A process-driven organization looks for operational excellence in all that it does. These companies do extensive examinations of the flow of primary and secondary processes found within their businesses. They seek constantly to drive out inefficiencies. They are on a perpetual continuous improvement path. No process is too small to be ignored when looking for delays, blocks, and leverages to improve. This means they become very good at doing the same tasks over and over. Tight processes are the watchword when you look at an operationally excellent company’s structure. There is no fat.
Operationally excellent companies focus on how they do business and reward efficient and effective behaviors in employees. Their people are taught not to waste any resources in getting the job done. To achieve operational excellence, a company must advocate and practice teamwork as a principle of its culture. In today’s business environment there is no place for the lone player. The processes required to stay ahead of production schedules, customer demands, and short cycle times are too complex to be mastered by one person or a handful of selected employees. An operationally excellent company is the right testing ground for using teamwork as a tool to promote the culture.
Any company attempting to achieve the awards for excellence will have to examine the way it does business with the same intensity as Wal-Mart or FedEx. There is a move in management circles to clean up operating systems. Reengineering, Business Process Mapping, and six-sigma are techniques currently in vogue. Each technology has its various consultants, disciples, and true believers. All work well to some degree when properly applied.