Operational Excellence is certainly not a new concept. Although perhaps not using the specific term, operating enterprises have been striving to implement Operational Excellence across their production and manufacturing sites for decades. Operational Excellence has meant that an enterprise is running their operations in the best possible manner. Of course, the question is “what does best mean?” Up until a just few years ago, most executives striving for Operational Excellence were working to have the most efficient operations. Therefore, “best” in this context referred to superior operational efficiency. Typically, high efficiency was measured in terms of the following:
- Actual production throughput to maximum potential production throughput
- Actual energy consumption to minimum potential energy consumption
- Actual material consumption to minimum potential material consumption
- Minimum safe headcount.
All of the preceding were to be achieved while maximizing safety and minimizing environmental impact. Therefore, the primary objective of operating enterprises has been to maximize production throughput safely while minimizing energy and material consumptions and human costs. Attaining Operational Excellence has been and continues to be an ongoing challenge for all industrial and mission-centered operating enterprises. In many cases, it is a matter of survival.
Over the past decade, there has been a subtle but highly impactful ...