Operational excellence can only be achieved if a robust operations strategy is in place – a strategy that truly integrates an organization’s people, processes and systems. One of the more difficult aspects is how to plan for flexibility. Better responsiveness enables both savings and sales opportunities.
Under ideal conditions, developing an efficient operations strategy would be relatively easy. However, in the real world, operations managers and business owners face many challenges, including the need to plan for different flexibility aspects and options. Typically, operations frameworks fail to sufficiently address the challenges that arise when creating an operations strategy.
One major challenge that operations managers need to deal with when developing an operations strategy is balancing cost, quality and time. A typical operational framework requires operating costs to be kept as low as possible, or at least on a par with, or lower than, those of its competitors. However, operations managers must simultaneously ensure that quality standards remain high and at a consistent level, and that delivery and development speeds are also at optimum levels.