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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

Access Research Report 2018/19 Now


May the Force of Operational Excellence be with You!

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




Table of Contents


Sustaining Operational Excellence

Sustaining Operational Excellence: Why so hard?

Sisir Padhy, Ph.D.
Partner, Sudarsun & Former SVP, Business Excellence, 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.

The Wheel of Sustainability – A Model to Help Improvement Efforts Live on 

Adam Lawrence
Managing Partner, 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 Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Sustaining an Operational Excellence Program

Damian Bivona
Worldwide Operations Leader, 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.

Sustainability of Operational Excellence in the Age of Disruption and Change

Rebecca H. Mott 
Senior Continuous Improvement Specialist, 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.


Key Findings


For operational excellence sustainability

Dany Beaudoin
Operational excellence and special projects superintendent, 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.


Linking Operational Excellence, Business Transformation, & Cultural Change into a Sustainable Business Model

Leonard R Hepp, PhD
Founder and Enterprise Transformation Thought Leader, Enterprise Excellence Services, 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.

Click here to read the full Survey Report 2018/19.


Our experience in deploying and sustaining an OE system @ BNP Paribas

Youcef Bensafi – ACE Corporate Lean Six Sigma Director, BNP Paribas 
Frédéric Lefebvre - ACE Corporate Lean Six Sigma Coach, BNP Paribas 
Antoine Thery - ACE Corporate Lean Six Sigma Coach, 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.


Three execution design rules to succeed

Kasper Uhd Jepsen
Head of Strategy Execution, Transaction Banking and Investor Services, 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.


Addressing OE Challenges with Culture & Sustainment

Joseph D. Vacca
Head of Operational Excellence, CIGNA Government Segment 

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.


Primary Measures of Success of OPEX Program

Al Mostacciuolo
Manager Process Excellence, 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.


Back to top 


Cultural Transformation & Change Management

One word - People

Joan Adams
Owner, 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.


Improving the Reliability of Care and the Healthcare Culture
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 Mainstay of Operational Excellence for Cultural Transformation

Steven H. Hoisington
Vice President Operational Excellence, Quality, and Safety (Retired), 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.


Don’t hire people who fit your organisation

Philip Holt
VP Continuous Improvement, 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.

Cultural Transformation & Leadership Buy-In and Understanding

Ganapathy Subrahmaniam
Operational Excellence, Quality Assurance & Health-Safety-Environmental Manager, Voith Paper Fabric & Roll Systems Inc. (Shreveport, LA)

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.


Culture Over Anything

Peter Cihunka
Director of Operational Excellence, 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.


Making Culture Stick 

Jeff Hayes
Principal Consultant, 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.
Changing and Improving Company Culture - what is needed beyond continuous improvement tools and methodologies?
Steffen Weber
Head of Process Management, 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.


Steps: a story of progression within Stevanato Group

Massimiliano Niselli
Operational Excellence Coordinator, 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.


Assessing the Corporate Culture

Linh Truong
Director of Internal Audit, Finance, 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

Click here to read the whole report.

The Awakening

Johan Southey
Manufacturing Excellence Manager, 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.

Don’t Work on Culture!

Alan Ichikawa
Principal, 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.


It’s about the people, stupid

Jeremy Moorman
VP, Operational Excellence, 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.


Innovation in Cultural Transformation

Anu Pujji
Healthcare Business Practices Business Expert, Associate Vice President, Operational Excellence & Business Transformation Leading Industry Payer

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.


Black belts, step aside

Canice Pinto
Global Operational Excellence Leader, 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.

Culture- A competitive differentiator in the digital age

Dushyanth Sekhar
Senior Director, Center for Automation Robotics & Extraction, Chief Data Office, 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

Dr. Steven Hodlin
Vice President, Leadership and Operational Excellence, 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?)

Edgard Graterol
Vice President, Operations Value Chain - North America, 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.

How to implant an Operational Excellence Culture and not die trying

Marta Ventosa
Founder, 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.


Building an improvement culture, fast and slow    

Lucie Morel
CEO, 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.

Focus culture change to where the actual work is done 
Suzanne van Egmond
Strategic Project Manager, 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.

Cultural Transformation and Sustenance of Operational Excellence

N A Sudhakar
Chief Operations Officer, Mangal Industries Limited, An Amara Raja Company

“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.


Time to eat our own dog food

Bart Reijs
Head Process Management & Analysis, 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.

Delivering change through top-down and bottom-up, small wins and big transformations, global and local

Karen Winter, Director of Process Improvement, 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.


Changing Operations and Informal Leaders

Andrea Sinclair
Program Coordinator, 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.


So, how do we grow OE in light of change drivers?

Pranay Butala
Vice President, Strategy & Operations Transformation

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.


The only certainty in business is change

Jack Frank
Color Process Manager North America, 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.


Why Is Change So Hard?

Terrence A. Magee
Continuous Improvement and Customer Experience Leader, 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.


Operational Excellence means change excellence

Dr. Joachim Wolbersen
COO, 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.




Key Drivers & Future Trends

Key OpEx Drivers and How to leverage them

Kaushal Mehta
Vice President, 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.


The need for operational excellence in the VUCA world
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.
Be ready for the future’s why of your company
Stefan Lanssens
Lean Packaging Lead Europe, 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.


Increasing demand for operational excellence methodologies even in non-mandated companies

Byron Tatsumi 
Senior Director, 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.


Our industry is full of buzzword bingo and acronyms

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.


Lean Six Sigma and Process Automation: Does a Bot need a Lean Process?

Iris Gregoriou
AVP Continuous Improvement, 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.




Importance of Communication

Learning to Speak the Same Language 
Dr. Kevin Kellow
Vice President,  Continuous Improvement, 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.

“Who is the most important enabler of transformation in your organization?”

Alan Bronowicz
Head of Quote to Cash Transformation, 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.


Customer Delight - The Ultimate Goal

Challenges and opportunities at customer experience programs

Leandro Bacellar Mello
Vice President CRM & Operational Excellence, 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.



Let’s make OpEx simple again

Michael Stober
SVP Lean Process Reengineering, 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.

The Incredible Power of Simplicity

George H. Friesen, MA
Business Practice Leader – Lean Transformations, Saint 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.


Impact of Digitalization

Diligent and cautious approach needed for Digitalization

Srikanth Achyutuni
AGM – Business ProcessCyient Inc.

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.


End to End Transformation

Check-points for traversing the exciting journey of End-to-End business transformation
Sriram Balasubramanian
Head Business process management, 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.

Step-by-Step Approach To Transform your Business
Shankar Ranganathan
Business Process Engineer, Process Analytics and Automation, 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.


Business Transformation and Operational Excellence – Property and Casualty Insurance Industry

Parag Gupta
Sr. Business Consultant  - Claims Optimization, 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.


Operations excellence: a new world if you can take it...

Alex Lima
Managing Director, 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.


It’s Time for SMBs to implement Operational Excellence themselves

Dr Mark Rehn
Founder, 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. Click here to read the whole article.



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



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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About the Author

Vijay Bajaj Pic 2.JPGVijay 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,, and 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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