Perspectives on Operational Excellence

On June 26th a group of manufacturers gathered to engage in a highly interactive discussion on Operational Excellence. OMEP consultants Paola Castaldo and John Valachovic led this fast-faced roundtable event at Portland Development Commission’s headquarters. Attendees were introduced to statistics regarding the rapid spread of information and the way these changes are affecting their businesses. They moved on to discuss specific business challenges, viewing them through the lense of Operational Excellence.

Throughout their discussions challenges rose to the top of the conversation, including the following:

  • Ability to train personnel
  • Cluster work- no systemized approach
  • Over promising and under delivering – “boundaries” with clients
  • Understand growth – analyze and put goals against
  • Market research before executing
  • Employee retention
  • Executive/leadership support
  • Keeping up with technology
  • Employee engagement
  • Fully utilizing top talent
  • Employee development
  • Understand client business processes to make improvements
  • Outdated business practices
  • Expressing strategy across organization and getting commitment
  • Margin compression
  • Increase visibility to value
  • Creating a comprehensive business plan including SWOT etc.
  • Recruiting people who can help us get there – shortage of skill set Compensation available – $ shortage
  • Succession planning

After a lively discussion, attendees walked through an exercise to measure their current operational excellence state, and discussed how to move to their desired future state.

As Chris has stated before, our objective in forming the OMEP Network and launching the roundtables is to create a learning community of manufacturers who come together in a variety of different venues and formats to hear and exchange information that enhances their business operations. This round table serves as a perfect example, because the key element to this community’s success is you, Oregon’s manufacturers. Without your honestly and open communication, the forum would not be as valuable of a tool and sounding board.

Thank you for attending, participating in discussion, and sharing your challenges.