Charlotte Kelly
November 20, 2017

Key Findings: The Global State of Operational Excellence, 2017 Industry Report

2017 Operational Excellence Industry Report: The Global State of Operational Excellence

Announcing the most comprehensive Operational Excellence industry report of the year.

The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends seeks to understand the most pressing issues, priorities and future trends faced by OpEx Practitioners in 2017 and beyond. We’ve compiled the responses of hundreds of Operational Excellence practitioners to offer key insights into the state of Operational Excellence.

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Cultural Transformation is the most critical challenge facing OpEx Practitioners for the 2nd year in a row

This year, Culture featured most prominently as the critical issue included in over 24% of ALL survey responses to this question. Leadership was another key topic, included in 12.3% of responses, followed by Sustaining & Execution, featuring in just over 8% & 9% of responses respectively.

Culture Transformation challenges in Operational Excellence

12% of respondents are unsure of the solutions they wish to invest in

A large number of respondents were openly unsure of their plans for the future regarding solution providers. However, the most common types of solutions practitioners are looking to invest in are Data Analytics & Process Automation/RPA Solutions. Data Analytics was mentioned by 11% of respondents, with RPA and Process Automation receiving a 17.5% share.

The least common areas for planned investment this year are found in Risk Management & E-Learning, at just 3% each. Interestingly, we also see that BPM, a typically prominent area, has dropped to only 5% - however, it may be the case that respondents have opted to speak more specifically about their solution needs for 2018.

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Customer Satisfaction & Happiness is the most common “Measure of Success” for our practitioners

13% of our respondents identified their key measure of success as being focused around Customer Satisfaction, rather than practical KPIs or improvement metrics. 

Other key measures to note from these results are seeing an increase in profitability, reduced costs, the expansion of new projects, improved safety, and efficiency when dealing with clients. Performance metrics are still considered valuable when measuring success, particularly using metrics such as the Balance Scorecard, ROI, and KPIs.

Improving OpEx Culture in Business

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54% of respondents believe that wider understanding of Operational Excellence Methodologies is on the rise

It’s positive to find that 90% of our respondents believe the wider perception of Operational Excellence Methodologies to be maintaining, or increasing. As traditional methodologies such as Lean and Kaizen continue to be implemented in organizations, Operational Excellence is also growing in what it encompassesparticularly regarding the rise of Digital Transformation.

However, 20%* of our respondents still believe Lack of Leadership understanding & buy-in to be one of their most critical challenges, signaling that, whilst OpEx is gaining visibility, there is still a long way to go for many Operational Excellence Practitioners looking to implement best practices in their organizations.

The Threat of New Competition is the #1 Key Driver of Change in the OpEx ecosystem

The threat of new competition is a major incentive for many organizations to begin, or invest in, their Operational Excellence methodologies. With more than 20% of respondents citing this as a key driver of change, it’s not hard to understand why businesses under constant pressure from new competition are determined to adopt a culture of Operational Excellence, reduce cost, and increase their ROI.

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Key Drivers of Change in Operational Excellence methodologies

Sustaining a Continuous Improvement Culture is the most prominent OpEx focus for organizations in the next 12-18 months.

Once more, we have Culture Transformation at the top of the priority list in terms of OpEx focus, coming in as the top focus with almost 50% of our respondents.

It’s not surprising to note that Customer Satisfaction is another key priority, in line with last year’s report, where it was the #1 priority for OpEx practitioners. This year, however, New Technologies are also a major focus.

In this time of continuous disruption and innovation, The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends seeks to understand the most crucial issues, priorities and successes faced by OpEx Practitioners in 2017. We’ve compiled the responses of hundreds of Operational Excellence practitioners to offer key insights into the state of Operational Excellence, including measures of success, the greatest developments, and much more in the following report.

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