What is meant by “Operational Excellence”?

„Operational Excellence”/OPEX means that structures, processes and behaviors along a company’s value chain are aligned in such a way as to create a learning and continuously improving organization whose focus is on highly efficient implementation of customer requirements. The focus is on continuous, dynamic optimization of core processes through root cause elimination, to avoid waste. Decisions are made on the basis of figures, data and facts. These are determined using various methods that are applied individually and appropriately to the situation. On the one hand, the introduction of “Operational Excellence” is a guarantee for economic success, but on the other hand, it requires enormous, long-term efforts. Discipline, continuity and an accurate approach are crucial for successful implementation. Not least because of the enormous effort required to introduce OPEX, companies often decide to implement only individual elements of the overall concept, such as Lean Management. Lean Management is both a management philosophy and a collection of methods. The following methods are examples of this:

  • 5S
  • Andon
  • Gemba
  • Kanban
  • Celldesign

As with all elements of OPEX, everything revolves around the consistent alignment of the value chain with customer benefits. It is by no means a matter of implementing only cost savings, although this is often a common side effect. Everywhere, where processes are recurring, the methods of Lean Management, which originally comes from the automotive industry, are applicable. Hardly any other method is capable of revolutionizing corporate culture in the way that Lean Management does. Those involved cannot imagine the gigantic potential before the method is introduced. An important success factor is the creation of a dynamic solution, performance and recognition culture. For our organization at DELTACON, LEAN Management and Operational Excellence are not BUZZ-WORDS, but everyday life.

By Thomas Wild

Executive Search Consultant for mechanical engineering, plant engineering and industrial fittings

Thomas Wild is Managing Director of DELTACON Koblenz GmbH Executive Search and is responsible with his team for the mechanical engineering, plant engineering and industrial valves sectors. He has more than 20 years of operational management experience as Managing Director and Sales Manager in his industries.