Operational Excellence

Operational Excellence: A Crucial Piece of the Customer Experience Puzzle

By Clive Hannon 11 May 2017

BT has announced plans to make considerable changes to its operating model over the next 3 years. Its objective? To build a “lean and agile organisation that delivers sustained improvement in customer experience and productivity.”

The initiative has made the headlines – and shone the spotlight on the role of operational excellence in optimising the customer experience.

Here’s what you can learn from BT’s story.

Why is planning for operational excellence important?

Let’s start by defining the term operational excellence. According to Business Directory, it’s “a philosophy of the workplace where problem solving, teamwork and leadership result in ongoing improvement in an organisation. The process involves focusing on customers’ needs, keeping employees positive and empowered, and continually improving the current activities in the workplace.”

In BT’s case – and we see this in many industries such as retail, logistics and financial services – pressure from changing business models, evolving customer behaviour and new entrants has intensified the need to streamline operations. In these fiercely competitive markets, operational excellence can be key to differentiation, growth and profitability.

To achieve this level, you must start by determining what operational excellence looks like for your specific business. Then you can develop a roadmap to attain in. BT is a textbook example of a company that has set out clear corporate objectives and is now moving decisively towards its goals.

It’s time for enterprises to shape up or lose market share

We see it time and time again: enterprise organisations rely on systems and processes that duplicate workload. It’s a problem start-ups simply don’t have. New market entrants have the luxury of building systems and processes that use the latest technologies and skillsets. It’s part of what makes them so agile.

Traditional enterprises are often crippled with legacy technology, built and modified over decades, which requires huge resource to maintain – let alone improve. So how can you compete?

The solution lies in technology that sits on top of your legacy systems, deriving insight and presenting it in comprehensible, actionable ways. As long as you have people willing to spearhead investment in new strategies and technologies, even large corporates can position themselves for success.

As BT has realised, you can’t afford to sit on your laurels. Will you let yourself get overtaken, or will you champion your organisation – and your customers?

See other posts by Clive Hannon


Clive has a fascinating background in industrial engineering and over the years has become a specialist in scaling IT and software companies. His experience comprises high profile roles, such as Head of Continuous Delivery at Oneview Healthcare, and a founder and COO of Ammeon, a telecoms consultancy firm based in Dublin. Uniquely, Clive combines a wealth of technical knowledge with commercial acumen to continuously improve operations at Engage Hub.

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