Eliminating Hidden Coordination Inefficiencies

As frequent readers of our blog will know, the Council has focused a lot of attention recently on the topic of finding hidden inefficiencies within Operations. These are costs that often go untracked but present significant opportunities for sustainable cost reduction. Our recent studies have featured solutions for Operations to root out inefficiency through achieving […]

Getting Your Customers to Complain

It’s unlikely that you will find an Operations executive not concerned with capturing the Voice of the Customer (VOC). VOC has been a highly useful strategy in helping Operations functions align themselves better with what the customer wants and needs. However, VOC strategies rest on a big assumption: that you are capturing a representative sample […]

The Productivity-Quality Balancing Act

For the third year in a row, Operations executives responding to our Executive Outlook Survey said that improving process efficiency is their top priority. While this is certainly important news, I am more interested in the changes in focus and performance the survey revealed. After improving process efficiency, 20% of executives said their biggest priority […]

New Realities for Operations Talent

I came across an article this morning that caught my attention. It was written by a Corporate Executive Board colleague for the Washington Post regarding current overall levels of employee engagement in the United States. This is a phenomenon that we’ve observed particularly acutely in the financial services industry, and one that we’ve been writing […]

Programming Continuous Improvement

We recently presented a webinar on a topic that’s of great interest to me and most of our members: continuous improvement. One question that members asked consistently through our research interviews is whether continuous improvement needs to emerge spontaneously or as part of a formal “program”. While 65% of members polled in a recent survey […]

The Performance Balancing Act

Operations employee performance is usually broken into two dimensions: productivity and quality. Productivity reflects an employee’s output per unit time, while quality captures the incidence of error in employee work. Intuitively, it may sound like there is a tradeoff between these two dimensions of performance—when employees do work more quickly, their productivity levels rise, but […]