In today’s economy, it is critical for organizations to ensure their operations are supporting optimal organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Operational improvements are required for many reasons including managing inventory, managing delivery effectiveness, controlling risk, and ensuring safety. One of the benefits of improvement is the requirement to document and measure current processes and procedures. As a result, we have a source of data that can be used to analyze and improve performance. Once we baseline a process we can begin to identify opportunities to improve performance and improve operational efficiency.
What is the goal? There could be many goals in the case of operational efficiency such as higher quality, reduced costs or improved customer service but without a baseline there is no way of measuring changes, good or bad. Measuring is just a part of the process. Understanding efficiencies and making sweeping organizational changes are very difficult for organizations. Moving people into different roles, changing working conditions, outsourcing, off shoring are all alternatives used to improve operational performance.
Making the change itself is only one step towards achieving improved efficiencies. Efficiency and effectiveness are measurable items and it is critical to have the right data to measure and monitor the change. After the change has been implemented, measurement needs to continue for a period of time to verify the results of changes and ensure the correct actions were taken and savings or efficiencies are achieved as a result of the change. This verification phase should further support the changes and set a new baseline for the next measurable phase of improvements.
Let’s consider an example such as improvements to a process concentrating on customer service and ask the question, ‘How is it possible to measure a change in people’s skill proficiency?’ There are key metrics that can be used to observe and measure client satisfaction such as: How many calls are answered during a specific time frame? How many issues were resolved by the team or customer service representative on the first attempt? How many calls needed to be escalated to second or third tier support teams? Tools can be used to measure any number of qualified points of reference that will allow us to create a scorecard, set a baseline and measure results against it.
We can do this analysis at the enterprise level to gauge how effective a new initiative or process might be. At the project level we use scorecards to measure and improve the next deployment or to reduce the use of internal or external resources to reduce costs. We measure at the task level by leveraging existing processes, providing team training or accessing knowledgeable internal or external resources.
The idea of operational effectiveness can be a controversial topic in many organizations where the labour force is a key stakeholder. As a leader, understanding the hard savings brought about by changes to current methods, processes and tools is important but also addressing the business knowledge of the team and how changes to the team will affect performance both short and longer term is a critical success factor. To achieve results, organizational change needs to be planned and executed with professionalism and respect. To see how Logixsource can help improve your operational efficiency and effectiveness contact Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org or Scott at email@example.com.