Blog-Operational Excellence

Why Operational Excellence is important?

"Speed is everything. It is the indispensable ingredients to competitiveness."

Jack Welch


Today the business landscape is altering at a very fast pace. Growing and sustaining a business has become difficult due to changing customer needs and competition. This is the age of the customer- customer service and customer experience can make or break a business. Organizations must have an effective and efficient operation to gain a competitive advantage. Hence, it is imperative that organizations make operational excellence as a key deliverable and align it to their strategic goals, resulting in long term sustainable growth.


Seamless operations are vital to keeping up with market demands. Organizations with strong operational capabilities have a direct impact on their overall performance. As per research by Harvard Business Review, organizations that achieve operational excellence saw a 25% faster annual growth rates and 75% higher productivity.


Poor operations have a negative impact on overall organizations performance. As per research by Wrike Inc., only 32% of the leaders were very satisfied with their team’s ability to plan, manage, and complete the work. The research also highlights a big concern about the difference of opinion between management and non-management on how well their company’s operations run. Achieving operational excellence continues to be a major challenge for most organizations. As per the BTOES research report, 35.6% of the respondent mentioned executing operational excellence programs as a top critical challenge.


Focus on the following areas to build a strong foundation to successfully execute the operational excellence program.


Leadership Involvement 

Business leaders should focus on making operational excellence as a culture and a key driver for top-line growth. Operational excellence is an organization-wide change and resistance to change among employees can derail the program. Leaders should proactively communicate and help employees understand the need for operational excellence, to achieve its strategic goals. Leaders should empower employees, and focus on building an environment of trust & transparency to drive collaboration & commitment.


People & Processes 

Business leaders focusing on people and processes run high performing organizations. Leaders need to continuously focus on building a cohesive team with versatile skill sets by continuously investing in robust training programs, and strengthening the hiring and on-boarding process. Process excellence is an essential factor to achieve operational excellence. The objective should be to build effective and efficient processes keeping in mind the customer’s need. Leaders at every level should ensure employees recognize the importance of the processes and the value delivered to the customers by adhering to the processes.


Governance and Communication 

As per research conducted by Mckinsey & Company, the failure rate of organizational transformation like operational excellence is more than 70%, hence governance is important. Leaders should implement governance in order to effectively manage people and processes. A clearly defined organizational structure, roles & responsibilities, policies, and, procedures will smoothen the journey towards operational excellence. Building a governance framework is the first step, however, if not clearly communicated and understood by the employees, the risk of the program failing is high. Effective and consistent communication will ensure employees follow the guidelines, reinforce collaboration, and work towards a common goal of achieving operational excellence.


Measuring performance 

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it – Peter Drucker. Organizations that do not measure performance fail to operate effectively and efficiently. Business leaders should implement robust performance management systems to track progress and achieve superior results. The goals of the operational excellence program should be defined in terms of metrics to evaluate performance periodically. It is equally important to regularly communicate the progress with the employees to keep them focused and engaged.


Operational excellence is the key to gain a competitive advantage and continuous business growth. It helps organizations to add continuous value to the customers and boost organizational flexibility to stay competitive in the market.


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    How important is customer retention?

    "Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your product and service, and that bring friends with them."

    W. Edwards Deming


    Today the world of business has become fiercely competitive. Organizations are continuously looking to differentiate themselves to gain competitive advantage and increase their market share. In this race to increase the customer base, organizations are focusing more on sales and marketing activities. However, a sale is just the beginning and not the end. What the customer experiences throughout the delivery process are important. The on-boarding experience, product/service experience, fulfilling value contract, customer success, and delight are critical factors that will have a positive or negative impact on the customer retention rate.


    Providing great customer experience and value is important for customer retention and growing the business. Customer experience is an important competitive advantage to drive sales and increase revenue. It is predicted that in 2020, customer experience will surpass price and products as the primary brand differentiator. Customers today have plenty of options to choose from to meet their demands. A single poor experience is enough for customers to decide to look for alternate options. As per research,


    • 32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience. (PWC)
    • 42% of respondents have left a business due to poor customer service. (New Voice Media)
    • A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related. (Bain & Company)


    “Customer is King”, an age-old business mantra is about understanding the importance of customers and providing exceptional service to the customers. Every organization should implement plans to deliver superior customer service and experience. Additionally, focus on delivering extraordinary value to the customers. More the value the customers get, the less is the risk of churn percentage. As per statistics,


    • Brands with superior customer experience bring in 7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience.
    • Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers.


    As per Bain & Company, the cost of acquiring a new customer is 6-7 times more than retaining an existing one. Organizations investing in customer retention have benefited immensely and successfully grown their business. It is a no-brainer that customer retention is a key revenue driver that cannot be ignored by organizations. As per research,


    • Increasing customer retention by just 5% boosts profits by 25% to 95%. Harvard Business school
    • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60%-70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5%-20%. Marketing Metrics
    • 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers. Customer Service Institute


    Most often, organizations are so focused on acquiring new customers that they fail to effectively fulfill the needs of existing customers. Focusing only to acquire new customers and not investing in customer retention will only increase the customer churn rate and can lead to the downfall of any organization. Investing in customer retention should be an integral part of organizational strategy to have a greater impact on the top-line & bottom-line revenue. Leaders should become the catalyst for change in implementing systems, procedures, and processes that lead to customer retention.


    The simplest way to increase your customer base is not to lose them. Here are 5 ways to improve customer retention.


    Expectations – It all begins with setting realistic expectations with the customer. It is important to know your limits. Winning a customer by over-committing on the deliverables will only lead to double trouble. Doing so will create tremendous pressure on the team to meet the deliverables, leading to an unpleasant environment within the organization. Situations like these lead to customer dissatisfaction due to poor quality of the product/service or unable to deliver as promised. Hence, it is imperative that organizations have a clear understanding of their capabilities and capacity. This will help in setting clear and realistic expectations with the customers and avoid any impact on service delivery.


    Relationship – According to Marketingwizdom, the average business loses around 20% of its customers annually simply by failing to attend customer relationships. The process of building a relationship starts at the very beginning of the sales process. The objective here should be to create a positive first impression. The next step is to gain the confidence and trust of the customers by consistently delivering quality products and services as promised. Continue to strengthen the trust factor by collaborating and engaging regularly to show them that you care, build connections, and strengthen the relationship. Above all, it is important to understand your customer value. Always listen to what the customer is saying or asking for and change your strategy to meet their expectations.


    Value – Understanding customers is the first step to consistently be successful in adding value to your customers. Knowing customers in-and-out enables organizations to enhance the customer journey and experience. Focus on the quality of the product or service that is exceptionally better than the competitors. Quality of the product or service is a critical element that the customer perceives. Invest in enhancing the product or service that benefits the customer to improve their organization’s performance. Go all-out and implement a robust process to provide superior customer service to resolve customer issues. In today’s fast-changing marketplace, organizations are focusing on improving customer service to gain a competitive advantage. Consistently keep a tab on the customer needs by soliciting their feedback and use the information to continue to add value to the customer. The key to adding value is to always consider the customer’s perspective and focus on customer needs.


    Experience – Customer expectations are skyrocketing, and they expect the best experience every time. As per statistics, customers that rate organizations with high customer experience score spend 140% more and remain loyal for up to 6 years. Hence it is imperative to develop a customer experience strategy that is customer-focused and communicated clearly within the organization. Providing an unforgettable and positive experience is essential to build a brand reputation and gain more business. Take customer feedback on every interaction. These inputs are critical to identifying gaps and building a robust customer-facing team. Make effective use of tools and technologies to increase efficiency and customer engagement. Another key element is to create an emotional connect and create a bond.


    Track – It is important to keep track of key metrics to measure performance for customer experience and retention to know if all the investments in people, process & technology are paying off. Without monitoring the metrics, there is no scope of improvement. Use metrics viz. NPS (Net promoter Score), CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score), and CES (Customer Effort Score) to track customer experience. Some of the key metrics to track customer retention are viz. customer churn rate, retention rate, average customer life, revenue churn rate. Additionally, track metrics to gauge operational performance that influences the customer experience.


    Irrespective of the industry, your customers are the most valuable stakeholders. It is essential to invest in building a sustainable long-term relationship with the customer. Customer service and experience without any doubt are the key factors to retain customers. Hence, it is important for organizations to make customer satisfaction as part of their strategy and constantly improve business operations to have higher customer retention.


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      Five essential steps to improve organizational capability

      "The high-mature organizational capability is the digital business differentiator, to keep the business unique, competitive, innovative, and improve the overall business maturity significantly."

      Pearl Zhu


      Every organization or business has these goals in common; scale performance, make sales, and exceed customers’ satisfaction. This, however, is not an easy process as it requires leading and managing effective teams that ensure the overall outstanding performance of an organization. The outbreak of Covid-19 and more unpredictable global trends will continue to reshape and introduce new trends to the workplace, especially in the business sector. It, however, becomes imperative for business leaders and key team members to build resilience and improve organizational capability.

      Here are five essential steps business leaders can adopt to improve their organizational capability.

      1: Invest in digital transformation

      In order to stay competitive and relevant in the industry, organizations need to prioritize digital transformation, as the world will continue to evolve with new technological trends designed to transform businesses. Gaining insight into the emerging technology trends like Artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing among several others will set the pace for transformation and help organizations derive lasting exponential growth. By investing in these technological trends, workplace productivity will be effortlessly achieved.

      Findings from the 2020 Digital Transformation survey by Deloitte LLP revealed that organizations that invest in digital transformation were three times more likely to achieve revenue growth. This, however, is not surprising given the increase in artificial intelligence and other recent technology trends.

      Therefore, investing in digital transformation should be one of every organization’s top priorities.

      2: Robust Operations

      In achieving improved organizational capability and productivity business owners and key team members need to put in place an effective and efficient operation process.

      It is important to invest in having a strong business operational strategy to make organizations more adaptive. Organizations that invest in having strong business operations are more likely to make better use of automation technology to increase their efficiency and overall performance, which allows seamless and effortless delivery of products and services, as it makes organizations to prioritize customer service and satisfaction.

      Also, a robust business operation enables organizations to sustain and compete in the ever-changing business climate. While having a robust business operation is important, effective communication plays an indispensable role in the overall performance of these business strategies. Dawn Brown, a Forbes Business Council Member, reinforced the importance of communication noting that, effectively communicating the vision and idea of new business operations and processes to the employees at all levels in the organization, goes a long in determining the attitude and inputs of employees in achieving the proposed business operations and processes.

      3: Learning and Development

      Training and developing the skills and competence of employees at all levels in an organization is another effective strategy to improve organizational capability and competence. While it is important to hire the best talents, it is also imperative to train employees in an organization.

      To achieve organizational goals and objectives, employees must be trained and developed throughout their stay in the organization. For this to be achieved, business owners and top leaders need to prioritize learning and development as it an indispensable strategy in achieving organizational growth.

      Findings from a survey by the go2HR society indicate that 40% of employees leave their jobs or position within the first year as a result of poor training opportunities. Prioritizing learning, training, and development is vital in achieving organizational growth and productivity as trained employees are more efficient.

       4: People management

      In the past few months, leading and managing highly effective teams have been challenging, as the new trend of working remotely has placed a new burden on business leaders and human resource managers on both small scale and big scale businesses.

      Ensuring effective people management is crucial in optimizing employee’s performance and productivity, as it involves creating a positive work environment and prioritizing the health, social, and mental wellness of employees in the workplace. This, however, goes a long way in improving organizational capability.

      Peter Drucker, a profound thought leader in modern management, made it known that 60% of an organization’s issues stem from faulty communication or poor people management.  Prioritizing employees’ opinions ensures transparency and also gives the employees a sense of belonging in the organization as they will feel seen, heard, appreciated, and highly valued.

      5: Prioritize Sound Decision-Making

      Every organization’s success, performance, and growth thrive squarely on the daily decisions employees at all levels make, and what makes the difference is how sound and strategic those decisions are. Every organization should develop a sound decision-making ability in their employees because having good judgment and the skill to convert this into profound decision-making are imperative in achieving organizational growth. To improve organizational capability and productivity business leaders should ensure that sound decisions are made at all levels of the organization, especially among key team members.

      According to a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, 87% of organizations affirmed that their companies will achieve more success if frontline workers are empowered to make quality on-the-spot decisions. Findings from this study further reinforce the importance of making sound decisions across all levels in an organization.

      Final Thoughts:

      It is essential for organizations to consistently focus to improve their capability. Doing so will immensely help to improve performance and build resilience in this ever-changing global market.   


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        Five effective ways to differentiate your business

        "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different."

        Coco Chanel


        The business industry is a very competitive ecosystem to survive and be productive. However, organizations can effectively make an impact and build a reputation in a competitive marketplace by reinforcing strategic objectives that promote their business uniqueness. While creating and sustaining uniqueness is crucial in determining success, organizations tend to struggle with crafting strategies that will reinforce their uniqueness in the industry.

        Every leader’s goal in any industry is to be regarded as one of the best. This common drive makes the environment very intense as organizations are constantly improving their infrastructures to effectively compete and scale performance. In the process of competing with top organizations, effective differentiation is one of the main challenges most organizations face.

        Here are five effective ways organizations can adopt to create and sustain business uniqueness in a very competitive environment.

        1) Focus on WHY:

        It is very easy to lose sight of the significance of why an organization exists, given the hectic and demanding nature of running a business. While keeping track of the spreadsheet and improving revenue is important, understanding why a business exists is of greater importance. This is so because it is the “Why” that helps create a strong unique value proposition that powers business uniqueness and performance.

        Findings from a survey on over 12,000 employees conducted by an engagement and performance firm Energy Project, revealed that 50% of its respondents felt their work lacked meaning and significance. This implies that clearly defining a ‘why’ also determines employees’ attitude to work. Also, findings from the study further reinforce why leaders need to define their “Why” and communicate them to their members of staff, to sustain uniqueness in the competitive environment.

        2) Build Brand Reputation

        Brand reputation plays an indispensable role in determining the overall success of any organization. Building a brand reputation is a crucial aspect of creating and sustaining business uniqueness, as a good reputation will further strengthen the organization’s performance against competitors.

        Organizations should build a strong brand reputation by sustaining brand consistency, in the product and services they offer to their customers. Organizations can also build their brand’s reputation by being an expert in their industry and sustain a good relationship with customers by ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty remain their leading priorities.

        Nothing gives an organization a profound reputation amongst their competitors than gaining the confidence and loyalty of customers in the products and services they offer.

        3) Deliver extraordinary customer service and experience

        An effective way of sustaining business uniqueness whether it’s a small or a large enterprise is to provide exceptional customer service and experience. For any organization to stand out and yet be productive, it must make customer service and experience it’s leading priority.

        Prioritizing customer service and experience in an organization does not happen overnight, but if effectively implemented in an organization, it brings about delivering a very unique customer experience and in the long run build brand loyalty, trust, credibility, and most importantly establish brand’s or organization’s uniqueness.

        According to the survey done by PWC 73% of the people pointed out that customer experience is an important factor to make their purchasing decisions. Findings from the American Express survey revealed that 58% of customers will spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service.

        Organizations should offer one-of-a-kind customer service and experience by first identifying the need(s) of the customers, fulfilling them, addressing their pain points, and consistently providing value. This goes a long way to build a trustworthy relationship with customers. Organizations should perceive customer service and experience not just as a department, but as an attitude.

        4) Deliver fast and high-quality products/services.

        In a competitive environment reinforcing an organization’s uniqueness is very crucial, as it can forge a deeper connection with customers and improve brand and business credibility in the marketplace.

        Delivering high-quality products/services is important to create and provide value to customers. It is one of the most important tasks and plays a significant role in customer satisfaction and retention. According to a survey by Deloitte, 71% of people look for high-quality products when buying. Another survey by Yes Marketing found that 57% of Gen Z directly linked quality to brand loyalty. While delivering high-quality products is important, on-time delivery of products is also important in creating and sustaining business uniqueness. As per a recent study, 61% of people are willing to pay more for same-day delivery. Hence, organizations should prioritize and implement an efficient delivery system and deliver high-quality products/services to stand out from the competition.

        5) Be Innovative

        Whether an organization is into delivering products or offering services, being innovative is essential in creating and sustaining business uniqueness. By being innovative, organizations should continuously seek ways to innovate their products and services to suit customers’ needs and further drive innovative changes within the business industry.

        Findings from McKinsey research revealed that over 70% of top executives affirmed that innovation is one of the top three drivers of organizational uniqueness that help organizations to achieve strategic objectives. Organizations should also avoid a rigid business structure that will resist innovation and changes in the products and services the organization offers. An innovation-driven organization has more chances of succeeding and exceeding the organization’s performance and productivity.

        Final Thoughts

        The business environment can be a difficult ecosystem to thrive and compete effectively. Fortunately, organizations can optimize their performance by leveraging on the strengths of their uniqueness and effectively stand out in the marketplace. Therefore, leaders should design strategies to strengthen their business uniqueness and at the same time improve the organization’s capability and performance.


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          If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Improve It.

          “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

          Peter Drucker


          Setting targets and measuring performance are critical factors that determine the success of your business. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) help monitor the progress of your business ensuring it’s headed in the right direction. However, the bigger question is what to measure?


          The focus should be on identifying:

          • The critical success factors for your business.
          • Measurable KPI’s for the identified success factors.


          KPIs must be defined in a manner that allows you to:

          • Set targets across all the departments to achieve strategic goals.
          • Identify opportunities to improve the scope of growth.
          • Identify issues to implement a fix in time and avoid negative impact.


          Often business owners define KPIs that are limited to sales and profits but fail to identify KPIs that impact business growth.


          Identifying KPIs is the first step, the key is to conduct periodic reviews to identify gaps and, align people and processes to stay focused on your strategic goals. Consistently tracking and measuring the KPIs empowers you to take effective decisions and improve business performance.


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            Blogs-Failing to plan

            Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

            "Failing to plan is planning to fail."

            Alan Lakein


            Lack of planning is one of the main reasons why businesses fail. Without planning, organizations run their business in reactive mode and do not know which direction to head.


            It is crucial to develop a strategic plan as it gives organizations a direction to grow their business. Key members of the organization should collaborate and develop a plan, that captures where the organization will be in the future and how to reach that goal.


            Most organizations fail to execute their strategy successfully. Consider these points when executing the plan.


            Communicate: Leaders should ensure that the plan is understood by employees across all the levels and everyone is working towards the common goal. The key is to be an authentic leader, be accountable to deliver the results, regularly communicate with the team to reinforce the message, and inspire them.


            Measure: Performance measurement is essential to be successful in business. Keeping track of progress through key performance indicators ensures your business is heading in the right direction, to achieve the planned goals.


            Change: The strategic plan should not be static. A dynamic strategic plan will help organizations continuously evolve, adapt, and keep up with the changing market & customer needs.


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              Blogs-Organizational Capability

              Organizational Capability

              "An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competetive advantage."

              Jack Welch


              Organizational Capability – Ability of an organization to effectively manage and utilize the resources to improve business performance, meet customer demands, and gain a competitive advantage.


              An organization’s capability has a direct impact on business results. It is imperative to build your organizational capabilities and make it a top priority. A couple of key areas to focus on.


              People – Employee training & development is a key factor that enhances organizational capabilities. A consistent approach to improve employee skills gives a major boost to the foundation of the organization and helps drive internal processes effectively and improve business performance. Ensure that the training programs focus on developing capabilities that are crucial to your organization’s performance.


              Operations – How you operate your business matters. Streamlining operations eliminates redundant steps to improve efficiency. Having a continuous improvement approach will help manage the operational workflows better. Managing these workflows efficiently and effectively will help reduce costs, improve profit margins & competitive strength.


              Identify capabilities that will improve your business performance. Gain a competitive advantage by building strong organizational capabilities.


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