By | August 19, 2015

TriVista Publishes: EXPERT INSIGHT – What does Enterprise Excellence really mean?


In this Expert Insight, TriVista Managing Director Stephen Smith answers three questions about Enterprise Excellence – describing what it really means, the value it provides, and the steps you can take toward incorporating it throughout your organization.

Stephen has more than 30 years of executive experience in operations and enterprise leadership, and has been a trusted adviser to more than 200 companies worldwide. He apprenticed in Japan and the United States with founding members of the Toyota Autonomous Study group, the creators and implementers of what is now known as the Toyota Production System.  Later, he was part of the consulting firm whose work and clients were featured in the groundbreaking book, Lean Thinking.[1]

q1--EEStephen, we hear the term Enterprise Excellence a lot lately, but there seems to be many definitions. In what way is it different from operational excellence and lean thinking?

Operational excellence usually refers to improvement work done at the front-line of labor, on the shop floor, the surgical suite, or in order processing or packing. All too often, lean or Six Sigma initiatives have been limited to that area. Enterprise Excellence is a focus on bringing all aspects of an organization into the same improvement and management system. Sales, new product development, finance, human resources—even IT—need to speak the same language and use the same methodologies.

Enterprise Excellence can be thought of as a big umbrella. The work made up of three pieces: a multi-dimensional toolset; a structured implementation methodology that includes the entire organization; and an inclusive people-engagement strategy. The toolset is based on the lean, Six Sigma, and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) concepts. Implementation includes a robust assessment process and a structured, high cadence, implementation calendar that can include quick wins, multi-day, team-based learning and implementation (kaizen), or carefully managed project work. The inclusive people strategy means every single person in the organization is involved and eventually, everyone is relentlessly focused on waste elimination and value creation for the customer—not only in order fulfillment, but also new product development, order generation, and core business administrative activities.

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