Operations begin where strategy development ends - it's where the rubber hits the road. If strategy is about doing the right things, operations are about doing things right. In our experience, this is where most companies today are facing most challenges. Not that companies do things particularly bad, but rather that few excel at what they are doing. The reason why the last-mile effort is so important is because that's what takes you beyond the tipping point to accelerated productivity.
Effectiveness vs. Efficiency
To most laymen, effectivness and efficiency are interchangeable. This could not be farther from the truth. Whereas effectivness is about achieving goals, efficiency is about the resources required to achieve those goals. By overfocusing on effectiveness, all too many companies waste precious resources achieving their goals, and by doing so, achieving a poor cost-to-benefit ratio of their projects. On the other hand, it is also common to see that companies in their relentless push for cost savings get lost and forget about the overall picture and long-term ambitions. The reason why operations here becomes so critical is because striking the balance between the effectiveness and efficiency is the holy grail of strategy execution. Without efficiency, chances are that you will end up doing firefighting, meaning that at best you will be treading water and status quo remains. However, by improving efficiency, critical resources in terms of capital, time, and manpower can be freed up and used for more value-added activies.
Breaking Down the Silos
Another common bottleneck is that corporate functions often operate in silos, without little alignment with respect to the overall organization or one another. We have seen numerous cases where companies have attempted to break down these silos using a stick approach, with little success as a result. The most common root cause to this challenge is the fact that internal KPIs are usually developed in isolation with the purpose to monitor and drive functional instead of company performance, thereby creating a situation of competition, instead of cooperation, across functions. Without aligned KPIs, no cross-functional collaboration or integration is worthwhile undertaking.
In order to met the most common pressing challenges of our clients, we have developed and honed capabilties in a wide range of operations-related activities. Such initiatives can be:
- Performance management: Development, implementation and monitoring of KPIs
- Business process re-design and optimization
- Quality improvement
- Spend analysis
- Supplier evaluation and qualification
- Supply chain integration
- Supplier development
- Sales channel management
Please contact us directly for a more thorough overview of our detailed service offerings.