Execute the strategic vision
Operations is often seen as less important than developing the strategic vision. While strategic vision sets the direction, operations is the execution of that vision, and is vitally important to your company’s performance. Successful strategic deployment requires at least two things: 1) leadership buys in to the importance to company goals of “blocking and tackling” effectively and knows what that requires, and 2) operations professionals understand and are accountable for their specific contributions to strategic goals.
Move the right needle
Sometimes managers want to execute what they are most comfortable with, not necessarily what is required to impact profitability and sustainability of the total business. It’s important to know what aspect of performance you want to enhance and then determine how to affect that. Gather data and develop metrics to measure what will move the right needle most effectively. For example, a company had a shipment-completed-when-promised rate of more than 90 percent, but lost a major client because shipments still weren’t being delivered when that customer needed them. Company standards were not tailored to specific customer needs. Customer satisfaction with actual shipment dates would have been a better metric.
Start by looking at the customer experience
The end customer’s experience is ultimately a reflection of all the things that occur inside the company to deliver that experience. When looking to improve your company’s performance from an operations perspective, be sure to look at the customer-facing piece and what specific actions would contribute to improving it.