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23 January 2017

Operational Excellence: Play of information and dynamic processes will become key – ACM to the rescue

Social media and the omnipresence of mobile and digital platforms have given customers an enormous power and present entirely new manners of interaction and working with customers. This is the standard today.

These changes imply new ways of thinking in terms of operations and processes. The question is which technologies can bring fundamental changes to our way of working and living, both as customers and employees. One things is clear, it must be possible to detach from the physical workplace and be quicker. Much quicker. Immediately, actually.

What is the impact of the above new image on operational excellence?

Companies which embrace new digital technology to create a new and pleasant experience for customers and their employees have a chance of surviving. This means that processes have to become simpler and that operations have to be supported by new and upcoming technologies. This will release time for more productive and creative tasks.

It means especially going beyond the limits of typical internal ‘process thinking’ and discovering new visions and approaches to tackle the future.

Business processes must be aimed at achieving the solutions, the end goal, which fulfils the wish of the customer. The path towards this goal must be transparent and smooth for both the internal departments and the customer. Without feeling the internal enforcement, without external bureaucratic experience. In essence the new technological possibilities should contribute to an optimal and effective user experience during the implementation of knowledge work. Companies who are doing this now will offer value in the eyes of their customers.

By 2020 half of the worldwide working population will be Millennials, born and raised with upcoming connectivity and then in decisive management positions. They have less patience, things have to go fast, they want to innovate in organisation to show impact.

Organisations in developed countries with stagnating populations must innovate to remain competitive. Tomorrow’s customer is just as important as today’s. Therefore, innovation is key. And process and operational excellence play an important role. The traditional role of the ERP is often the necessary basic structure, but it should also be kept basic. Fixed structures for the more boring operational work are still necessary and benefit from high levels of automation. In addition, room must be created to be innovative, to take care of customers, creative in every individual case. This is where cooperation platforms are required for information, which contain underlying logics to guide towards a quick solution.

We are definitely on the eve of the era where rigid processes disappear, and more attention is paid to the capacity to model and adjust strategic processes. Preferably, employees and customers should individually be able to affect and control these processes. The importance of transparency in information is part of this, both in the form of big and small data. The synergy of that information and the efficiency of dynamically controllable processes will be the key challenge in the next 10 years.

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