Chapter 21

Ten Traits of World-Class Operations

In This Chapter

arrow Being aware of your customers’ changing wants and needs

arrow Improving your products and processes continuously

arrow Keeping things simple

What makes a company world class, or the best at what it does? Consumers can say why they like a certain product or service — and why they don’t. But a firm’s operations are a pivotal element in what customers experience. Operations spend company money, interface with customers, and make achieving business goals possible.

So what makes the operations behind a product or service world class? How do the operations produce the products and services that customers demand in a way that makes it profitable to their stakeholders? In this chapter, we point out common characteristics of companies that are generally considered to be world class.

Knowing Thyself

Successful companies have an intimate understanding of what they do well and what they don’t do so well. They know their competencies and exploit them to get ahead of their competitors. This objective self-assessment is particularly critical for operations. They also realize what they don’t know and outsource those items. For example, Apple ...

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