markus-spiske-iar-afB0QQw-unsplash

Digital Operations: Accelerate Your Business Growth

Large businesses and organizations are a complex collaboration of various operations such as purchasing, product development, manufacturing, logistics, and services, etc. The success of a company hugely relies on the efficient coordination between these departments. Combined with the tremendous amount of data that is generated at each step, it becomes a strenuous task for a company to manage everything efficiently while simultaneously providing exceptional services. This is where digital operations can assist companies. Digitizing can streamline and simplify the entire operations, improve coordination among departments and help organizations to analyze big data faster than before.

In recent years the pressures of involving digitalization in software and hardware industries have increased considerably. Furthermore, the coming of epidemic forced more companies to have perfect digital operations to provide services to customers. Mckinsey reported the exponential rise in customer’s digital interactions in the last year. Globally, in July 2020 the average of digital customer interactions rose to 58% from 36% in Dec 2019. Moreover, the rate of adoption is also at least 3 years ahead of what they were in past years.

What Is Digital Operations?

Simply put, it is the integration of digital technologies in various operations across an organization. Digitizing redefines how an organization works, in particular, through optimization of processes across the value chain and increasing productivity exponentially. It infuses agility, intelligence, and automation in processes to come out with operational models that are consumer-centric.

The Need For Digital Operations

As per a BCG survey, almost 80% of large-scale enterprises are going for digital transformations in one form or another. When implemented right, it can lead to a 10% to 20% cost reduction in supply chains, a 15% to 30% reduction in working capital, and revenue growth of almost 6%.

High-functioning digital ecosystems enable organizations to deliver a better experience to customers. There are many ways digital operations drive the growth of a company, some of them are listed below:

  • It makes operations in a company agile enough to meet the market demands in real-time. With manual work, it was a tedious process to analyze the huge data and till the time it was done, the market would have shifted. With digitization, the data can be analyzed more quickly, and the process can be expanded or contracted as per requirements.
  • With more and more people shifting to digital platforms, the success of a company now relies on its digital services. Technology enables a company to reach a huge number of customers. Some examples include.
 

This helps in testing the new product designs more quickly as compared to physical testing. It saves on time as several of the manual process can now be replaced by automation henceforth improving efficiency as well as productivity.

This helps in reducing defects in the value chain and the costs of maintenance. It is a proactive model where problems are identified before they occur.

These are now added to assembly lines where it is difficult to accommodate conventional robots. This can help in manufacturing industries like computer hardware to improve production costs.

This refers to managing, processing, storing, and analyzing data with the use of internet-based servers. This removes the need for physical devices to store the data as it gets stored in a cloud. This helps companies to better manage the data to improve efficiency as well as customer experience.

  • Digital operations lead to standardization in an organization. Following standards can be tedious for people working in a company; however, digitization can follow the same standards with higher efficiency.

    Leadership role and governance in implementing digital operations

    Leaders of organizations should be well trained to get the best out of digital operations. The success of digital transformation relies on the outlook of a company, and if leaders cannot ingrain this transformation in them, the digital operations will not be able to perform as expected. As per the Accenture report where they surveyed 600 companies from around the globe, only 13% of the companies had more than 50% of their leaders trained to use analytics to make decisions. One of the biggest challenges the companies face in adopting digital transformation is getting the workforce to accept new policies and technologies. When senior staff starts accepting the digital transformation, enthusiasm can be generated within the workforce to accept the involvement of new technologies.

    The highest level of governance must drive the adoption of digital transformations in a company. The incorporation of digital systems brings fresh challenges to the organization like faster business cycles and firm-level integration. To understand those challenges new forms of governing bodies are required. As per interviews conducted by Capgemini, the organizations have adopted two types of committees to govern digital transformation namely, steering committees and innovation committees. The steering committees are usually tasked with making decisions related to policies, investment choices, and resource allocations. On the other hand, innovation committees work towards identifying technology-enabled business opportunities and coping with the ever-changing employee or customer behaviors.

    Benefits of digital operations

    The involvement of digital operations helps in freeing up the software and hardware costs incurred by the company. It also leads to enhanced data collection that improves efficiency as well as customer experience.

              •  Optimizing the Data
    In today’s world, almost all companies are collecting some kind of data from their consumers. These large amounts of data can be optimized for better analyses through digital operations.
              •  Consolidating various processes
    The companies use a huge amount of software and hardware in their operations. Digitizing them brings all the data in one place that makes it easy to identify any kind of anomalies in the processes.
              •  Improving customer experience
    Customer Experience (CX) is the latest parameter by which a company’s success can be measured. In the digital era, every customer expects hassle-free and fast delivery. Accenture reported that a single point change in CX can lead to millions of dollars of business for a company.
              •  Increase agility
    A company cannot survive if it is not agile enough in today’s dynamic world. Digital operations help companies to adapt to changing markets and consumer demands. This leads to frequent innovative ideas and faster adaptation.
              •  Increase efficiency
    Improved cohesion between various departments in a company changes the way employees communicate with each other. It also improves the data flow across the company. These well-coordinated efforts improve the efficiency of a company and lead to savings in terms of money, time, and resources.
              •  Gain competitive advantage
    The faster a company can adapt to changes the faster a company grows. As already discussed, digitization assists companies in quickly adapting to changing environments. It becomes easy to identify and sort anomalies in various operations across a company and it helps in analyzing the huge customer data to improve the customer experience.
              •  Revenue growth
    Digital transformation assists companies majorly in two ways for improving revenues. One is savings on incurring costs by making various operations efficient. The second is capitalizing on opportunities that become easy due to better evaluation of trends and improved data analytics.

    Summary

    It cannot be emphasized enough that in today’s world and the future, the successful incorporation of digital operations within the companies is the only way forward to increase agility and accelerate growth. Digital transformation helps organizations in improving internal operations as well as enhancing customer experience. It imparts efficiency in every step of the value chain, thereby improving productivity, efficiency, and overall growth.

demo-attachment-128-Intersection-6

Get your free guide on "improving business process."

    Business Agility

    How to improve business agility

     

    The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses worldwide is evidence of how fast the tables can turn and put businesses in stiff competition for survival. With the constantly changing business landscape, organizations need to achieve stability, especially in these trying times. Business executives, CEOs, and COOs, among other leadership positions, must wear their thinking hats and come up with sustainable plans on how to improve business agility.

    Before further discuss how to improve business agility, let’s take a second to establish basic knowledge on business agility.

    What is business agility? 

    Business agility refers to a business’s ability to endure the storm and adapt to the fast-paced market changes. An agile business is also expected to be responsive in discharging its duties and functions, especially regarding meeting the demands of customers.

    For a business to adapt to the complexities and uncertainties in the business world, it has to embrace new trends and adopt creative ideas that will boost its chances of survival and continued growth.

    Why is it essential for businesses to be agile?

    With all that has been happing with the pandemic in the global business stage, you will agree that the future is full of uncertainties — nobody knows what might pop up next. Likewise, there are many uncertainties about customer needs and requirements. To stay on top of the situation and reduce business vulnerability to threats, agile businesses know to adapt faster to their environment and focus on maintaining their customer base.

    To successfully adapt to the agile culture, business executives and team members must be flexible and innovative in their thinking. The idea is to have a business framework that will help you build a resilient and adaptive business.

    If you have followed us from the start of this discussion, you would already know that business is susceptible to changes. These changes are influenced by a tall list of factors, including economy, market dynamics, technology changes, and company growth. For your business to have an edge and give your competitors a run for their money, you need to improve your business agility. You have probably been wondering what is the big deal about business agility, and why is virtually everybody talking about it?

    Improving your business agility and having an agility strategy in place will help you prepare for turbulent times in the future and adapt to the new environment. You also need to be ready to cash in on viable opportunities even before others notice them.

    How to improve business agility?

    1. Invest in Competitive Intelligence

    One of the key areas to focus is competitive intelligence.  According to a recent research, 94% of the organizations are investing in competitive intelligence. This trend is normal considering the fact that the business world is becoming more and more competitive and organizations are proactive in leveraging the information gathered to increase business agility.

    What is Competitive Intelligence?

    You can think of it as a systemic approach for collecting and analyzing information about consumers, products, and your competitors, among other elements that will improve an organization’s strategic decision-making process. Competitive intelligence encapsulates the understanding of your business environment and devising means of enhancing competitiveness.

    You can also think of competitive intelligence as the ability to anticipate risks and opportunities in the market and getting your business in a position for profitable opportunities before it becomes evident to your competitors. The idea behind investing in competitive intelligence is to help businesses develop strategies that will boost sustainable growth and agility while identifying and filling competitive gaps in the market.

    Knowing your competitors will give you the edge to constantly enhance your business strategy and competency that will make your organization unique. Investing in competitive intelligence will help you,

    • Track industry trends.
    • Gather information on the competitive landscape.
    • Enhance business decision that increases ROI.
    • Strengthen long-term business strategy.
    • Gain competitive advantage

    2. Be Innovative – Think into the future

    Growing and sustaining your business will continue to become more difficult as more people enter the industry. To make your business or brand stand out, you must think smart and leave no room for excuses.

    If your customers request a change in your products, don’t hesitate to “pivot” because time is of the essence. You also have to eliminate all barriers that will get in your way of making improvements. For long-term growth, you have to consistently innovate the products and services that add value to your customers.   

    Innovation should not be restricted to just products and services, you will have to expand the scope and look at new ways to,

    • Improve processes and operations.
    • Upskill employees to drive innovation.
    • Create a high-performing agile culture.
    • Understand customers to drive innovation.

    Being innovative will help you strengthen your brand identity, implement agile operating models, develop superior products and successfully execute strategic transformational activities.

    Innovation is essential to increase business agility to move ahead of the competition and accelerate your business growth.

    3. Strengthen Organizational Capabilities

    As you may already know, having capabilities and not using them has little or no impact on businesses’ growth and development. It is how organizations manage and utilize their capabilities that impact the value and outcome of their operations.

    An organization may decide to rethink its business model and processes or re-evaluate people skills and competencies, physical facilities, reward system, and organizational structure, among other aspects of its operations.

    While businesses strive to deliver value in response to new trends and changes in customer demands, business leaders must invest resources in building sustainable organizational capabilities. However, building sustainable organizational capabilities is not a walk in the park. It takes commitment and focus to enhance the capabilities. Identify weak areas and other business capability areas that need improvement. Develop a plan to improve the capabilities and manage the change that comes with the process.

    The goal should be to constantly identify areas of greatest needs and devise innovative means and channel resources to improvise and strengthen the capabilities. Making the most of organizational capabilities will help you improve market value, and it will shape the leadership, culture, competencies, and performance management of your organization.

    4. Increase Operational Flexibility

    Operational flexibility is necessary for organizations to adapt to potential challenges that may test an organization’s wit.

    To ensure that an organization is going about operational flexibility correctly, there are essential questions that must be asked. That way, you will be able to satisfy the dynamic market and customer demands. You should be able to tell what an organization’s day-to-day operations look like, determine how you can maintain flexibility while adapting to changes, and prioritize projects in the course of adapting to changes in the business environment.

    Operational flexibility allows you to adapt to the evolving economy and keep up with the pace of modern trends. On your journey to achieving operational flexibility, you must learn not to fight change. It would be best if you have an open mind towards practical ideas.

    In addition to evolving with the economy, achieving operational flexibility becomes easier when you attract and retain the best employees, work towards efficiency and have complete control of cost reduction and control processes.

    One of the essential factors to consider is getting the best crop of employees for your company. Hiring the right people and investing in them will help you build a synergized and goal-oriented team that will propel your business growth through increased efficiency, productivity, and unrivaled quality.  

    In conclusion

    In this ever-changing business world and uncertainties, organizations are constantly faced with a common challenge to change their business strategy. Not being able to change and adapt quickly will only increase the risk of failure in business. Being agile and resilient will help you overcome challenges, better position your business, stay competitive and consistently grow.

    demo-attachment-128-Intersection-6

    Get your free guide on "improving business process."

      Process Excellence

      Process Excellence: Does it matter?

       

      Often, most people interchange process excellence with operational excellence, probably as an innocent mistake, or they don’t understand the difference between them.

      As a business striving for excellence in the IT space, you must clearly understand every aspect of your business and the factors that affect your business growth. While process excellence and operational excellence may have striking similarities, it is advised that you grasp the difference between them.

      Operational Excellence Vs Process Excellence

      You can think of operational excellence as the aspect of organization leadership that emphasizes the implementation of different principles, skills, and tools intended to help organizations improve key performance metrics.

      On the other hand, process excellence hinges on process efficiency and effectiveness. You can think of process excellence as a series of approaches to improve the quality and efficiency of your business output (either products or services).

      As an industry leader, you should be familiar with total quality management, six sigma, business process management, lean, and business performance improvement, among other methodologies. The question is, what do they all have in common? They all focus on the business process. More like an activity or series of activities intended to transform your business. You will be correct if you say process excellence means improving your business and providing the most value for customers.

      Key factors of process excellence

      1. Always Put Your Customers First

      The first step in ensuring process excellence is to put your customers first in whatever you are doing. Your primary concern is to add more value to your customer experience by engaging them in discussion/dialogue to find out what they like about your business and address their pain points.

      Businesses exist to satisfy customers. Because of customers’ role in “keeping businesses in business,” it’s easy to understand why they are regarded as the most valuable people to a business. You will agree that customers can either make businesses successful or unsuccessful. As such, the famous maxim about customers being king should be your business slogan and watchwords.

      Putting customers first helps you to understand their needs. Not doing so will jeopardize the growth and sustainability of your business. Putting your customers first involves giving them special treatment and executing strategies to keep them glued to your business and prevent them from looking elsewhere. Winning customers’ trust makes it easy to interact with you and share lots of information with you, including their pain points, expectations, and how they think you can improve your products or services.

      Actionable steps to put your customers first include selecting the target audience (by demography, lifestyle, psychographic or how customers react to your products (usage and attitude), creating a customer persona, and adopting a customer-oriented approach in your business, invest in providing a personalized experience and providing exceptional services.

      2. Create a Culture of Process Excellence

      Creating a culture of process excellence involves getting all hands in your organization on deck and geared towards improving the business’s performance. As a business owner or leader, your primary concern should hinge on implementing problem-solving techniques and aligning processes and people to achieve excellence in business.

      You would have succeeded in creating a culture of excellence if you can change how people work and behave in the workplace. Process excellence extends to getting employees to learn and adapt to new methods of solving problems, enhancing business performance, and aligning workplace culture with your business goals and strategies.

      Creating a culture of process excellence offers ample benefits. They include improving teamwork and leadership, boosting productivity through employee empowerment, streamlined and efficient processes, and paving the way for a smooth growth and expansion trajectory.

      3. Identify Process Inefficiencies

      Running a successful business is for business executives and managers to cultivate a workplace culture that enhances processes and operational performance, empowers employees, and boosts productivity.

      While you are at it, you must be proactive in detecting inefficiencies.  And as you can imagine, constantly analyzing processes to identify inefficiencies is not a walk in the park. It can be a very complex undertaking. However, if you don’t get on top of your business process’s inefficiencies, it can give your business a nasty blow and probably cause your business to nose-dive.

      Having mentioned that, inefficiencies in business process and operations can result in missed deadlines, pressure on staff, disorganized workflow,  compliance issues, and dissatisfied customers. The only way out is to implement systems to have a periodic audit of the end-to-end process to spot inefficiencies and execute plans to make the processes efficient.

      4. Upskill and Empower People

      From putting your customers first to creating a culture of process excellence and identifying inefficiencies in your business processes, the factor to consider while improving process excellence is empowering people— your employees.

      Upskilling involves providing employees with advanced skills — it can be in the form of training. Upskilling is vital for making businesses relevant. It comes in handy in bridging the gap between people and the fast-paced technological revolution in workplaces. You can think of upskilling as a means of filling skill gaps in an organization.

      While you are at it, you must have it in mind that hiring employees digitally savvy is critical to helping businesses stay competitive in today’s technology-driven business landscape. Other approaches to upskilling and empowering employees include connecting them to mentors, using real-life simulations and case studies, encouraging self-training, and imbibing a learning culture.

      Investing in upskilling and empowering employees will help you strengthen your business capabilities and make your journey towards process excellence easier. By empowering your employees and upskilling them, you can conveniently improve productivity, build confident teams, improve business agility (adapt to changes and leverage new technologies), help employees develop soft skills, and groom future managers.

      5. Performance Monitoring

      Keeping close tabs on your business performance is an excellent way of assessing your operations and process efficiency. It also provides an opportunity to evaluate employees’ performance. Another reason why it’s essential to monitor your performance is to spot mistakes and inefficiencies in your business process and take steps to plug every loophole.

      A proactive approach to constantly measure performance is necessary to identify whether the new process is producing the desired results or not. Doing so gives you the timely indication to continue or change the process to avoid breakdowns. Additionally, it will help to move in the right direction to achieve your business goals.

      Monitoring business performance also involves assessing employees to determine their level of performance or input. For instance, frequent performance assessments will help employers tell whether an employee is efficient in discharging his/her duties, is working in a safe environment, and keeping to schedule.

      If things are not going as they should, the company or business owner can step to correct any faults and provide employees with all they need to work at full capacity. And eventually, turn them into assets for the organization.

      The benefits of process excellence

      As technology continues to gain more traction and enjoy more relevance in virtually every facet of human endeavor, businesses are in stiff competition and are constantly changing their tactics to beat their competitors. Speaking of beating competitors, one way to go about it is yearning for process excellence. Paying more attention to achieving process excellence offers so many benefits.

      They include:

      • Improved productivity
      • Increased employee satisfaction
      • Increased customer satisfaction
      • Reinforcing agility
      • Smooth integration of technology
      • Reducing the risk of human error
      • Maintaining standards

      With all of that, a business can improve work output, deal with inefficiencies, reduce process completion time and prevent waste. Regarding productivity, process excellence can help you boost productivity by integrating technology into your business and ensuring high customer satisfaction.

      A recent study by Microsoft showed that at least 90% of consumers would rather take their business elsewhere than work with an organization that uses outdated technology. That means that leveraging technology in your business will help you save time on administrative tasks and focus on building experience with your customers. And hopefully, deliver a personalized customer experience and exceed expectations.

      We are rounding off

      Because process excellence is an essential aspect of building a profitable business, you must adopt proven business models and principles to bring sustainable growth to fruition.

      Popular methodologies that can help improve process excellence include but are not limited to lean manufacturing (which seeks to eliminate wastage during production), six sigma (which is intended to remove defects and improve process capability), and kaizen or continuous improvement (which leverages process excellence to build sustainable growth).

      To answer the question “if process excellence matters,” yes! It does. And businesses seeking growth must invest in achieving process excellence.

      demo-attachment-128-Intersection-6

      Get your free guide on "improving business process."

        Reduce Cost

        Five key steps to reduce operational cost

         

        The goal of every business owner is to cut costs and maximize profit. By business, we mean businesses across all facets of human endeavor, including those in the computer hardware and software industry.

        Considering how the pandemic has thrown a big wrench into the working of virtually all enterprises, businesses are looking for the most effective means of cutting cost, and one idea that always comes up is reducing operational cost.

        Before we discuss operational costs and tips on how to reduce them without hurting your business, let’s take a second to clarify between cost control and cost reduction.

        Understanding the difference between cost control and cost reduction

        While it’s understandable why both terms are often misinterpreted, there is a clear-cut difference between them.

        To save you all the economic and technical jargon, you can think of cost control as a technique that provides you with all the information you need to manage costs accrued to your business either directly or indirectly and whether the costs are budgeted or not.

        On the other hand, cost reduction deals with the technique you can employ to cut unit costs on your products or services without compromising their quality.

        We are taking our discussion further — tag along!

        From our definition of cost control, you can deduce that cost control is a process that is intended to give you an overview of the total costs that go into running your business and can be gotten via competitive analysis.

        You can think of cost control as a safeguard to prevent you from shooting beyond budget — not exceeding predetermined cost.

        To ensure that you don’t exceed your budget for production, there are many activities to follow. They include developing a plan, evaluating the budget’s actual performance, and correcting any discrepancies in your plan.

        What is cost reduction?

        As we hinted earlier, cost reduction is intended to cut costs per unit product or service without compromising its quality.  With cost reduction, you can easily find alternative means of reducing production costs on each product unit.

        What does that mean for businesses in the computer hardware and software industry?

        In the IT industry, where the demand for computer hardware and peripheral devices are on the rise, your aim as a business person is to cut unnecessary cost — production cost, storage/warehousing, and distribution.

        Remember, the purpose of cost reduction is to save cost per unit production and not compromise quality. There is a highlight of the differences between cost control and cost reduction before we round upon cost reduction and cost control.

        Five key steps to reduce operational cost

        Regardless of your business niche, your primary goal as a business owner is to reduce operational costs minimum. What that means for business executives is that you have to come up with a clever plan to save money on production and not negatively impact the business.

        If you are looking to cut costs in business, there are ways you can achieve that.

        1. Automate Process

        A recent study by Forrester showed that at least 22% of businesses are experiencing slow growth and less revenue because they have not achieved performance excellence and workflow automation.

        Among other factors that affect business growth and productivity, workflow automation will help you ramp up revenue and boost customer satisfaction. And if you can build a large community of happy consumers, you can improve process excellence without breaking a sweat.

        Business process automation (BPA) is not a Herculean take, and neither is it rocket science. It involves using technology to speed up the rate of task completion. Business automation saves you the cost of repeating specific tasks over and over again. It replaces the stress and cuts expenses and manual effort that comes with repeating tasks. 

        In addition to cutting cost, other benefits of business process automation are that it results in streamlined processes, it boosts customer satisfaction and increases efficiency and ensures standardized operations.

        2. Consider Outsourcing

        To keep up with customer demand and not lag in meeting modern trends, businesses now have to consider outsourcing as a part of their strategy to increase efficiency and promote business growth. If outsourcing plans are adequate and are thoughtfully implemented, you will be awe-struck at the tremendous drive in productivity you will experience. Outsourcing enables you to focus on other aspects of your business that is more impactful and requires more attention and inputs.

        From whatever perspective you look at it, outsourcing is intended to increase profit margin, low operational costs, and labor expenditure. As profitable as outsourcing may seem, it’s advised not to outsource core aspects/activities of your business. Core activities are best handled in-house because they are your trade secrets, and you can risk having them get to the wrong hands — say, your competitors.

        Besides cost-efficiency, other factors to consider while outsourcing include how it will affect your business reputation, innovation (will outsourcing help you overcome in-house restraint on innovative thinking?), and how long will it take to complete a task. Having mentioned all of that, you should always consider outsourcing a tool and ask yourself if outsourcing will help you save time and money because those are the main factors that will affect your business and promote growth.

        3. Reduce Infrastructure Cost

        If you are looking to keeping your business afloat in the modern business landscape and survive the stiff competition, you need to invest more in reducing infrastructure costs. One way to cut costs on infrastructure and not suffer setbacks is by adopting IT solutions. As more businesses begin to realize that it’s possible to cut down infrastructure costs and still meet customer demand with the aid technology, companies are increasingly investing towards that end.

        A recent CIO magazine survey showed that small businesses spend over 6% of their revenue on IT infrastructure (outside the 6% to 6% recommended range). The survey report also revealed that medium and large businesses and an average of 4.1% and 3.2%, respectively. While spending on IT infrastructure is vital to a business’s success, you must be careful not to go overboard. It would be best if you reduced Infrastructure costs before it runs your business aground.

        Typical means of reducing IT infrastructure costs include virtualization, outsourcing IT staff and services, adopting hybrid cloud technology, outsourcing security services, and consolidating systems.

        4. Cut Production Costs

        It’s almost impossible to discuss reducing operational costs without mentioning a reduction in production cost.

        Business in the computer hardware and software industry (especially those that are into manufacturing) will appreciate the idea of cutting production cost better since they deal with procurement and conversion of raw materials into finished goods. And because production cost encompasses material cost, direct labor cost, and manufacturing overheads, you imagine how much relief you will enjoy if you can efficiently cut production costs.

        The reward for business is profit, and there are two ways of maximizing profits: increasing selling price per unit and reducing costs.

        A common way of reducing manufacturing costs includes keeping tabs on records. You need to pay attention to the numbers —reduce production capacity, direct labor and material costs, labor efficiency, manufacturing overhead. Having tracked figures from your records, you can reduce direct material costs and reduce carrying costs on inventory such as warehouse staff cost, stock insurance, warehouse rent, insurance, warehouse maintenance cost, and money held in stored inventory (opportunity cost).

        Other ways of cutting production costs include eliminating non-value-adding processes, increasing workers’ efficiency, and leveraging automation. Once the comprehensive analysis is complete, it is much easier to know what needs to be done to improve strategic positioning. This will look different for every business but the work will pay off when a key differentiating point can be properly utilized. Specializing in solving a particular problem for a particular customer segment will be much more lucrative than trying to appeal to massive amounts of consumers.

        5. Reduce Surplus Expenses

        Reducing surplus expenses is an excellent way of reducing operational costs. Recall that operating cost covers all the cost incurred in the day-to-day operation and maintenance of the business. Speaking of operational expenses or operating expenses, we are talking about labor costs, employee insurance, other benefits, maintenance cost, amortization, commissions, and depreciation.

        Keeping track of operating costs will give you insight into how to avoid and cut surplus expenses. Thereby improving your productivity and profitability.

        Reducing surplus expenses will make you profitable and give you an edge over your competition. While reducing surplus expenses, one has to be careful not to compromise the quality of your products/services or put your employees under undue pressure. You can reduce surplus expenses by embracing technology, outsourcing, negotiating better deals, work remotely (telecommute), cancel unused services, and avoid debts.

        We are rounding off

        There are a thousand and one advantages of reducing your operational cost and on top of the list is that you will save enough money for other commitments.

        In addition to the steps on reducing operational costs we just shared with you, other tips you should have in your checklist include renegotiating contract terms and conditions, getting alternative suppliers of materials, changing your business location, and investing in the right machinery and equipment to ensure timely production.

        demo-attachment-128-Intersection-6

        Get your free guide on "improving business process."

          Strategic Positioning

          Why Strategic Positioning Matters?

           

           

          Knowing how you stack up will help you stand out

          When sales are down or business is moving too slowly, it is inevitably time to reevaluate the business strategy. However, navigating a business strategy without considering strategic positioning is like trying to climb a mountain with no compass or map. There’s a possibility to reach the peak but it’s more likely that you will get lost, waste time, energy, resources trying to get there and get frustrated for not carrying the tools to effectively navigate the journey.

          Just like climbing a mountain requires a map or a compass, a business requires a crystal clear plan and foundational principles to grow and prosper. Strategic positioning is a vital element to this.

          What is strategic positioning?

          A strategic position is how a company is viewed by customers. It’s the image and perception of the product or service. Strategic positioning is also a company’s relative position within an industry based on the product’s quality, features, and price. It is achieved through the choices a company makes about the kind of value it provides and how that differentiates from the competition.

          Why strategic positioning is important?

          Even if a business has the best product on the market, by all counts, it will not sell unless the brand or reputation stands out in the customer’s mind. As per Lucidpress, brands that are consistently presented see an average revenue increase of 33%. In the case of manufacturing or information technology companies, reputation is still integral to increase sales and overall profitability.

          Aside from managing reputation, strategic positioning gives companies vital information to build a robust strategy and operations. Generally, companies that value cost leadership focus on low-cost and efficient production. Companies that value differentiation put a lot more effort into marketing, packaging, and customer-facing activities. Using either cost leadership or differentiation as a competitive advantage can lead to outperforming the competition. Long-term success essentially boils down to having strong foundations on which the company’s identity and approach rest on.

          Two propositions can help simplify the dialogue and help lay the foundation for a business’s strategy and operations. A solid Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and a specific Positioning Statement will do just that. A USP is a brand’s feature or characteristic that differentiates it from similar alternatives. It’s a unique offer to convince customers to choose this brand over the others. The positioning statement will summarize the target market segment, the problem solved, how the solution is provided in a different way than the competition, and how this affects branding. Together, these tools clearly define the why and how of a business.

          From these core principles, business strategy and operational changes can be made effectively. The story and purpose of the company will become infused into everything else. Not only that, but it will help implement abbreviated decision-making at different management levels. That way, it becomes easy for decision-makers across all levels to carry out the vision for the company. The effects of a strong USP and Positioning Statement can help a business reach sustained growth, build a loyal customer base, and find a niche in which to thrive in.

          How to determine the current strategic positioning? 

          To improve a strategic position, the current one needs to be determined and analyzed. Also, having a deep understanding of the marketplace to compete is essential. Here are some steps to get a comprehensive analysis of a current position.

          • Identify Strategic Issues – Create a summary of critical areas that need to be addressed. Ask some key questions,
            • What is the company’s current position?
            • Is the company targetting the right customer segments?
            • What is working? What isn’t?
            • Is the product/service providing value to the customers?
            • Is there a need to change the strategic positioning to become more competitive?
          • Run an Environmental Scan – Run an analysis of Political, Economic, Social, and Technological trends (also called a PEST analysis). This will determine the environment the business is running in and the influences that can affect it.
          • Complete a Competition Analysis – Understand what the competition offers and compare it to the business’s competitive advantage. It’s not advised to depend too much on responding to the competition or follow them. The objective here is to be aware of the competition and use this information to differentiate the business.
          • Develop SWOT – Find any opportunities that can lead to growth and any barriers that might get in the way of business objectives. Be aware of the weak areas and what the company does well that can be used to bolster the organization’s competitiveness. This analysis will help develop a cohesive strategy.

          Once the comprehensive analysis is complete, it is much easier to know what needs to be done to improve strategic positioning. This will look different for every business but the work will pay off when a key differentiating point can be properly utilized. Specializing in solving a particular problem for a particular customer segment will be much more lucrative than trying to appeal to massive amounts of consumers.

          How to improve strategic positioning?

          Simply put, this concept helps customers distinguish what one company offers that’s different from the rest. There are few ways to do this. The strategies companies use to base their position can vary by the goal, intention, and the very nature of the product.

          • Product Characteristics- Choosing differentiation based on product characteristics associates the brand with a particularly beneficial feature. For example, it can be safety, security, aesthetics, or reliability.
          • Price Positioning- Choosing a position based on price associates the brand with being cheap and accessible for bargain-hunting customers. Firms in this category usually try to be the cheapest and achieve this by minimizing overhead and distribution costs.
          • Quality/Luxury- Choosing to be a quality or luxury brand as a distinguishing feature associates the brand with a high or premium price and increases reputation. Prestige is a priority to entice customers wherein the customer views the brand as an elite status symbol.
          • Application/Use- Utility as a distinguishing feature associates the product for a particular use i.e associating the brand or product with a specific use.
          • Competition- Brands can respond to activities made by the competition to try and get more of the market share. They can bring attention to a key difference in their product or service to seem more attractive and unique compared to other options.

          Summary

          Companies can benefit immensely from strategic positioning. By completing a thorough analysis of the environment, competition, and the company itself, it will become clear what unique offers can be made to attract customers. A thorough analysis will give a clear picture of the capabilities and resources a company has and what problem it could solve for a specific target audience. By writing a USP and Positioning Statement, the foundational groundwork can be completed for building a robust strategy. This will help create a powerful strategic plan that will accelerate the business’s performance. This concept can lead the company to growth and optimal health- that’s why strategic positioning matters now, more than ever.

          demo-attachment-128-Intersection-6

          Get your free guide on "improving business process."

            Supply Chain1

            Six Key Steps to Build a Sustainable Supply Chain

             

             

            Building a sustainable supply chain is essential for the longevity and success of the business. Pressure from investors, customers, and stakeholders to create a sustainable supply chain has increased over the years. To build a sustainable supply chain, many environmental, economic, and social elements can be managed and improved to optimize processes, find new product innovations, save costs, and conserve resources.

            Creating sustainability in the supply chain is a continuous ongoing process to consistently enhance the system that will lead to a robust and sustainable supply chain. However, if companies are not building with sustainability in mind, this could be a huge potential risk to the future of the business.

            Here are six key steps to build a sustainable supply chain:

            1. Visualize The Process

            Understanding, planning, and building the supply chain or proposed supply chain is a vital first step.  Companies won’t be able to improve their supply chain process if they don’t have a visual or map of the actual process. This makes analyses of the supply chain a lot harder, especially if it is a global company or a complex supply chain.

            This is a true starting point as a map will help find risks and inefficiencies in the supply chain process. The supply chain map will show how resources are being used every step of the way and help identify challenges or hiccups that are slowing down the production process. It also provides a framework for every employee in the organization to understand how the flow works and how it impacts the customers. This is extremely important as each employee realizes the importance of the processes and value provided to the customer.

            2. Forecasting Customer Demands

            Supply chain organizations have ranked forecasting demand as a major challenge in meeting their supply chain goals. Forecasting is a vital component of supply chain strategy to ensure sufficient inventory levels are maintained to meet customer demand. Forecasting gives an estimate of the number of products the customers will purchase in the near future. This data allows organizations to proactively prepare and work on,

              • Strategic activities like budgeting, financial planning, risk assessments, and devising mitigation plans or any expansion planning.
              • Operational activities like material planning, purchasing, production planning, logistics, and resource planning.

            Sustainability is providing what customers want from the business without any surplus products. Creating products that don’t sell is a waste of time and money. Predicting the demands will enable organizations to deliver the right product at the right time to the customers.

            The use of appropriate forecasting tools and methods will help in estimating the demand and developing a plan to drive a seamless supply chain process. The key is to choose the most effective and flexible methods/tools to ensure forecast accuracy. Using data and analytics can further help in ensuring a more efficient and sustainable supply chain.

            3. Effective Collaboration & Setting Expectations

            Collaboration should be the core of the business. Encouraging an open feedback culture in the company will allow for the collaboration of different departments to find solutions to any issues in the supply chain. When employees can voice concerns and feedback without repercussions, companies can find unique solutions to their problems. Encouraging open collaboration between different elements of your supply chain will grow the effectiveness of the entire supply chain process. According to Salesforce, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.

            Setting expectations about your supply chain is imperative so that your stakeholders are on the same page about the status of the company. Do not over promise and under deliver. By having open discussions about goals, problems, and wins, companies can reassure the stakeholders of the future and viability of the company. Being transparent increases the trust among the stakeholders.

            4. Leverage Technology

            Technology assists in improving the supply chain process by automating and simplifying the entire process. Technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Internet of Things (IoT),  should be leveraged to automate and streamline the processes to enhance productivity and efficiency. By automating parts of the business that are mundane and repetitive, the employees and business can focus on big picture goals while gaining a competitive advantage over the competition.

            Technology also allows companies to evaluate and analyze processes such as transportation management, inventory management, and order management. Additionally, technology enables communicate effectively by instantly and seamlessly connecting with different parts of the supply chain process.

            5. Train & Educate Employees

            Employees are the most important assets. They are the reason companies can scale the business to a higher level. Creating a culture of open feedback and education equips employees with the resources they need.

            Invest in a consistent and thorough training program for the employees to make sure that every employee understands the mission, vision, business processes, and organizational goals. According to ClearCompany, 68% of employees say training and development is a company’s most important policy. Employees want to do a good job but need to be equipped with the proper knowledge and skills to effectively carry out the company’s vision and mission.

            Providing proper education and upskilling employees on various supply chain best practices, technology, and other techniques will create a solid foundation to build capacity for the business. When employees are properly trained, every part of your supply chain can function efficiently and profitably.

            6. Measure Performance

            There is always room for improvement in the supply chain with both internal operations and supplier performance. Companies should track and leverage data to spot any inefficiencies in the operations, improve the overall performance of the supply chain, and increase customer satisfaction. Check the internal structure to see how employees function. Evaluating productivity and efficiency, eliminating outdated processes, collecting employee feedback, and analyzing data can help businesses fix bottlenecks/inefficiencies and find areas of opportunity in the supply chain process. 

            Evaluate supplier performance. Are they providing the type of quality, quantity, and timely delivery that is expected? Keep track of which suppliers work well with the business and develop a deeper relationship with them. Only work with suppliers that meet the requirements and can help to scale the business in the future. Re-evaluate partnerships that don’t benefit the companies mission.  

            Lastly, evaluate how the company is functioning compared to the direct competitors. Are there any industry best practices that could positively impact future business? Is there anything to learn from the competitor’s mistakes to protect the business? Knowing and understanding your competition can help maintain a sustainable supply chain.

            Summary

            Building a sustainable supply chain is imperative for the future success of the business. Focusing on these steps will help strengthen the supply chain process to consistently meet both organizations and customer demands.

            demo-attachment-128-Intersection-6

            Get your free guide on "improving business process."

              RPA1

              How Robotic Process Automation helps boost operational performance

               

               

               

              One of the most talked-about technology among companies is RPA or Robotic Process Automation. According to the Global Market Insights research report, the Robotic Process Automation market is likely to surpass USD 23 billion by 2026. It is such a sought-out technology as companies can benefit immensely by enhancing their overall performance and consistently provide value to the customers.

              By implementing Robotic Process Automation into a business, it’s easy to see exceptional organizational growth as well as increased accuracy and productivity. A study conducted by Mckinsey showed that Robotic Process Automation implementation delivered companies between 30% to 200% return on investment in its first year.

              Here’s how Robotic Process Automation can boost operational performance.

              1. Improve Customer Experience

              Customers are one of the most critical assets for any business. Without an excellent customer experience, most organizations would have to cease business. In today’s business world, a business needs to consistently meet and exceed customer’s expectations. PwC surveyed 15,000 consumers and found that 1 in 3 customers leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, while 92% would completely abandon a company after two negative interactions. It’s no secret how vital customer experience is for an organization.

              Businesses that utilize Robotic Process Automation to handle repetitive tasks will leave room for their employees to focus on more value-added work. Key functions like order fulfillment can be automated to fasten the fulfillment process with higher accuracy and consistency. Additionally, customer service can be enhanced by using automatic services to improve resolution time for customer issues.

              A consistent effort to improve customer experience with Robotic Process Automation will help provide better value to the customers. The use of this technology not only increases customer experiences and customer loyalty but gives a business a competitive edge over its competitors.

              2. Reduce Cost

              Implementing RPA is an ideal solution to reduce costs while also improving productivity and efficiency. According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies, using Robotic Process Automation can have a significant labor cost reduction between 30-60%, and businesses can begin to see their return of investment (ROI) in as little as six months.

              Robotic Process Automation will significantly help businesses to save costs due to human error. As per Harvard Business Review, incorrect data input by humans costs USD 3 trillion per year in the United States alone. An automated robotic system will cost nowhere close to a full-time employee and is an excellent alternative for outsourcing tasks that are manual and repetitive. It is faster and error-free. Robotic Process Automation also can produce continuous workflow, which can help streamline the operations resulting in higher accuracy, faster processing time, and increased efficiency. 

              According to SiberTech, using some type of Robotic Process Automation in a company’s workflow can lower operational costs between 25-50% in their first year of using it.

              3. Enhance Productivity

              Productivity is commonly one of the most pressing issues a business can face. Most often employees tend to struggle to perform mundane, repetitive work that often results in low productivity. Approximately, 10-20% of human work hours are spent on repetitive tasks, according to Software Testing and Bid Data Hadoop. To succeed and grow, businesses need to optimize processes to improve performance by efficiently allocating resources.

              Robotic Process Automation can help perform repetitive and tedious tasks with a high level of accuracy and consistency allowing employees to focus on more significant and more impactful duties. This change enables employees to fully engage and drive core strategic initiatives to improve business performance. Doing so elevates employee morale and increases job satisfaction. Also, this technology can be used 24/7 which enables businesses to increase their resource capacity leading to higher productivity and rapid growth.

              A new study from ISG found that using Robotic Process Automation allows businesses to complete processes with 37% fewer resources and 5 to 10 times faster than a human employee could.

              4. Increase Scalability

              A study done by SSCON found that the scalability of Robotic Process Automation software was unbeatable and could be doubled instantly before product launches. Scalability is one of the key benefits of Robotic Process Automation that is commonly overlooked. Businesses can build their robotic workforce to fit their workspace’s needs at a minimal cost in a short amount of time. 

              Even if businesses are continually changing parts of their operations, the automation workflow can be changed easily to adapt to situations to consistently meet the operational needs. As per a study, 65% of the respondents said that the most value they get from Robotic Process Automation is in driving more predictability and quality in the processes, and 50% said that speeding up time to complete the process is of value. 

              Also, Robotic Process Automation can be beneficial during periods of intense growth or peak business activity, which could be due to a new product launch or busy seasonal times of the year. Instead of having to train staff, businesses can leverage this technology to help sort through the increased traffic and workflow while improving overall performance to consistently meet customer demand.

              5. Increase Accuracy

              It’s easy for employees to make errors that can cost an organization a ton of money. Mistakes will happen, no matter how careful and thorough employees are at performing their tasks. Using a Robotic Process Automation eliminates these issues due to its automated and optimized workflow that is error-free and consistent.

              Robotic Process Automation can carry out critical, high-volume complex tasks faster with more accuracy, leading to faster processing and reduced waste. This accuracy will help in all aspects of a business, including analytic reporting. This technology is designed to return a huge amount of performance data analysis. This information can be used to continuously improve performance and avoid costly operational errors. 

              The more repetitive tasks are automated, the higher is the accuracy and processing time. Eliminating human errors does have a huge cumulative impact on costs and customer satisfaction levels. 

              Summary

              In the coming years, businesses will gain enormous benefits from the capabilities of the RPA technology. Using Robotic Process Automation will help boost operational performance to better meeting customer needs, gaining a competitive edge, providing accuracy, scalability and reducing overall work costs. Investing in this technology frees up employees to work on high-scale projects to effectively use their talents and strengths. Technology is transforming the business world and will continue to play a key role in the future. Leveraging RPA technology is vital to transform the business and to increase the competitive position in the marketplace.

              demo-attachment-128-Intersection-6

              Get your free guide on "improving business process."

                cash

                Six effective ways to improve cash flow in manufacturing

                "Never take your eyes off the cash flow because it's the lifeblood of business."

                "Never take your eyes off the cash flow because it's the lifeblood of business."

                Richard Branson

                Richard Branson

                 

                A strong cash flow is one of the key factors to creating a sustainable manufacturing organization.  There is a constant need for cash to flow into the business to stay on top of production schedules, consistently meet the customer needs, and grow the business. No matter how great the business model is or how high the product demand is, poor cash flow can disrupt the entire operations and growth. Research indicates that 82% of business failures are due to poor cash management. It is critical to effectively manage the cash flow to avoid putting the future of business in jeopardy. Here are six effective ways to improve cash flow.

                Send Invoices On Time

                Promptly sending invoices to the customers is one of the best ways to avoid delayed payments and improve cash flow. As per research, 46.2% of invoices remain unpaid as of the due date. This staggering figure is supported by Export Finance Solutions, who found that companies pay on average seven days late. Another study found that small businesses in manufacturing have an average of $96,000 in unpaid invoices and it takes 21 days to get paid. Hence organizations must implement effective and robust plans to ensure that invoices are getting paid on time.

                Invoices with accurate data, regular follow-up on upcoming due dates, sending statements of current outstanding invoices will help immensely to eliminate late payments. Simplifying the invoicing process through automation, implementing software tools and easy payment options will help in streamlining the invoicing process to speed up payments and increase cash flow.

                Define Balanced Payment Terms

                Cash flow is heavily influenced by the payment terms extended to the customers. Whilst it is critical to send invoices on time, it is essential to implement balanced payment terms. These terms should be clearly stated at the time of signing the contract. A recent study showed that the average payment term is 32 days, yet the average actual payment length is 55 days. If the customers are unable to meet the payment terms, look for alternative solutions. For example, provide customers with installment options or offer discounts for early/faster payments. Also, keeping track of late payers with quick follow up will help to avoid delayed payments. At times it may be necessary to renegotiate terms with the late payers or implement penalties for the late payment.  

                Additionally, conducting a credit check before working with a customer is a simple and effective way to reduce non-payment/delayed payment and avoid cash flow problems. A credit check will help to better understand the financial risk of working with a customer and whether or not they are likely to make their payments on time. This can significantly improve short-term cash flow and help reduce the risks.   

                Reduce Operating Expenses

                Another effective way to improve cash flow is to reduce operating expenses. In the manufacturing industry, operating expenses make up the bulk of the overall costs. To help reduce these costs, remove inefficiencies/waste within the business. This can be done through automation and continuous process improvements which will help streamline the internal operations. According to a study by Okuma Corporation, it’s realistic to see up to a 30% increase in production by using automation in the manufacturing process. This can significantly decrease operating expenses and thus improve cash flow.

                Also, purchasing efficient machines/equipment will help in enhancing the overall productivity and efficiency leading to increased production and consistent in-flow of cash in the long run. Diligently keeping track of the expenses will further help to avoid unnecessary expenses and reduce the cash going out of the business.

                Reassess Product Price

                Product price is commonly overlooked in the manufacturing industry. A common trend within the industry is that new entrants will try to undercut the competition as a strategy. Whilst this works as a short term solution, it fails as a long term strategy. Not only will this potentially damage the cash flow, but it will also create the impression that the product is cheap. This can consequently damage the brand and reputation.

                When developing a pricing strategy, it is important to look at fulfillment cost, competitor pricing as well as maintaining a buffer for flexible pricing. An important aspect of pricing is determining the “value” for the customers. If the customer sees the “value” of the product/services, then the price will not be the key factor for making their purchasing decision. This will help in lowering the price sensitivity resulting in improved cash flow and profit margins.

                Efficient Stock Management

                Most of the manufacturing industries have a substantial amount of cash tied up in inventory. It is vital to ensure appropriate inventory levels are maintained to operate efficiently and consistently meet customer needs. Forecasting demand is critical, meaning having sufficient inventory to seamlessly process customer orders. Incorrect forecasting will result in a surplus or insufficient stock. Overstocked inventory ties up cash that otherwise can be invested in other areas to meet business needs. On the other hand, not enough inventory will risk not being able to fulfill the orders leading to lost sales and unhappy customers. This could further lead to a potential loss of new sales. Having a robust stock management system can significantly enhance productivity and efficiency, helping organizations to reduce inventory costs and enhance the speed to fulfill orders. Doing so will have a positive impact on the cash flow.

                Invest Prudently

                Often manufacturing industries invest heavily in purchasing equipment and other assets without fully understanding the need, resulting in increased operating expenses that further impact the cash flow. To invest prudently, it is necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of the business needs. These include equipment, materials, and other resources. According to Forbes, 20% of every dollar spent in the manufacturing industry is wasted – adding up to $8 Trillion every year. Avoiding such expenses can help to reduce unnecessary costs and waste, which will have a positive impact on the cash flow.

                Summary

                Cash flow is vital for maintaining healthy finances. Implementing these strategies is a great way to boost and maintain a positive cash flow. With 82% of all businesses failing due to poor cash management, staying on top of the cash flow is not just an option but a critical aspect to successfully run the business.

                demo-attachment-128-Intersection-6

                Get your free guide on "improving business process."

                  Strategy Execution1

                  Five key steps to successfully execute strategic plans

                  "A vision and strategy aren't enough. The long-term key to success is execution. Each day. Every Day "

                  "A vision and strategy aren't enough. The long-term key to success is execution. Each day. Every Day "

                  Richard M Kovacevich

                  Richard M Kovacevich

                   

                   

                  One major factor that makes most organizations stand out in a competitive business climate thrives on their ability to successfully execute strategic plans. It is not how robust a strategic plan is, instead, how it is strategically implemented to ensure business growth is vital. As a result, leaders must invest in improving organizational capability to ensure the successful execution of the strategic plans. Findings from a recent poll conducted by the BPC and Morning Consult (MC) revealed that 59% of small businesses affirmed that a decline in revenue was their top challenge. While another study revealed,

                  • Internal factors hinder an organization’s growth and performance.
                  • Poor execution of strategy is most organizations’ single biggest hindrance to growth.

                  One of the major reasons for poor execution is that most leaders often communicate strategic plans to members of staff in abstract language and leaves everyone wondering how to convert them into realistic and practical steps.

                  Successfully executing strategic plans is not as easy as formulating them, but here are five key steps to ensure the successful execution of strategic plans. 

                  Communicate clear Vision

                  Communication is key. Communication is indispensable. Communication is at the center of effective implementation of every strategic plan. Communication is the vessel for driving organizational performance, as it ensures all team members fully understand the objectives and goals of a project. To successfully execute strategic plans, the first thing to make sure is effective and clear communication. This goes a long way in ensuring that all team players fully understand their roles in carrying out the strategic plan.

                  Findings from a recent study revealed that poor or ineffective communication can affect an organization resulting in delay or failure to complete projects, reduced morale, increased stress, lack of motivation, and decrease in revenue and profit. Therefore, to ensure successful implementation of strategic plans, leaders need to effectively communicate realistic action steps in a clear, precise, and unambiguous way. This ensures the overall performance of executing strategic plans.

                  To communicate a clear vision, leaders across various units in an organization should create a robust communication strategy by clearly explaining the objectives and motivation behind each organizational strategic plan. This is important because, with clear communication of the organization’s vision, each employee across various levels in the organization will fully understand their role(s) in the execution process of the strategic plan.

                  Build Organizational Capability

                  Any organization that wants to successfully execute strategic plans, has to ensure it builds organizational capability. Having a good strategic plan is indispensable in achieving organizational growth, however, building organizational capability is vital in executing the strategic plan. Hiring the right people, continuously enhancing their skills, implementing efficient processes, and leveraging technology are essential to seamlessly execute strategic plans.

                  Organizations should consistently assess performance, identify gaps, and implement plans to close the gap between strategy and execution. Today, the business environment is changing rapidly. A proactive approach and ongoing process to build capabilities will help organizations to constantly improve performance, boost agility, and adapt to change.   

                  The objective of a strategic plan is to give organizations a competitive advantage to thrive in the marketplace. Hence, building organizational capabilities is essential to build a strong foundation to achieve the strategic vision and for a sustainable competitive advantage.

                  Implement adaptable and flexible strategies

                  Every successful leader works hard to successfully execute the strategic plans, though what leading organizations do is that they design their strategic plans implementation process to be adaptable and flexible. Flexibility in the implementation of strategic plans does not imply not taking business goals seriously, but it implies that strategies are built to be more adaptable. What ensures an excellent execution of a strategic plan is how well a plan is built to adapt to unforeseen and unpredictable business trends.

                  Charles Darwin reinforces the importance of adaptivity, ‘It is not the strongest of the spices that survive nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

                  The greatest advantage of any execution plan is adaptability and flexibility. This is a skill that leaders need to introduce to planning and executing strategic goals.

                  Strong Leadership

                  Many factors mutually ensure the successful execution of strategies, strong leadership, however, play the most crucial role in determining the strategies overall performance, as everything falls and rises on leadership. One major role leaders play in the strategy execution process is to clearly defined the goals and roles of every key player in implementing strategies.

                  Findings from a survey by PWC revealed that most organizations affirmed that their major problem when it comes to strategy development and execution was having conflicting and too many strategic initiatives. This further reinforces how crucial strong leadership is in the strategy execution process. As it is the responsibility of the leaders and top executives to give clear and precise goals, objectives, and roles. Ensuring strong leadership is indispensable in executing strategies because it reinforces clear vision, precise operations, and cultivates a motivating work culture.

                  Measuring Performance

                  Another effective way of ensuring excellent implementation of strategies is by constantly measuring business performance, and also measure the effectiveness of the implemented strategies. Measuring business performance is important because it helps improve productivity and efficiency in the strategy execution process.

                  Measuring performance in an organization is crucial in facilitating better performance. Organizations should measure the productivity of their strategies by defining and using the key performance indicators (KPI) to predict how executed strategies will perform. This is very important because a KPI is very versatile and yet an effective approach in evaluating the overall organization’s performance.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Entrepreneurs and business leaders must be careful in their approach to executing strategic plans as the business environment is vulnerable to unpredictable and unforeseen trends that can destabilize business productivity. How an organization implements strategic plans goes a long way in determining the outcome and performance of such strategies.

                  It is therefore imperative that leaders should invest more time and resources in drafting and developing strong, flexible, adaptable, clear, and evaluated strategies to implement business goals and objectives. Successful execution of strategies is key to business growth, performance, and productivity, as it makes organizations compete effortlessly with their competitors.

                  demo-attachment-128-Intersection-6

                  Get your free guide on "improving business process."

                    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.

                    demo-attachment-128-Intersection-6

                    Get your free guide on "improving business process."