Business Process Management, leverage to drive Global Operational Excellence Initiatives
In a changing world, where customer behaviour changes rapidly, where competition between companies has never been so intense, where economic and climatic uncertainties are essential components in the definition of a business strategy, many companies want to be prepared for the years to come. Moreover, rising inflation on raw materials, energy and wages is putting pressure on corporate profit margins, pushing many players to launch company-wide Global Operational Excellence Initiatives.
This diagnosis comes from two convictions. First, the more resilient we are, the more we will be able to face future challenges. Second, the more efficient, pragmatic and customer-centric we are, the more we will be able to become or stay a key player in our markets. While these beliefs are widely held in industries, they come up against a fundamental problem: a company's ability to carry out a company-wide Global Operational Excellence Initiative.
Two methodologies bringing excellence to a next level
Global Operational Excellence Initiatives are not only local Operational Excellence projects but extended to all company processes. However, carrying out such projects requires certain prerequisites, which companies often lack:
- The precise knowledge of the processes of the company, where the roles and responsibilities of each are clear and known to all. This knowledge of its end-to-end processes is a major asset before launching projects aimed at improving them and controlling them completely.
- The availability of data related to its activity and its processes. The absence of these data makes it difficult to assess the business, monitor improvements during the transition and finally measure the impact of continuous improvement projects.
The BPM approach brings these two elements by clarifying the processes, allowing to have an end-to-end view and facilitating the collection of data. In a way, the BPM approach perfectly complements the OPEX -Lean six sigma methodology, bringing a reference process notation system and an ecosystem software that makes it easy to monitor data and manage processes in a more global and effective way.
Lean 6 sigma brings a customer centric philosophy, 5S, common improvement mindset and powerful analytics tools
BPM brings a clear notation system and Business process management software that allow to monitor all business processes
Merging these two complementary frameworks - how it works
To carry out these global projects of excellence, BPM projects are an excellent gateway before initiating a DMAIC cycle. Here is a general overview of the approach once the two methodologies have been merged.
Identification of processes / Process Documentation: We break down the company into macro processes distributed between core processes, support processes and management processes. By doing so we provide an exhaustive view of all the company's macro-processes, processes and sub-processes: the Enterprise Map. Then we document all the processes and collect a large amount of information on them, but above all the KPIs allow us to evaluate the activities (number of actions carried out, duration of execution, satisfaction rate, compliance with specifications, reject rate, etc.).
Process Analysis / Redesign / Implementation: As we have the Enterprise Map with documented processes AND the information needed to assess the performance of the process, it is the opportunity to step back and to evaluate the processes globally. Are they clear enough? Do we have overlaps? Do we have lacks? Can we simplify them? Can we standardize them? The analysis, redesign and implementation steps must be carried out before launching a perpetual life cycle: the cycle of continuous improvement.
The perpetual OPEX cycle: The processes are mapped, we have the data to measure process defects and to monitor them, so we can fully focus on what is at the heart of the Operational Excellence approach: understand the voice of the customer, maximize value, eliminate defects, and make solutions permanent on the long run.
As you can see, the marriage between these two methodologies makes sense: it allows a much more global approach, considering all the company's activities rather than a limited scope optimization.
This association combines the best of both worlds: BPM for its global approach of business processes, OPEX for its ability to launch a perpetual and pragmatic virtuous cycle.
Avertim bring this global approach to its clients
One of our clients, a major pharmaceutical company had decided to deploy a global Operational Excellence program through its overall activities and processes to:
- Increase processes efficiency in all departments of the company
- Improve knowledge sharing between teams and departments
- Steeper learning curves for new employees
- Faster Business Case phases during projects
In this context we bring our expertise, focusing on 3 majors’ axis:
Create an internal Center of Excellence and its operating model: elaboration of the vision, definition of the BPM lifecycle, set-up of a governance, building & execution of a Change Management plan (training, communication), establishment of the process design standards.
Drive the process design/redesign program: facilitation of workshops with Subject-Matter Experts and Process Owners to (re)design processes, collect KPIs and validate the digitalized processes in the global process map. Avertim also assisted the change agents to implement new processes and modifications.
Launch the Operational Improvement mindset: by process analysis and redesign with stakeholders to optimize existing processes and to launch the OPEX cycle by training and making accessible the means, information, data necessary for the establishment of a sustainable Operational Excellence cycle.
Faced with the challenges ahead, the desire to improve continuously its performance by managing every business process takes on its full meaning. However, such an ambition requires a specific and global approach. Avertim offers an original approach based on the best practices of two proven methodologies: Business Process Management and Lean 6 sigma. This approach allows our customers to manage all their processes and to properly launch a global process of continuous improvement.
Alexandre P., Lead Consultant | Energy & Transport