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CMX Blog

How to Sustain OpEx Improvements Over Time

December 18, 2019
CMX
by CMX
CMX
by CMX

A question that every business must ask itself is “How do we not only achieve Operational Excellence, but keep on sustaining improvement over time?” In truth, the answer is simple. It’s all about utilizing the right Operational Excellence Software System; one that has all of the essential components a business needs, regardless of where you may fall along the OpEx maturity spectrum. 

 

Below, this primer will cover some of the primary operational challenges any business will likely face and then discuss how those aforementioned platform features can solve them. And, if you wish for a deeper dive into the material, you can download our short eBook which goes deeper on the topic.

 

Download our eBook on driving OpEx

 

OpEx Challenges 

As your business scales upholding your brand standards, maintaining quality, and complying with regulatory standards becomes a monumental undertaking. Ensuring the quality, safety, and consistency of your operations across the board requires a dedicated, steady pursuit of Operational Excellence (OpEx).

But if you want to maintain growth and profits, it can’t simply be a one-time push, rather it must be a sustained effort. In the Global State of Operational Excellence Survey, industry players were asked their 3 most critical operational excellence-focused challenges affecting their job. 

The top 5 responses were:

  1. Changing and improving the company culture – 53% of respondents 
  2. Execution and sustaining operational excellence projects – 36% of respondents
  3. Need for end-to-end business transformation – 30% of respondents
  4. Keeping up with new technologies – 29% of respondents
  5. Lack of/need for leadership – 23% of respondents

The second point is what we’ll be focusing on today and is something that is of huge import to the vast majority of businesses. In fact, according to a Plant Services Manufacturing Operations Management Survey, approximately 87% of companies claimed that they had installed an OpEx initiative in order to achieve continuous improvement. Despite this industry-wide agreement on the importance of steady progress, one of the greatest challenges companies face is putting such practices into place and then measuring success. 

It’s easy to say you want continued Operational Excellence, it’s much more difficult to figure out whether or not you’re actually accomplishing your goals. 

While some companies choose to use only third-party audits to try and create visibility, it is unclear whether it is a worthwhile undertaking. Although you get an outside perspective, it takes up valuable resources such as time, energy, and money - all for just a snapshot in time. It may yield some actionable findings, but what about the periods in between? And the period after that?

Simply put, the “train, audit, fix, and repeat” methodology has become outmoded and is nowhere near as effective as it might have once been. 

In truth, digitalization is the solution. 

 

How to Sustain OpEx Improvements Over Time

A problem that many businesses have run into is that there are so many operational excellence management systems on the market. As a result, OpEx buyers are left with choice paralysis—there are simply too many options. This is worsened by the fact that many of these “solutions” only act as temporary band aids, and can’t be adapted as your business changes and grows. 

So, what are the qualities you need to be looking for in an OpEx platform and partner? 

 

  • They Embrace Digital – Paper-based quality, compliance, or risk management operational programs are relics of a bygone era. They served their time and purpose but are no longer efficient and have been largely replaced by digitized mobile applications. Such advanced, automated systems allow for real-time collection of:

Data Information Photos Documents Feedback

 

  • They Empower Employees – Changing and improving company culture starts by empowering employees and giving them the tools that they need to create the optimal customer experience when delivering your products or services. The right platform will use Operational Excellence Software that:

 

Digitizes operating procedures, best practices, and protocols 
Incorporates those processes into preexisting workflows 
Makes them accessible via mobile, tablet, and any other modern devices 

 

    • They Create A Company-Wide Culture Of ExcellenceAccording to Marvin Wurtzel of BPM Institute: “It all begins and ends with leadership. Leadership is responsible for the ultimate success of any program and needs to establish:

 

The vision for the organization The ownership and strategy The governance for the effort The capabilities for the people and the processes The goals and measures for the organization

All too often, the people who need to be leading the OpEx charge are not provided the support and resources they need to succeed. However, with centralized data, analysis software, and content management, you give them the tools they need to make it a company-wide endeavor that starts from the top and trickles down. 

 

  • They Are Designed for Self-Service – A system that allows for self-service minimizes the time, costs, and complexity of implementing a new Operational Excellence System. OpEx tools like “templatization” drive productivity by exercising repetitive actions or tasks that employees would otherwise be spending time on daily. It also allows for real-time adjustments and tweaks to programs.  

 

  • They Drive Sustainable Improvements – You need a software that seeks to purge burdensome manual and/or administrative tasks, and then uses intelligent automation to optimize your employees’ workflow.  

 

  • They Measure for Success and Continuous Improvement – It’s crucial that each and every employee you have is strictly adhering to your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in order to execute on your brand’s promise. This is simplified by having automatic real-time reporting, which provides insights for regular performance analysis and then highlights areas where corrective and preventative actions (CAPAs) are required. 

 

How to Achieve Operational Excellence with CMX1

 

Download our eBook on driving OpEx

 

Fortunately, the CMX1 platform was created with sustained OpEx improvement in mind. Our system has all of the qualities discussed and beyond. We’ve spent a decade fine-tuning our technology and working with leading brands to achieve their continued Operational Excellence objectives.

Should you wish to find out more about this matter and how CMX can aid you in your OpEx mission, we encourage you to download our eBook on the topic

Better yet, reach out to us directly and one of our experts can give you insight on how to achieve and sustain Operational Excellence.

Sources

BTOES. The Global State of Operational Excellence Critical Challenges & Future Trends. (2019). https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/480025/21728%202020%20-%20BTOES%20Insights%20-%20The%20Global%20State%20of%20Operational%20Excellence%20Research%20Report%20-%20FD-1%20(3).pdf

Littlefield, M. Plant Services. How to create and sustain operational excellence. (2014). https://www.plantservices.com/articles/2013/create-sustain-operational-excellence/

Wurtzel, M. BPM Institute. The Challenges in Deploying Operational Excellence. https://www.bpminstitute.org/resources/articles/challenges-deploying-operational-excellence

Venables, M. Forbes. Are People The Biggest Challenge In Digital Transformations? (2018). https://www.forbes.com/sites/markvenables/2018/09/30/are-people-the-biggest-challenge-in-digital-transformations/#139f146f5938

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