As any business manager or administrator, you owe it to yourself to get familiar with all the tools and processes needed for achieving operational excellence. But what is it, and why should you care?
Operational excellence allows an organization to work in its best capacity by properly prioritizing health and safety issues and ensuring regulatory compliance. When you dedicate yourself to operational excellence, your teams enjoy optimized workloads and have the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently.
This is why every business, regardless of size or industry, should be focused on achieving operational excellence to ensure they have the right systems in place. For example, restaurants with a company culture built around operational excellence may have a much better response system in place to handle potential health and food safety issues.
Few businesses truly understand the importance of operational excellence because achieving and sustaining it in your company culture takes time.
So, what is operational excellence? And how can your company achieve it? Read on to learn how you can turn operational excellence into your competitive advantage.
What Is Operational Excellence?
Operational excellence is a strategy that focuses on executing business operations using an approach based on excellence.
Think about it like this. If you were to compare two companies of equal caliber, the one that’s achieved operational excellence should have the advantage.
Any company can come up with a business strategy, but operational excellence ensures that such a strategy is executed consistently throughout the organization.
Under strong operational excellence, every employee sees how the business as a whole delivers value to the customer and can make decisions and act accordingly. It also ensures that value is being created without jeopardizing health, safety, and compliance.
Operational excellence goes beyond better strategy execution and decision-making. It has a variety of benefits that cannot be missed in today’s competitive environment.
- Getting everyone on-board with the company mission. No employee is left behind with operational excellence. Whether it’s an employee, business partner, or even a supplier, everyone is invested in the success of the business overall. Employers will naturally promote the success of individual employees through proper coaching and resources for improvement.
- Measuring success empirically. Tracking quantitative metrics and thinking about your success through observation and analysis are the best ways to improve your workflow and solve problems.
- Solving problems as they arise. From small mistakes by individual employees to overall issues in the business strategy, operational excellence solves even small problems by organizing the work environment and properly tracking whenever things aren’t working right.
- Focusing on creating value for customers. Businesses aim to use market demand as a driving force for their products and services. Operational excellence allows them to control value to the customer in response to changes in demand; that is, it reduces the impact of excess inventory, wasteful backlogs, and potential for human error.
Adopting operational excellence as part of the work culture solves problems inherent in your current workflow and company culture.
5 Tips for Achieving Operational Excellence
Operational excellence must not be thought of as a checkbox on a to-do list. As mentioned, it should be ingrained in how the business functions. While there’s no single road to success here, consider these tips when you start thinking of operational excellence for your company.
- Break out of the “top-down” approach to management. Operational excellence is focused both on powerful strategic direction from the top and a strong focus on the flow of value from the bottom. Remember that the process is an organization-wide effort.
- Track and share analytics regarding company flow. Since everyone is in on the process, be transparent about any irregularities, out of stock statuses, and other misalignments in the workflow. Keeping visibility into the process available to all is a major step towards operational excellence.
- Focus on regulatory compliance. Avoid hefty fines and a loss of trust with your customers by ensuring legal compliance through strong visibility over internal processes. You want to have the right systems in place to track and ensure compliance at every step of your business’s workflow.
- Promote accountability and alignment. Any successful company has specific objectives in mind, and individual employees must be empowered to keep their eyes on the ball. Success is much more likely if upper management can provide the tools and resources needed to focus an individual’s efforts toward the objectives of the whole organization.
- Encourage collaboration. The flow of value can only be smooth when each department in a company can communicate and work together effectively. Adopting a collaboration-focused approach to compliance is a strong step towards operational excellence.
- Leverage the right inspection software. Achieving operational excellence is easy when you have the right inspection software. Inspection software improves documenting, tracking, and follow-ups for scheduled compliance requirements, individual corrective actions, and company-wide progress, providing companies with detailed performance metrics that provide clarity and full visibility into compliance. By collecting these data points, everyone can clearly see where the issues are coming from and whether they are getting fixed properly.
Put Your Company on the Path to Operational Excellence with monitorQA
Achieving operational excellence comes down to creating a company culture that’s focused on creating value and being the best it can be. It also means putting the right processes and technology in place, so your people have a consistent foundation to work from.
Are you interested in learning more about what operational excellence is, and how you can work towards it with the right inspection software?
Discover how monitorQA can help you create a culture of compliance, giving your company access to a collaborative and agile approach that keeps your health, safety, and compliance requirements in focus.