands are more sophisticated. competitors are adopting and using OPEX to meet customer demands. It's not efficient to conduct op ex activities in a disjointed, inconsistent manner."

sr Director, Change Leadership
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Stock)

"Leadership buy in and focus on long term gains through a change in the organization culture rather and strategic tie up with It for innovative solutions."

Sr Project Manager
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

"Business pressures - cost, competitive advantage, war on talent."

Director of Operations - Workplace Services
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Digitisation and the need for robotics."

Head of Process & Change Management
Financial Data Services

"Further competitive pressures, disruptions, new product/service development... increased focus on innovation and agile development - e.g. Lean startup."

Director, Sales Transformation & Operations
Telecommunications

"Global growth of organizations. Increase in competition globally forcing a need for cost reductions or containment. employees gaining more voice in workplace."

Senior Lean Operations Manager
Medical Devices

"Customers are demanding it. We have partners that will fine us if we don't meet certain metrics."

Dir. of Business Transformation
Wholesalers: Electronics and Office Equipment

 

Perspectives from Medium Sized Organizations

Below is a selection of the responses that were derived from all the open ended questions but for this section, the responses have been filtered to only include responses from medium sized companies, classified as organizations with an employee size less than 5000. Responses have been selected to ensure they add new impactful context to the question and give a unique perspective of medium sized companies. Responses have been grouped into key themes. Click here to learn more.

 

Most Critical Challenges

"Ever-changing headcount and personnel continuously changes the dynamics of how our OPEX works effectively. Continuous retraining, and refreshers are necessary to bring new personnel up to pace, and encourage senior personnel to maintain."

Sr. Technical Specialist, Municipal Market Development
Industrial Machinery

"Changing demand of customers dictates the way we deliver our services, everything else follows."

Partner
Information Technology Services

"Adapting to business trend: the software team is very slow to respond to innovation which has ripple effect on the operations at all levels."

Chief Operating Officer
Information Technology Services

"Maintaining key priorities - we constantly shift our focus from one "flavour of the month" to the next!"

Opex Manager
Pharmaceuticals

"Need for Leadership Understanding & Buy-In. this is really about making an investment in operational excellence with a consistent vision. We are constantly changing plans."

Program Manager
Computer Software

"End-to-end transformation. Having our commercial team not on the same journey creates challenges on the ways of working and the priorities."

VP Opex
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"End to end business transformation. We've locked value into how we do business via inefficiencies in our systems. Extracting that value is critical, and operational excellence is an element in the strategy to do this."

TES Director USGC and Maintenance Expertise Center
Chemicals

"Sustaining OPEX programs. how to live a culture of consequence management with clear KPIs and empowerment?"

Wepa
Financial Data Services

"This company's culture would fit nicely about a decade ago. We cannot continue to ask for improvements in technology and support processes and allow for the rest of the company (HR and executive teams) to work under an old power model."

Associate Director - Video Operations
Information Technology Services

 

Primary measure of success of Operational Excellence programs

"Silo reduction, productive collaboration within and across business unit locations."

Vice President Operational Excellence
Medical Devices

"Improved customer and employee satisfaction through global consistency of services, processes and systems and operational efficiencies."

Head of Supply Chain Operations
Education

"Return on Investment - tangible and Intangible; also measured through 2 yearly employee survey across a number of dimensions."

Head of Business Assurance & Improvement
Aerospace and Defense

"Self healing: Full empowerment of the areas in continuous improvement."

Director of Quality and Organizational Excellence
Financial Data Services

"Increase in customer satisfaction index Reduction in cost of quality Reduction in operating cost and working capital.'

Senior Vice President - Operations
Food Production

 

The greatest development for Operational Excellence in the past 5 years

"Incorporating the internal customer into the picture and not just the external customer. There has been more realization that operational excellence deals with both."

Continuous Improvement Lead
Aerospace and Defense

"Focusing on delivering business results vs LSS tools."

Director Process reengineering and optimization
Financial Data Services

"Focus on behaviours and embedding change; RPA."

Head of Business Assurance & Improvement
Aerospace and Defense

"Alignment of lean thinking and focus on business deliverables augmented by software."

Director process transformation and optimization
Financial Data Services

 

Operational Excellence focus over the next 12-18 months

"R&D, implementing OPEX in all Group facilities."

Global Industrial and Operations Director COO
Apparel

"Establishing new OPEX department, Ramping up RPA program, Driving cultural change, setting up reporting and data analytics."

Senior Development Manager
Securities

"Robotics process automation and improvement in customer experience and big data."

Opex consultant
Financial Data Services

"Integrate transformation technology into resource behavior."

Principal
Information Technology Services

"End to end transformation. Deploy BPM."

Director business transformation and optimization
Financial Data Services

"Establishing cost curves of major assets, identifying root causes of limitations and countermeasures, optimizing assets and reducing variation."

Continuous Improvement Manager
Forest and Paper Products

"Client journey excellence - focus on client ease of use."

Director Process reengineering and optimization
Financial Data Services

"Reorganizing and developing the engineering function and processes to be more integrated with the rest of the business."

Vice President Operational Excellence
Medical Devices

 

The key drivers pushing change in the Operational Excellence Ecosystem

"To meet the changing needs of customers and to stay ahead of increasing competitions."

Senior Vice President - Operations
Food Production

"RPA, BPM, real focus on the business drivers for success, client journey as primary focus."

Director Process reengineering and optimization
Financial Data Services

"Changing environment that requires our business to stay competitive, agile and flexible."

VP Opex
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

"Market (end consumers) behaviour change."

Global Industrial and Operations Director COO
Apparel

 

Information you most want to hear about from an expert

"Cultural transformation and change management Lean and six sigma Developing people."

Senior Vice President - Operations
Food Production

"How OE supports digital transformation?"

Black Belt
Insurance: Property and Casualty (Mutual)

"Integrating operational governance and decision-making at an organizational level - best practices."

Vice President, Science Operations
Miscellaneous

"How to deploy a sustainable program in a related industry?"

Supervisor
Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual)

"How to demand cultural change from your leaders/executives? How to combat "say one thing do another" culture?"

Associate Director - Video Operations Information
Technology Services

"Aligning strategy and operations through process excellence to drive big change."

Quality Manager
Aerospace and Defense

"Integration of innovation, VR and IoT in OPEX."

Global Industrial and Operations Director COO
Apparel

"Application of machine learning."

CEO
Chemicals

"Advanced monitoring tools, setting benchmark for sales/marketing, operational excellence mechanisms."

Director
Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services

  

Perspectives from Small Organizations

Below is a selection of the responses that were derived from all the open ended questions but for this section, the responses have been filtered to only include responses from small companies, classified as organizations with an employee size less than 200. Responses have been selected to ensure they add new impactful context to the question and give a unique perspective of small companies. Responses have been grouped into key themes. Click here to learn more.

 

Most Critical Challenges

"Sustainable top line growth, while Maintaining customer satisfaction, Improving employee engagement and reducing waste."

CEO
Diversified Outsourcing Services

"Are we aligned with mid and long terms trends in our sector? Are we fit for competition?"

CEO
Computer Software

"RESULTS. "Better, faster, cheaper". Increased profits. Reduced operating costs. Reduced waste. Increased quality. Increased customer satisfaction."

President
Health Care: Medical Facilities

"Improved efficiencies leading to higher profits all round."

Managing Director
Education

"Embedding cI methodologies in the day to day work and ensuring continual improvement across the organisation."

Consultant Business Excellence
Airlines

 

Information you most want to hear about from an expert

"Re-engineered metrics to avoid disastrous decisions."

MD
Mining, Crude-Oil Production

"1. How to motivate and monitor Leadership Behavior change? 2. Adefinition of What is Lean (not hoW to Do LeaN). 3. Systemic thinking."

Owner/Senior Transformation Expert
Miscellaneous

"How to solve the robotic process automation adoption, avoiding social crisis?"

CEO
Education

"Challenges associated with moving from an early state to a highly effective initiative."

Owner
Education

"OPEX Leadership Learning from Failure Reaching for the stars with your feet firmly on the ground."

Principal
Medical Devices

"What made them realize the need for operational excellence and how did they the whole organization to follow them? Successes and mistakes along the way and plans for the future?"

President
Miscellaneous

"Operational excellence across all functions. (How to take it beyond operations?)"

Vice President of Global Operations
Medical Devices

"Balancing transition from the "old way" to operational excellence without losing the team."

VP of Operations
Motor Vehicles and Parts

 

The greatest development for Operational Excellence in the past 5 years

 "The recognition that successful transformation requires successful leadership behavior change."

Owner/Senior Transformation Expert
Miscellaneous

"That companies became aware of its importance of the concept not only for maximizing the value of the asset, but for its own survival."

Director
Computer Software

"Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)."

Quality Analyst
Forest and Paper Products

"Cloud collaboration and innovation tools improving feedback cycles, everything is more agile and more immediate now."

CEO
Diversified Outsourcing Services

"Adoption outside of manufacturing - investment in OPEX by insurance and health care industries."

Founder & Lead Consultant
Education

"A shift to recognise the importance of leadership in making things happen - rather than simply tools and techniques."

Managing Director
Education

 

Operational Excellence focus over the next 12-18 months

"To improve our production capacity and reliability in terms of quality and delivery."

Production manager
Building Materials, Glass

"Continue to work with financial services companies to optimize operations excellence through the develop of intelligent digitization."

President
Financial Data Services

"Training, systems, process improvements, Understanding customer needs."

Director and Chief Strategy Officer
Miscellaneous

"Creating standard processes and systems that everyone follows."

President
Miscellaneous

"Establishing and consolidating critical operational systems."

Supply Operations Head
Food & Beverage Consumer Products

 

The key drivers pushing change in the Operational Excellence Ecosystem

"Global competition and need for more efficient operations and more agile teams."

Owner
Chemicals

"Digital transformation, accelerating pace and intensity of competition."

Client Partner
Pharmaceuticals

"Today's "short-term engagement" employees who prefer to change companies rather than climbing the corporate ladder, causing companies to need to invest more time & effort in ensuring their clients/customers are happy interacting with them in their purchasing decisions."

Founder/Owner-Operator
Education

"Company's understanding that they must look at processes from end to end."

Managing Partner
Diversified Financials

"Primarily, the ecosystem of faster business innovation."

Founder/CEO
Advertising, Marketing

"Change of customer behaviour in an ubiquitous world."

Innovation Director
Electronics, Electrical Equipment

To read the 'Closing Remarks' click here.

CTA SURVEY long 2

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Articles on Research Report 2018/19

Thought Leader from different industries have written an article on their interpretation of the Global State of Operational Excellence Survey Report - Critical Challenges & Future Trends - 2018/2019:

  • 'Executive Summary' by Vijay Bajaj

  • 'Closing Remarks' by Brian Reffell

  • 'Demands Of The Customer Are Changing' by Vijay Bajaj

  • 'The Critical Challenges Analysed' by Vijay Bajaj

  • 'Diligent and cautious approach needed for Digitalization' by Srikanth Achyutuni, Cyient Dig

    Delivery / Operational / Business Excellence or even bigger Org. Excellence - Whatever may be the nomenclature, in essence these are the continual improvement initiatives invested into by the organizations with a ROI expectation. Such CI programs need to be caressed from various dimensions namely leadership commitment, measurement, competency building and org. permeability for a solid foundation and long term dividends. Without such rigor, these drives either slide into oblivion or continue to exist only as slides on power points. Now, the greater challenge is organizations catching the digital train failing to recognize this as an issue or ignoring the ‘white elephant’. Click here to read the whole article.

 

  • 'Addressing OE Challenges with Culture & Sustainmentby Joseph D. Vacca, Cigna

    Operational Excellence (OE) has a wide range of definitions.  Accordingly, OE programs are applied in very different ways across companies and industries.  The “BTOES Global State of OE Survey” identified Culture & Sustainment as the biggest challenges facing OE programs, regardless of how an OE program is designed.  We have identified emerging best practices in OE program design and deployment that drive more effective cultural transformation and naturally enable longer term sustainment. Click here to read the whole article.

  • 'Sustaining Operational Excellence: Why so hard?' by  Sisir Padhy, verizon

    Sustaining a golden path is so difficult, with all the distractions in an ever-changing business dynamics. Yet the few that can keep the path while adapting to the evolving technology, customer interactions and constantly learning can gain immensely both in business growth, profitability, while exciting their customers. Click here to read the whole article.

  • 'Linking Operational Excellence, Business Transformation & Cultural Change into a Sustainable Business Model' by Leonard R. Hepp, LLC

    BTOES 2018 Insights Report is a “rich survey of how Operational Excellence (OpEx) needs to evolve”. Highlighted by this Survey and prior Global Surveys over the last 10 years, this article explores how reinforcing a maturity shift in OpEx from a “Separate From” traditional operational approach to a “Part Of” Business Transformation and Cultural Change can lead to successful business deployment. A model for integrated Process Improvement (OpEx), Business Transformation, & Cultural Change is presented as a sustainable business wide Enterprise Excellence strategy. Key elements of such a strategy and deployment, with references, are included. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'The Wheel of Sustainability – A Model to Help Improvement Efforts Live on' by Adam Lawrence, Process Improvement Partners LLC

    Some of the best ideas and improvements don’t get implemented properly or live on in organizations. 38% of respondents in the 2018/2019 Global State of Operational Excellence research report listed Execution & Sustaining Operational Excellence Projects as one of their top 3 most critical Operational Excellence-focused challenges affecting their job role right now. Through intense study and trial and error and improvement, Process Improvement Partners LLC has developed the Wheel of Sustainability.  Using this model, teams can insure that their efforts will be properly implemented and leave a legacy. Click here to read the whole article.


  • 'The Mainstay of Operational Excellence for Cultural Transformation' by Steven Hoisington, Flowserve Corporation

    Cultural transformation is the major challenge identified by leaders through the 2018 BTOES Global State of Operational Excellence survey.  The end-to-end, wholistic approach that principles of Operational Excellence provide is required for organizational improvement that is key for cultural transformation.  Therefore, principles of Operational Excellence will be the mainstay for cultural transformation and address other key business challenges also identified by the survey.  The organization needs to develop Operational Excellence leaders that are skilled in organization-wide change management and cultural changing mindsets.  The future role of Operational Excellence leaders has never been so important.  Click here to read the whole article.



  • '“Who is the most important enabler of transformation in your organization?”' by Alan Bronowicz, Refinitiv

    To achieve operational excellence most organizations will be required to transform the way they operate, their systems, and their cultures. Who is responsible for leading the transformation efforts and ensuring success? While it is no surprise to expect the executives to be accountable for success it can be surprising how critical it is for the executives to be hands on leaders driving the transformation efforts through to successful completion. Leading transformation must now be a top priority for every executive. Click here to read the whole article.

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  • 'Challenges and opportunities at customer experience programs' by Leandro Mello Bacellar, Volvo Trucks

    The business environment is changing at high speed, like we have never seen before, mainly due to evolving consumer behaviour, new digital capabilities and innovation. One common perspective among companies leading this highly competitive environment is the customer centricity strategy which drives their culture, success and purpose.

    Customer experience programs are on the top of the agenda of companies that are eager to embark on this new “customer Era”. Challenges and opportunities on the leadership, governance, management and continuous improvement practices will be presented to the practitioners and how to identify, act, learn and move forward will be the key for success. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'The Incredible Power of Simplicity' by George H. Friesen, St. Louis Community College

    The Global State of Operational Excellence 2018 report states that the primary challenge confronting Operational Excellence is this: Changing & Improving the Company Culture. Repeatedly, I’ve seen change processes drive quick improvements in productivity, followed by a slide into oblivion. And why does this happen?  Leadership teams expect too much to happen too quickly and apply initial change processes that are far too complex, failing to appreciate the great power of simple, high impact interactions they could have with employees.  Also, they delegate to others in the organization the heavy lifting needed to drive a cultural transformation. This never works. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Cultural Transformation & Leadership Buy-In and Understanding'  by Ganapathy Subrahmaniam, Voith GmbH

    Every Operational Excellence professional, especially those without direct reports must understand 1 key fact: The goal is not to do something; it is to get it done. There is a difference. One needn’t burden oneself with all the thinking & execution work. That is counterproductive. There are a group of talented individuals called shop-floor employees who are thirsting to get their ideas implemented; if only someone capable will evaluate & prioritize their ideas and then create a system of transparent accountability. Cultural Transformation & Leadership Buy-In and Understanding occurs thus and then the magic of sustained Operational Excellence takes over. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Our experience in deploying and sustaining an OE system @ BNP Paribas' by Youcef Bensafi, BNP Paribas

    The different steps in deploying a program (pilot, deployment, integration) are usually well known by OE professionals, yet these very professionals confess they have difficulties as far as Culture change and sustainability of improvement are concerned. The Operational Excellence team members at BNP Paribas share their experience in deploying an OE System in a large organization and point out the pitfalls and best practices that can explain/prevent such difficulties. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Make the World a Better Place for All through Cultural transformation' by Johan Southey, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa – International Division (CCBAiD)

    Globally the world is awaking to the real changes that Operational Excellence require. The findings contained in the 2018 Global survey supports the notion that, the real changes that are needed, manifest in cultural and personal transformations. These changes are predicted by a transformational change model on a local level but appears to be perfectly replicated at a macro level to represent the Operational Community at large. Click here to read the whole report.

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  • 'It’s Time for SMBs to implement Operational Excellence themselves' by Mark Rehn, My Business Excellence
    Far too many SMBs are missing out on the benefits of a comprehensive and well-executed operational excellence implementation. This article highlights root causes and specifies in detail what must be done to overcome all of them. A link is provided to a compliant solution for any SMB wanting a simple, pragmatic approach for ‘learning by doing’ - as distinct from the lengthy and costly approaches widely adopted by large businesses. The article closes with quantification of the proven net benefits of operational excellence for an SMB.

  • 'Comprehensive Approach for Sustained Operational Excellence' by Dawit Berhane


  • 'Don’t Work on Culture!' by Alan Ichikawa, Ichikawa Performance Improvement

    This article highlights something not identified in survey responses as the best way for organizations to improve operational excellence.  Working on this one thing could do more than concentrating on changing and improving company culture, which was identified by fifty-three percent of BTOES survey responders as the most critical Operational Excellence-focused challenge. Working on this one thing could also improve operational excellence more than driving an end-to-end business transformation culture, which my interrelationship digraph points to. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Operations Excellence – a new world if you can take it….' by Alex Lima, Maxpeople

    Operations excellence is a key focused area in management, it seems there is widespread interest in understanding more. Yet most organizations do not have a formal approach to operations excellence, have timid programs or are just beginning to explore the area with some sort of structure. Operations excellence should be a companywide effort. There are some requirements to make it successful: it needs to be well defined and communicated widely; it needs to consider management of change; it needs to have the proper management buy in; it needs to have a roadmap built and finally it needs to be kept it simple and objective. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Business Transformation in the Property and Casualty Insurance Industry' by Parag Gupta, RSA Canada

    The Insurance industry is faced with a challenge of delivering its products and services promptly, and with a seamless user experience. Insurance companies need to transform, keeping in mind that we are in the age of Customer Delight. To be a leader in the insurance industry, customer experience with your company should be much better than with any competitor. There are however, multiple challenges for transformation that the industry faces such as multiple legacy systems, unintegrated / partially integrated vendor systems, as well as difficulty with cultural transformation.

    For a successful end to end business transformation, Insurance companies need to build a robust transformation roadmap that extends to their vendors, agents and broker partners using this approach… Click here to read the whole article.


  • 'Operational Excellence is not a “buzz word”' by  Heather Eusebio

  • 'Primary Measures of Success of OPEX Program' by Al Mostacciuolo, Independent Lean Six Sigma Consultant

    This article reviews the top three measures of success of OPEX Programs identified by respondents to the BTOES survey: Customer Delight, Process Improvements and Cost Reductions. While these measures provide a good sense of program success, a more forward looking metric, Customer Success, utilizing a customer health score, can have profound effect on how customers view our products and services.  Capturing issues or “Non-Delighters” early will allow our organizations to better adapt to changing customer demands. Click here to read the whole article.

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  • 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Sustaining an Operational Excellence Program' by Damian Bivona, AIG

    In today's fast paced world of “get it done now”, who has the time to ensure that successfully improved processes delivered will continue to work as designed? After all a lot of time and money was spent to make a positive difference for your customer, so isn't that enough to keep things going? This article takes a brief closer look at what happens if you don't take the time to revisit the process and what simple steps can be taken to stay on track and overall sustaining of the program. Remember your customer expects the very best so don't disappoint them. Click here to read the whole article.


  • 'Operations Excellence means change excellence' by Dr. Joachim Wolbersen, Five Elements Consulting & Training HmbH

    The BTOES survey report 2018 again shows that a major challenge for OpEx projects is a lack of leadership. Against the background sound of buzz-words like digitization and disruption -  working as a major explanation of everything, the implementation of sustainable results seems to be less important than showing speed and action to the audience, confounding this to show “innovation”.

    This article gives some hints why you shouldn´t be this kind of manager. Successful leaders focus on developing their change excellence. They focus themselves on attentiveness, patience and endurance. You should do that too. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'So, how do we grow OE in light of change drivers?' by Pranay Butala, Reed Group

    As companies accelerate its technology and operations, Operational Excellence (OE) must also keep pace to stay relevant.  The OE teams of past were embedded in singular approaches such as training and projects. But, now, with reduced manpower and budgets, all the while increasing demands to innovate and evolve, we need to quickly partner with the rest of the organization to help it accelerate up the curve.   This article will focus on the stages of evolution, and how we as the OE team, can help our company grow and transform. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Culture, culture, culture - Do we need to change and improve it or help it evolve?' by Steve Waszak


  • 'Company culture resides in the trenches.' by Canice Pinto, First Advantage

    Per the BTOES poll, company culture and sustaining continuous improvement culture are amongst the top issues that operational excellence practitioners lose sleep over - this article attempts to demystify what company culture is, from a continuous improvement context; how organizational structure influences culture; the constraints of the conventional set-up; how culture can be measured; and, most important, how culture can be changed over time. Also, articulating the strategy to sustain company culture is paramount, as it would make execution less painful. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Sustainability of Operational Excellence in the Age of Disruption and Change' by Rebecca H Mott, Tennessee Valley Authority

    Sustaining the momentum of operational excellence initiatives can be challenging in an environment vulnerable to disruption and subject to rapid change.  We must keep leaders engaged and enable Lean Six Sigma professionals to support organizations through times of transition. This article summarizes three key challenges Operational Excellence leaders must navigate to sustain engagement while remaining adaptive. Click here to read the whole article.

  • 'Our industry is full of buzzword bingo and acronyms' by Stefan Schmidt, innogy Consulting

    Sometimes, I wonder if my industry’s obsession with buzzwords and acronyms to some extend confuses the client or simply covers up a consultants’ lack of customer understanding.The truth is – and most consultants should agree on that – that the oldest philosophies, with the simplest solutions, and coincidentally with the fewest buzzwords, are in general the most impactful ones. Understanding customers, and putting them at the heart of the organization, should be the first priority for every business. This rather simple strategy has caught out a number of European utilities. A lack of ability to quickly adjust to customers’ demands and needs, ultimately had a profound impact on utilities’ business models. In the past, utilities have focused on well-known tools, such as classical lean management and cost efficiency, but they have done little to prepare the business for the unknown unknowns of innovation and customer demands. The energy revolution – moving away from conventional power such as coal and nuclear towards renewable energy – became a game changer for many large utilities. Today we can proudly say that innogy, one of Europe’s largest utilities, has transformed from a traditional, fully integrated utility to a multi-sided, innovative company, focusing on customer needs, operational excellence and lean principles. We have established a culture of continuous improvement and enabling employees. And most importantly, we developed a leadership style that is focusing on sustainability and systemic change. Based on our experience, a combination of operational excellence and systemic perceiving was crucial to successfully shape our company and the entire energy industry and to get closer to the customer. Inspired how to shape your industry with operational excellence and systemic change? Do not hesitate to reach out and get in touch. Click here to read the whole article.

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  • 'Key OpEx Drivers and How to leverage them' by Kaushal Mehta, Reliance Industries Ltd.

    Using Research Report 2018/19, this article identifies Key OpEx Drivers and provides actionable insights on approaches to leverage them. The author explores emerging themes which are accelerating the pace of change in the world around us – right from our workplace to our homes. The article highlights how the OpEx professional will need to tackle new challenges and evolve in a new role. The author is optimistic about OpEx effort re-imagining itself in VUCA world. Click here to read the whole article.


  • 'Culture- A competitive differentiator in the digital age' by Dushyanth Sekhar, S&P Global

    “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” - a phrase coined by Peter Drucker and made famous by Mark Fields, President at Ford, is an absolute reality. In today’s digital age, as organizations are trying to move away from traditional business models and pursuing a more agile and technology driven strategy, success is highly correlated with a company’s culture. Is culture a competitive differentiator today and in the future ? The answer is a resounding “yes.” Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Culture - the result of shared values' by Steven Hodlin, Blackbaud, Inc.

    The primary result from the Global State of Operational Excellence report indicates that changing and improving culture is the top challenge, followed by leadership buy-in and understanding. These two issues are linked. In this article this linkage is summarized from the perspective of leadership involvement in changing experiences leading to cultural shifts. The article also highlights the importance of systems thinking for business transformation, change management and metrics in the deployment of operational excellence improvements and the sustainment of the improvements. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Operational Excellence is Cultural Transformation- (or the other way around?)' by Edgard Graterol, LSG Group 

    What should be the balance and order between culture and methodology deployment in the quest for operational excellence?   OPEX programs are usually seen as the application of a series of tools to create a new culture. This same programs have lately been tasked with delivering digital transformation but not explicitly tasked with cultural deployment. Although it is mostly understood that this transformation cannot be sustainable without a heavy dose of change management, it is often difficult for the very leaders that support this movement to articulate their strategy in terms of concrete actions to support cultural transformation. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Operational Excellence- Time to eat our own dog food' by Bart Reijs, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG
     
    The need for Operational Excellence seems clearer than it ever has been. With the challenges organizations are faced with, it should be on the top of organizations agendas and priorities. The BTOES report shows a whole different reality. Operational Excellence is struggling to get recognition traction, and funding. So OPEX seems to fail, exactly in we are set up to do for our organizations. Is it because we don’t live by our own rules? Click here to read the whole article.
     

  • 'Don’t hire People who fit your organisation' by Philip Holt, Travelport

    According to BTOES Insight’s ‘The Global State of Operational Excellence’, the key challenge facing OpEx programs is changing and improving company culture. However, many organisations still fall into the trap of hiring people who fit their current culture, which is counter-intuitive to changing the culture.

    The people driving an organisation’s transformation must be able to both understand what the target culture will look like and take it on the journey. In the pursuit of Operational Excellence, cultural change is clearly the number one priority of Leaders across industries, and it is therefore crucial that an organisation hires Change agents, not Same agentsClick here to read the whole article.



  • 'How to implant an Operational Excellence Culture and not die trying' by Marta Ventosa, TheLeanLevel

    With this article you are going to learn how to avoid the 7 most common mistakes that companies make when implementing a cultural change and can lead them to an epic failure. Then we will discuss the 10 key factors to a successful change to ensure that you are not going to be one of the themClick here to read the whole article.

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  • 'Increasing demand for operational excellence methodologies even in non-mandated companies' by Byron Tatsumi, Salesforce

    One of the key findings from the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit’s 2018/2019 research report, “The Global State of Operational Excellence,” was that nearly 60 percent of respondents cited operational excellence methodologies as growing in popularity. Based on my recent experience in leading the creation and launch of our company-wide Process Innovation program, I have seen first-hand the need and demand by leadership and employees for methodologies. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'One word:  People' by Joan Adams, Pierian Consulting

    The key to the success of any process improvement project is People. If the initiative ignores the human factor - the project will not succeed nor will any successes last very long. People aren’t like machines or computers.  They are much much better.  Use “people” qualities such as pride, loyalty, sense of community to succeed. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Step-by-Step Approach To Transform your Business' by Shankar Ranganathan, Humana Inc.

    We are in a consumer-driven business world where technology-savvy consumers are comfortable getting their jobs done from their mobile devices. According to Adobe analytics data, 2018 Thanksgiving online traffic from smartphones has hit a record high of 54.4% and Thanksgiving day online spending has reached $3.7 billion—which is a 28% jump from 2017. Therefore, organizations are challenged by consumers to either transform their business model or lose their business. As an example, 125-year-old Sears was not able to show a profit from 2010 and recently filed for bankruptcy. With limited time and resources, organizations need a systematic approach to assess their current business model, transform, and build and implement a new one to deliver delightful customer experiences. This article presents a systematic approach to transform any business from End-to-End, eliminating the risk of addressing the challenges in isolation. Click here to read the whole article.

     

  • 'Focus culture change to where the actual work is done' by Suzanne van Egmond, Philips
     
    Let’s reflect on what is leadership buy-in actually means. What leadership is required for a desire to change the company culture? Just agreeing to the direction is not enough.The the key root cause for failure to sustain cultural changes sits with the inability to effectively demand, to ask for, and coach the behaviors and methods you want to be part of the new culture. Click here to read the whole article.


  • 'Building an improvement culture, fast and slow' by Lucie Morel,  LM Consulting

    There is not one single magic recipe to build an improvement culture. It is an ongoing journey which requires unlearning and learning new ways of thinking as well as building a system where strategy, people and work are aligned. Deming PDCA cycle (Plan Do Check Act) is an effective way to experiment and work on this challenge. The leader needs to show the way and be the first one to incarnate the improvement culture for it to stick. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Changing and Improving Company Culture - what is needed beyond continuous improvement tools and methodologies?' by Steffen Weber, Syngenta

    The article focusses on the top 3 challenges that the Global State of Operational Excellence report outlines: changing company culture, manager buy in and sustaining change. It highlights a holistic, people-focused approach in Syngenta Seeds Development. The approach builds on three tactics which show positive effects with regard to said challenges. The tactics tackle the pain points and mirror the Operational Excellence function in the organization. The approach engages other critical business functions and demands accountability from leadership. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Check-points for traversing the exciting journey of End-to-End business transformation' by Sriram Balasubramanian, BASF India 
     
    Operational Excellence is a strategic pillar and widely adopted by most leading companies. While there is a general agreement on the concepts and value addition it can provide, most initiatives fall short of expectations due to multiple factors. I am sharing a few check key points based on my experience that may help Operational Excellence practitioners, while initiating such programs. Click here to read the whole article.


  • 'Cultural Transformation and Sustenance of Operational Excellence' by N A Sudhakar, Mangal Industries Limited

    “Operational excellence is mainly depending upon the Company culture and its continual improvement programs, Cultural transformation is the one of the main prerequisite for sustaining Operational excellence, Cultural transformation is top driven and needs total employee involvement. According to my experience the barrier for these programs I find it is due to the middle managers in a company, you need to focus and strengthen your middle level managers on understanding the improvement programs, empower them to focus on the transformation continually by various improvement programs required as per the company business objective or manufacturing excellence objective”. Click here to read the whole article.

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  • 'Why Is Change So Hard?' by Terrence Magee, Ciox Health

    One of the critical challenges facing Operational Excellence leaders is changing and improving the company culture. A healthy culture can positively impact attributes such as employee engagement, retention, and productivity.

    Although the path to improvement may present challenges and obstacles, positive changes can be achieved and sustained by following a smart strategy. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Lean Six Sigma and Process Automation : Does a Bot need a Lean Process?' by Iris Gregoriou, Manulife & John Hancock

    What impact does the digital age have on those who practice Lean and Six Sigma methodologies? Digitization and automation are critical parts of any process evaluation or improvement today – and vice versa. Each organization uses operational excellence methodologies in a different way; each organization may or may not be automating processes. The question is, can the two really operate independently? Driving improvements using Lean or Six Sigma methodologies is no longer enough on its own. Process experts must understand the value of automation tools and be comfortable operating in a digital world – or risk being left behind. Click here to read the whole article.

  • 'Operational Excellence - only the fittest survive' by Sriram Dharmarajan, Independent Business Consultant
     
    Through this article we look at the demands and the opportunities that businesses derive from a dynamic operational excellence and business transformation plan. The author delves into his experience as a business consultant and provides insights into how a few businesses have been successful in driving change by addressing cultural and technology challenges. He also provides suggestions on overcoming difficulties in gaining leadership buy-in. Click here to read the whole article.


  • 'Innovation in Cultural Transformation' by Anu Pujji, Molina Healthcare Inc

    Customer Obsession is the new ideology that drives the customer success strategies for organizations. “Disruption” and “Tradition” must co-exist in the cultural mind-set of an organization that is committed to leading positive transformation to better serve their customers. Strengthening the connection between junior talented employees and senior leaders is vital to promote unconventional approaches to solve for chronic deficiencies that limit the potential growth of an organization. Every member of an organization has the ability to improve their own processes by practicing the core principles of Operational Excellence at the grass-roots level. Enabling staff who are change agents is the key to setting this transformation in motion. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'Maintaining Key Priorities Consistently' by Andrea Sinclair, University of Louisville School of Medicine

    Even the best laid plans can falter when faced with the complexity of daily operations. Leaders are the ones who connect people to change and share the vision for the new destination found by operational excellence - but when it comes time to translate between ideal and real it often pays to look around rather than up for implementation support.” Click here to read the whole article.

  • 'Learning to Speak the Same Language' by Kevin Kellow, ASRC Federal

     
    How we communicate is often more important than what we communicate.  Learning how to understand what is important to both you and your audience is key to building and sustaining successful change. This article offers examples and lessons learned to help the reader recognize potential communication pitfalls and how to address them in order to improve your chances of success with cultural  and change management activities. Click here to read the whole article.


  • 'Delivering change through top-down and bottom-up...' by Karen Winter, Taylor & Francis Group

    Although it may appear that some perspectives shared in the BTOES report contradict one another, our experience so far indicates that these potentially opposing priorities will need to be aligned to deliver genuine and lasting change. This article shares why empowerment and collaboration are key to supporting our transformation efforts, and why I believe that this needs to happen at all levels and in all areas of the business. Click here to read the whole article.

     

  • 'Culture Over Anything' by Peter Cihunka, Mutual of Omaha

    In this article, I discuss some of the most popular themes and challenges that confront op ex practitioners today: technology, leadership, culture, and how to influence leaders by speaking their language. It is a very slippery slope to assert that Op Ex has peaked and now has dawned the age of Digital Op Ex. Click here to read the whole article.

  • 'Assessing the Corporate Culture' by Linh Truong, Orthofix

    The role that a company’s culture plays in its success or failure is becoming increasingly clear over the past 20 years. Senior management’s aggressive stance on how much risk they are willing to accept for the sake of growing the top line and the resulting downfall can be seen in the headlines. This article will provide stakeholders a roadmap to assessing the company’s culture, including the following areas:

    • Organizational  Strategy / Objectives
    • Organizational Structure
    • Compensation / Incentives
    • Risk Management
    • Company Policies
    • Board Reporting
    • External Feedback


  • 'Let’s make OpEx simple again' by Michael Stober, Citizens Bank
    The success of any organization’s Operational Excellence program is critically dependent on three things:
    1. Full transparency and agreement into the desired P&L and/or non-economical outcome of the program
    2. Acute focus on the impact participant behavior has on execution and result of the program
    3. Clear delineation and agreement of accountabilities of each interested party
     
    Inaction on the items above, will create barriers in the program and stall both its success and realization of benefits. Click here to read the whole article.
     

  • 'Improving the Reliability of Care and the Healthcare Culture' by Twila Burdick

    Healthcare faces unique organizational culture challenges related to a dependence on physician autonomy in making clinical decisions. Recognizing that changes in care must be based on good science and have the support of doctors, Banner Health developed a framework for improving clinical reliability.  They engaged clinicians in defining, designing, and implementing improved care practices. The Chief Medical Officer and other senior leadership supported this work with resources to make the changes and monitor progress. The Banner experience demonstrated that improvement in clinical care is possible and barriers to change created by the culture can be addressed. Click here to read the whole article.


  • 'The only certainty in business is change' by Jack Frank, WestRock's MPS

    WestRock’s MPS division is committed to being a leader in the packaging industry. MPS is a trusted, global supplier of packaging for the Healthcare, Consumer Branded, and Multi Media industries, that consistently delivers packaging to customers more efficiently, and at a lower cost. Deploying technologies like Extended Gamut printing reduces wash up and set-up time and caters to shorter runs, serving our customers faster without compromising quality, brand recognition, and shelf appeal. Click here to read the whole article.


  • 'Be ready for the future’s why of your company' by Stefan Lanssens, Cargill

    About ten years ago Operation Excellence was embraced in some companies with precaution. Change is common and we need to change even if we do not know exactly why or how. Hoshin Kanri is one of those tools helping leaders to formulate the how of the business’ change to be cascaded down effectively. If this is accompanied by defining challenging objectives in one’s annual Performance Review it will work. New technologies will be cloud based and peer-to-peer. Blockchain technology used in Bitcoin will change the way of thinking in Supply Chain Management. Click here to read the whole article.

  • 'Steps: a story of progression within Stevanato Group' by Massimiliano Niselli, Stevanato Group

    In this article the OpEx path of a primary packaging company is explained, from its birth until today. The team is going to face a lot of challenges in the near future, in particular we feel the need of a change management, the lack of resources and the digital mismatch. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'For operational Sustainability' by Dany Beaudoin, CEZinc

    The limits of continuous improvement as a driver of change and process optimization are increasingly being observed in. Many people think that the advent of the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 will create, a second wind in continuous improvement. However, it will not be enough. To be successful at implementing a culture change or simply maintaining the gains of a continuous improvement program, companies must ensure that their management system is in place and regularly revised. Click here to read the whole article.

  • '"It’s about the people, stupid"' by Jeremy Moorman, Applied Industrial Technologies

    It can be challenging at times to achieve leadership buy-in for Operational Excellence. We’ve found frequently that this is caused by historical misapplication of tools and perhaps forgetting that change is all about people. We’re trying to simplify our language and stay mindful of how we impact people, and how do we demonstrate improvement well. Click here to read the whole article.



  • 'One measure doesn’t fit all!' by Andrea Conte


  • 'Three execution design rules to succeed' by Kasper Uhd Jepsen, Danske Bank

    According to recent global report, top three challenges in executing your Operational Excellence programmes are culture, sustain execution and end-to-end focus. This is a paradox as these challenges should be core components of your execution design. Read more to get an insight into which basic rules can be applied to overcome your challenges. Click here to read the whole article.

  • 'Making Culture Stick' by Jeff Hayes, J. Hayes Consulting

    Making culture stick not only starts at the top but also bubbles up from the front line of an organization. There is no one definitive way to make it work, but much of getting culture to permeate and stick has to do with leader ship and accountability. This will give you a brief insight into some ideas on how to accomplish that. Click here to read the whole article. 

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Closing Remarks

“The Industrial Revolution was a watershed in the history of mankind. Three forces – technology, economic organization, and science, in this sequence – each from separate and undistinguished parentage, linked up, inconspicuously at first, to form, hardly a hundred years ago, into a social maelstrom that is still engulfing new and new millions of people, in an irresistible rush.” 

- Karl Polanyi “For a New West” 1958

 

Click here to download the full Report 2018/19.

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

 

For me the parallels of this obscure commentary on the first industrial revolution, within the new paradigm of operation excellence is all too apparent. The three forces of OpEx - people, processes and technology - are combining with ever increasing pace and complexity to provide businesses across the globe with access to a range of elegant and efficient solutions and services that bring with them the potential for exponential growth and opportunity. However, as revealed throughout this report they come hand-in-hand with a plethora of equally complex, less simple to solve critical challenges, as commented: “This company's culture would fit nicely about a decade ago. We cannot continue to ask for improvements in technology and support processes and allow for the rest of the company (HR and Executive teams) to work under an Old Power model”

 

Yet again, the No.1 challenge for the overwhelming majority of businesses, regardless of size, industry or geography remains Culture; it is no coincidence that companies that get this right reap the rewards and the results speak for themselves, companies in the “Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For” happen to achieve a return in market annualised growth twice the return of the average return of companies in the S&P 500 and the Russell 3000 indices. “Your best assets are your people. You need everyone rowing in the same direction to drive...”

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Disappointingly - leadership buy-in/support - has gone up in the charts to 5th place this year. As has been demonstrated time and again, unless Leadership aligns with and drives your OpEx program, you are not going to sustain it, and are very unlikely to get it off the ground in the 1st place. The demands on a leaders’ time and resources has grown exponentially, meaning that it is more likely that not having a dedicated resource to lead OpEx initiatives impacts disproportionately on the bottom line. I look forward to the year when leadership buy-in/support is not on the list at all and as a result Culture tumbles down the charts, until then as commented. “Leadership, without an understanding of and ability to drive Operational Excellence and the Culture to support and sustain it, it will not happen.”

 

Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends

 

As the survey illustrates, 2018 may be the watershed year for end-to-end business transformation as more and more businesses stop focusing on incremental/marginal improvements and strive to unlock value driven cross- functional improvements, as highlighted in the report by commentary such as “End to End business transformation. We've locked value into how we do business via inefficiencies in our systems. Extracting that value is critical, and Operational Excellence is an element in the strategy to do this.”

 

‘Customer Delight’ may be the most important term in OpEx right now and if you are not aware of it, you better get aware of it and fast! If you are not focused on providing your customers with an ‘Amazon’ type experience, then you are doubtless in the process of writing your own obituary. More than ever the customer is dictating the agenda that business is required to deliver, and new technologies are enabling the pace at which that change happens, and it is only getting faster; as one commentator puts it, “The changing demand of customers dictates the way we deliver our services, everything else follows”.

 

Technology advancements continue to define the new reality of operational excellence in the early 21st century. Many organisations struggle to realize the advantages, but are all too familiar with the pitfalls, due to a lack of talent, knowledge and resource. “At this point keeping up with new technologies and implementing them quickly has been a problem that prevented us from capturing the benefits of external innovation”. If your business does not have access to the new breed of technology enablers, to maximise its agile potential then you are at a distinct competitive disadvantage.

 

It is extremely heartening to note that operational excellence is now seen as an essential part of any organisation’s strategic weaponry and is more popular than ever, with 60% of businesses now reporting that they have a programme – a very encouraging development. Its usage continues to spread to encompass job functions that were previously out of scope, such as: sales, marketing, purchasing, accounting and finance. With scope has come maturity and that can be seen as underpinning the success that the most progressive organisations are achieving and conversely the lack of success that some organisations are experiencing, due to a lack of stability; which in turn has led to a lack of focus, execution and sustainability. As one respondent’s perspective demonstrates: “Ever-changing headcount and personnel continuously changes the dynamics of how our OpEx works effectively. continuous retraining, and refreshers are necessary to bring new personnel up to pace, and encourage senior personnel to maintain”.

 

The big beasts are no more, it’s now all about peers, industry experts and the companies themselves. This is probably the most significant attitude shift over the last decade. previously, respondents had shown a clear preference for wanting to hear from ‘industry giants’ such as ‘Welch’ & ‘Collins’; this year only 4.7% of respondents mentioned the top performing ‘beast’. The new business leaders want to hear from hands on practitioners, their peers or industry experts about what progressive companies are doing and are much more focussed on transferable outcomes and dynamics; which in the age of true globalization, meeting the ‘I’m a rock-star/on-demand’ culture and the push for universal high performing teams makes perfect sense.

 

Underpinning the report at every stage is PEOPLE. It is striking, at least for me, how much there seems to have been the ‘sudden’ realisation that processes, and technology are redundant concepts, without people. Having a committed and fully ‘bought-in’ workforce is the key to unlocking true value in Operational Excellence and transforming your business, as this CEO realises all too well. “I see the key drivers pushing change in the operational excellence ecosystem as today's "short-term engagement" employees who prefer to change companies rather than climbing the corporate ladder, causing companies to need to invest more time & effort in ensuring their clients/customers are happy interacting with them in their purchasing decisions.”

 

Finally, I leave you with this little snippet – discuss...

“Operational excellence as a function has reached its saturation peak and now it is the age of Digital Disruption. Leveraging Ops Excellence would involve doing Design Thinking to understand customer needs and then integrating concepts of variance reduction leveraging Lean Six Sigma to design the "Ideal Process" - this should then go through the digital transformation”

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About the Authors

Vijay Bajaj : Research Report 2018/19 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future TrendsVijay Bajaj
Founder and CEO, BTOES

Vijay has founded, built and sold two successful market-leading businesses. The first in London, UK in the office equipment distribution sector, which he launched in 1991 and sold to Ingram Micro in 1999, after which he took a year off and traveled around India with his wife. The second headquartered out of Chicago, IL, in the large-scale commercial B2B conference sector, which was launched in 2001 and sold in 2012.

In 2012 he retired to spend time with family and focus on meditation.

In 2015 he was looking for the next challenge and founded and is currently CEO of the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit & Industry Awards (BTOES), which has become the largest senior-level cross-industry event within the sector, BTOES.com, and BTOESInsights.com a professional online content platform for senior-level executives involved in continuous improvement, which has grown to over 188,000 subscribers.

He is also an angel investor, mentor, and board advisor.

Vijay lives in Stanmore, Middlesex, UK, with his wife Reshma, son Armaan, and labrador Archie.

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Brian Reffell: Closing Remarks - Research Report 2018/19Brian Reffell
CCO and Programme Director

Brian is a commercial specialist, programme director and innovator - with a focus on live events, conferences, exhibitions and media on an international basis.

Disciplined business development director, with extensive team building and leading skills. Direct 'hands-on' experience within the legal, finance, pharmaceutical, life sciences, IT, continuous improvement, energy, gaming & professional services industries. 

Commercial and project consultant/implementor on start-up's, through to established Plc's in business areas ranging from transport to technology. Interested in all aspects of the events industry - from early-stage startups to companies “on the bubble”, through to established Plc's.

Specialties: Revenue generation, commercial/sponsorship sales and commercial negotiation. Relationship building and account management. Building and leading focused commercial sales teams.

 

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BTOES.com

Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit & Industry Awards (BTOES19). March 18-22, 2019, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort®

It also hosts the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awards, which showcase globally the most outstanding organizational achievements through the application of Operational Excellence programs.

The summits hosts a number of private forums for C-Level & Global corporate-level leaders as well as business unit heads.

With over 150 speakers, over 100 sessions, 12 Keynotes, 9 Track Themes, 5 parallel tracks, 60+ track sessions, 50 roundtable discussions, 20 Interactive Workshops, 6 Thought Leader Panels, 5 Leaders Boardrooms, 5 co-located events, the Industry Awards Program, Site Visits, 20+ hours of social networking including 2 gala cocktail parties, dinners, numerous group activities, this is the ultimate event to benchmark, network and drive Operational Excellence to the next level.

Quick Links

Speakers

Agenda

BTOES19 Awards

There is a strong focus on Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding. We dedicated two tracks to advanced technologies, such as AI, Machine Learning, RPA, Predictive Analytics, Blockchain, Cloud infrastructure etc.

The agenda is designed to encourage active meaningful conversations though all day enhanced networking and interaction opportunities, including

  • All-day Refreshment & Themed Breaks

  • 1¼ Hour Hot Breakfast Networking Sessions

  • 1½ Hour Hot Plated Networking Lunches with Topic & Industry Sector focussed tables

  • 1½ Hour Roundtable Sessions by Topic & Industry Sector.

  • Keynote & Themes Panel Sessions

  • Hosted Welcome Receptions from 5.30pm

  • Expanded more lavish Awards Program

  • Newly launched Night Summit for attendees to meet after dinner

 

For more information or to discuss the summit in more detail please schedule a call below,

Click here to schedule a call.

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BTOES19 EVENT