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Operations Excellence - think: act Book

2008

Achieving operational excellence is an important endeavor for all companies – it is the "holy grail" that leads to increased value over the long term. It is one of the essential strategic differentiation factors that gives answers to company growth, efficiency, cost and profitability issues. Companies that have a functional operational strategy and are prepared to make sometimes difficult changes to improve their business are the "best-in-class". The first edition of think act: International Management Knowledge named "Operations Excellence – Smart Solutions for Business Success" critically examines their strategies and pinpoints approaches that will enable companies to achieve Operations Excellence.

The first edition deals with Operations Excellence. Smart Solutions for Business Success. In four chapters 26 experts from seven countries write on several management issues. In part I approaches and cases from the area of R&D are introduced and debated. Part II is dedicated to trends and approaches in the area of sourcing and purchasing. Part III examines developments in the field of manufacturing. Part IV deals with improving supply chain management, covering aspects such as comprehensive process optimization, reducing complexity and improving working capital.

Learning from the "best-in-class"

The book is dealing with the following questions: What value should a company create itself and what should be achieved by external parties? Where are company's production sites and which key technologies and products take center-stage? How and where does a company manage and support innovation? Where is a company's supplier base mainly located and how can the supply chain be steered to achieve maximum effects?

Operations Excellence takes up these questions. The authors provide answers based on their extensive consulting experience, gained while working with leading industrial sectors over many years. They keep two things in mind: What do leading companies do? And what can be learnt from their approach? Axel Schmidt, head of Operations Strategy at Roland Berger Strategy consultants, says: "This book provides many helpful suggestions that enable managers to achieve operations excellence within their own company."

Three levels of excellence

"There are three levels of operations excellence", explains Roland Schwientek, one of the editors and partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. The first level –strategy-provides companies with information on how they should travel their own path to best practice and the milestones they should see on their medium – and long-term- horizons. The second level is that of performance improvement. It provides answers to questions such as: Which service level must my company reach in order to be competitive and leading edge? What requirements should my company expect from asset productivity and what should be the cap for our various cost types? The third level concerns enablers. This level answers questions about the correct organizational form, best processes, most appropriate human resources and key performance indicators, as well as infrastructure excellence fields such as IT.

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