When an enterprise talks about operational efficiency it usually refers to the processes it undertakes to operate smoothly.
Those that continue to operate efficiently and remain profitable over time know they have to keep reviewing those processes constantly and continuously, but this is no easy task.
Manufacturing plants that failed to automate utilizing the power of steam during the industrial revolution soon disappeared.
Those that failed to adapt to production lines managed by software and computers in the nineties found life very tough.
In today’s digital era a great bulk of process work is done by robotic devices and people have become dispensable.
Failure to adapt to these changes has spelt the end for many enterprises, and even complete industry sectors.
Monitoring operational processes alone is also not enough, innovating (or at least keeping an eye on innovation) and being able to determine when to make a move is Key.
This is a dilemma that management has faced since the dawn of enterprise and those that constantly make the right decisions on the direction of their business continue to succeed.
But they are few and far between.
Successful entrepreneurs and corporate leaders, like their companies, now seem to have a limited life span.
Blue ribbon companies once thought indestructible have fallen by the wayside simply by failing to monitor their business closely or innovate.
Kodak being the most prominent example in recent times.
Whilst the decision on which innovation to adopt may involve some guesswork and luck …the monitoring of the operational and business processes does not !
In fact, it has become a science of sorts in recent years under the broad title of Business Assurance – a term that has become synonymous with our own company, WeDo Technologies.
What began as Revenue Assurance, or the discovery and resolution of leakage from any of the diverse revenue generating components in communications service provider, has now blossomed into a methodology that looks at all aspects of any type of operation.
The objective these days is not only to find and prevent possible leakage but also to ensure that all the operational and business processes that affect the outcome of the business are being adhered to.
Only when this is in place can management make rational decisions on whether a process or technology needs to be changed.
The fact that the communications industry has grasped this concept in a wholesale manner is heartening, considering just how complex its processes, developed over 100 years, can be.
Now other industries are looking at the comms sector and seeing the results of concerted business assurance activities and are adopting the same principles and tools themselves.
Retailers, dogged by sub-standard stock turnover controls, leakage through theft, seasonal stock movement, optimum stock location on shelves, and a myriad of other challenges are taking on end-to end business assurance to protect their low margins.
Airlines, early adopters of revenue management processes to maximize ‘bums in seats’, now monitor and analyse all aspects of their business from fuel loads, to gate management, weight management (excess newspapers, etc.) and staff rostering even the washing of aircraft to minimize drag - all part of their business assurance process.
But key to all of these EBA (Enterprise Business Assurance) activities is the overriding concept that if things run smoothly, you not only maximize revenues, you also maximize the customer experience.
There lies the key driver.
Innovation is important: Enterprise Business Assurance makes for happy Customers, and happy Customers make for happy companies and happy companies make happy people. Happy people in turn will sustainably produce more innovation.