In our digitalized world, software has become an increasingly vital driver in the push towards Operational Excellence (OpEx), sustained growth, and performance improvement - especially for emerging and global brands. To operate consistently in a decentralized fashion, especially with a franchisee business model, brands now more than ever need to employ Operational Excellence Software Systems. These solutions provide brands centralized oversight visibility, and a competitive edge.
This is why it’s important that you seek to partner with a technology provider that drives you towards Operational Excellence. But what OpEx tools should you be seeking in order to achieve those goals? Below, we’ll talk about the eight technological capabilities you should be looking for. And, if you want to find out more, download our short eBook which goes deeper on the topic.
What is Operational Excellence?
The concept of Operational Excellence has been a critical facet in business operations for decades now. At its essence, OpEx boils down to:
- Meeting or exceeding customers’ needs
- Providing a consistent, safe, quality product or service
- Keeping employees happy and engaged in their work
- Continuously seeking avenues for optimization and improvement
Businesses set goals and growth plans for their workers, processes, and technologies, hoping to realign them as they strive for continuous improvement and innovation across the board. That said, new technology has fundamentally altered the Operational Excellence Strategy Model, changing how industries, businesses, and supply chains operate and interact. According to an EY study:
We are seeing a new approach to operational excellence. What used to be a rigid, linear and expensive process is being replaced with a collaborative, iterative and highly automated approach. This approach is enabling technology companies to be more agile, more customer-centric and to lower costs.
As this technology has become an integral aspect of practically all businesses, one problem has arisen. As Matthew Littlefield writes:
This new approach to operational excellence theorizes that the benefits of continuous improvement (CI) initiatives across the industrial space has normalized. For reasons stated above, and that every company in the industry enjoys an improvement of 1%-2% per year, no single company wields a sustainable CI competitive advantage over others.
Simply put, if every business is improving at the same rate as everyone else, there’s nothing distinguishing you from your competition. This is why it’s more important than ever to find a partner that sets your business apart from the others. So, before you invest in an Operational Excellence Management System, it’s essential that your team spends time self-analyzing and asking questions such as:
- What do you want from the technology?
- How will it add value to customers?
- How will it add value to the business?
- How will it alter existing processes, systems, and structures?
- Will it seamlessly integrate with legacy tech or does it completely replace old systems?
What are the Essential Technology Drivers for Operational Excellence?
The right Operational Excellence Tools can add substantial value to your business. FMI Quarterly states:
Companies that are clear on their value propositions and that have secured buy-in can embrace the right technologies and implement them effectively. When a company applies technology appropriately to its operations, it can enjoy a competitive advantage. Wherever the new technologies have properly permeated this fragmented industry, the outlook is an almost 20% reduction in total life cycle costs of a project, as well as substantial improvements in completion time, quality and safety.
But what are the features your Operational Excellence Software should have? We suggest that you look for the following capabilities in order to successfully implement an Operational Excellence Program:
- Automated Scheduling – In a multifaceted business, it can be overwhelming ensuring the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual activities are being completed across all your locations. This tool allows you to:
|Set-and-forget recurring schedules||Monitor tasks and missed deadlines||Ensure that your team is on pace
- Integrated Policy Management – Today, information can be disseminated in the blink of an eye. As a result, systems need to be agile and capable of:
|Immediately creating or altering policies, documentation, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)||Providing built-in flexibility with instant editing of text, documents, and media||Automatically pushing updated content to relevant individuals or groups, or to the company as a whole|
- Closed-Loop Corrective Actions – In the quest for Quality and Operational Excellence, it’s crucial that your technology administrators have the tools necessary to:
|Automatically detect repeat issues||Define corrective and preventive action protocols||Recommend corrective actions||Enforce timeframes based on criticality|
- Integrated Internet of Things (IoT) – In order to improve speed, consistency, and accuracy of data collection, your platform needs to be able to connect with the IoT of today and tomorrow, both big and small. For example, your platform should provide seamless connectivity with the following Bluetooth low energy devices:
|Sensor networks||Barcode scanners||Temperature probes||Digital scales|
Integrated IoT lets you glean insights from all of the amassed data and then take actionable measures to optimize and improve operations.
- Mobile Optimized – On a similar note, as mobile continues to become an even more critical facet of both customers’ and employees’ daily lives, it’s essential that your OpEx platform is geared for that. Doing so allows employees to accomplish tasks whether they are online or offline.
- Intuitive, Visual Form Building – If agility is your goal, look for a system that uses an intuitive drag-and-drop form building designer. This gives you flexibility, and lets you easily incorporate any business activity into the platform in order to buttress brand standards and push best practices. Such a tool is perfect for:
|Inspections||Surveys||Information request forms|
Drag-and-drop decreases design costs, saves time, and makes it easy for anyone to add questions and/or instructions to SOPs, training materials, and policies.
- Automated Workflows – The ability to automate workflows provides further flexibility in the pursuit of Operational Excellence. They allow you to:
|Configure repeatable business processes||Set role-based user assignments, reminders, escalations, and notifications||Report distribution|
All of these automatic capabilities help ensure that your programs and processes are being implemented.
- Powerful and Actionable Insights – Your system should provide features such as:
|The tracking of Key Performance Indicators (KPI)||Dashboarding and data visualization||Business Intelligence|
This knowledge gives your organization actionable insights and the ability to measure KPIs against your stated OpEx goals.
CMX1 – Driving You Towards Operational Excellence
In a day and age when every business is seeking Operational Excellence, it’s critical that you adopt a technology partner who can set you apart from your competition.
That’s where we come in.
CMX1 has all the essentials built into its technology to help you achieve Operational Excellence. Do you want to learn more about our platform and OpEx? If so, we encourage you to download our eBook or get in contact with us to see CMX1 in action for yourself.