Operations Strategy – Setting Change Boundaries

An Operations Strategy details how an organization will effectively and efficiently create and deliver products and services to customers. Over the past several years, many companies have driven towards an integrated product, manufacturing and supply chain strategy that unifies critical touch points between business processes. This automation is mainly driven by increased globalization, faster product delivery cycles, compliance issues and the mandate to decrease risk associated with executing new business strategies. In order to achieve operational excellence, companies need to develop and execute a unified Operations Strategy.

A question that frequently arises from Senior Executives is how to scope their operational improvement efforts. Many organizations make the following mistakes when selecting specific improvement areas:

  1. Focus solely on silo-ed business requirements at the departmental level
  2. Scope the improvement effort without understanding true operational pain-points
  3. Narrowly scope the transformation based on one individual’s talents or capabilities
  4. Base the scope decision solely on the bounds of a new system implementation

All of these scoping missteps have the effect of automating existing tasks and sub-processes without optimizing the overall end-to-end process. By narrowly defining process improvements in this manner, organizations often miss significant value creation opportunities.   A more effective approach is to view the entire organization as a series of end-to-end business processes known as Mega-processes. These  Mega-processes define natural end-to-end units of work inside the corporation. Examples of Mega-processes would include Quote to Revenue  Recognition and Service Request to Service Delivery. By viewing operations in this way, organizations can better translate their business  processes into measurable improvement opportunities.

At the execution level, Operations Strategy involves matching the operational characteristics of the company with the specific customer  and regulatory requirements.   We view the creation of  an Operations Strategy as the development of an integrated hierarchy of systems and business processes.  At the top of the hierarchy, we model the organization as a connected system of processes, functional areas, industry constraints and opportunities. This includes  existing resources, competitors, information needs and business and regulatory requirements.  At the highest level, strategic objectives and goals are visible while at the lowest level, sequential tasks and desktop procedures are explicitly analyzed and defined.

HBSC’s methodology focuses on identifying organizational pain-points and system gaps, gaging management self-awareness and communications issues and then engages with senior management to prioritize improvement opportunities. Our approach effectively maps interdependencies between the various functional areas and  allows companies to identify and prioritize Mega-processes based on tangible value creation opportunities. This approach also ensures  that an appropriate level of inter- departmental re-engineering is achieved based on the specific process improvement goals. Over the past  12 years, HBSC has built a consistent track record of helping clients create effective Enterprise Operations Strategies and leverage new  technologies for competitive advantage.


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