The Operational Excellence Model: The Complete Guide (2023)


1. What is Operational Excellence, the OpEx model?

1.1 What is the definition of Operational Excellence?

2. The OpEx model

2.1. work in business

2.2. columns

2.3. Equip Kaizen

2.4. Transformation

2.5. OpEx in everyday life

2.6. work in the company

3. Conclusion

1. What is Operational Excellence, the OpEx model?

What does operational excellence mean? How can I better understand OpEx system process and how to do OpEx learning right? You've probably heard about itOpEx-Modelland OpEx tools, but what are they and how and when are they used? Are there core principles of Operational Excellence to remember and how important is it to fully understand them? There are many doubts and areas where new insights are needed and in this article we will answer them and open the doors to the world of Operational Excellence.

1.1 What is the definition of Operational Excellence?

What is itWorld Class Manufacturing? What is lean thinking? What is the lean manufacturing system? These are examples of questions that arise from the fact that the operational excellence system does not have a standard. There is no absolutely correct way to do it, or even the structure of it; All of the different continuous improvement processes are a subset of operational excellence. The core of this system isThe system takes control. People might say, "No, it's DMAIC, 8D, or A3," but it doesn't have to be that complicated. If you train people in your company and you have themPDCAKnow, then you're in good shape. One could also argue that all other systems are connected to itPDCA. The key is that opex is a "follow a process" mentality, which is far more effective than arguing about which process to follow. We call all these different continuous improvement systems Operational Excellence.

(Video) Operations 4.0: Next era of Operational Excellence

Operational Excellence, or OpEx for short, is a way to continuously drive the development of your specific business. It is a model that engages people in organizations in three main activities to achieve operational excellence:

· Loss of intelligence, finding, sorting and prioritizing what to work on and in what order.

· Loss recovery, activities to fix the problems encountered, often using various forms of Kaizen activities/events.

· Loss prevention to prevent the losses you eliminate from reoccurring and to ensure that new processes, equipment, people and products do not cause the same losses again.

The word loss means breakage, lack of quality, interruption, etc. that prevents you from working optimally. A loss is far from ideal.

The Operational Excellence Model: The Complete Guide (1)
The Operational Excellence Model: The Complete Guide (2)

To make Operational Excellence an ideal system for your company, you need to build three distinct areas that come together to build that system.

There are no perfect models, but some are useful and we have found this mindset to be very helpful in interacting with and explaining the Operational Excellence system. The areas you need to build are:

· work in business


·work in the company

Properly designing these areas will help you build a complete and effective operational excellence system and when you are ready it will be an OpEx system process that will grow your organization, people, processes and products.

(Video) Enterprise Excellence Model - Webinar

2. The OpEx model

The Operational Excellence Model: The Complete Guide (3)

An operational excellence system can be described as a triangle. As you can see from the drawing, the model has three sides.

The system starts at the top of the triangle, with a management team or a steering committee, and they have to provide a clear direction of where they want to go. When you know where you're going, build your operational excellence strategy. The strategy guides you in the implementation of the vision. It usually explains how to implement it and how to secure profits.

2.1 Working IN THE COMPANY

The OpEx model has what we call "Working the Business" on the right side. It means distancing oneself from the content of the work in order to be able to look at the processes and see if they meet your needs or not. You have to step back and watch the people at work in your organization to understand what's really going on. This is "working in business".

2.2 Pillars

on oneOperational-Excellence-System, there is something called Pillars that supports the system. A pillar is basically a team that takes time to focus on one issue and a series of losses. You can only focus on quality, maintenance related issues, economic engineering issues, production flow issues, etc.

2.3 Equipment Kaizen

What is a Kaizen team? Kaizen teams are those who run kaizen events or activities across companies based on loss intelligence results. A Kaizen team is an improvement team or continuous improvement team of people working together to eliminate a defined loss/problem. They work for a short period of time based on a method that helps them fix the loss/problem.

See examples of Kaizen:

1) Using Kaizen in Food Production:

We are a $25 billion food company and our manufacturing facility produces dry goods for industrial and foodservice applications.
Throughput on Machine #3 was slowly reduced from 13,500 pounds. / H. to 12,000 pounds. / H. over a period of 3 years...

(Video) AWS Well Architected Framework - Operational Excellence Pillar

Using a Kaizen process, my team (certified practitioner) enabled a team of operators, mechanics, engineers and supervisors to use troubleshooting tools and techniques to restore machine #3 throughput back to 13,500 lbs./hr. With only 3 months left until the start of the next pack season, corrective action needed to be taken immediately.

Team members used the Kaizen approach with the documented Kaizen worksheet. Appropriate root cause analysis tools were used to address this issue. A detailed execution plan has been finalized with the approval of the management team.see more information

2) Use of Kaizen in automobile production:

We are a $90 million automotive products company. We manufacture components for automobiles.

In one of our production cells we found that our OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) was just over 50% and we were struggling to deliver. The OEE fluctuated a lot and we found it stressful to meet the requirements...

With a Kaizen approach andPDCAUpon reflection, we collected the data and realized that the operators had to perform various activities outside the machines, such as: B. First part inspection, material movement, data logging, SPC etc. Idea to add a water spider. Our reasoning was that activities need to take place off the machine, so we need to find a way to do that without wasting production time. A cost-benefit calculation showed that with one extra person we could eliminate about 100% of the short stops.see more information

3) Use of Kaizen in medical device manufacturing

We are a $400 million medical device company and our factory manufactures products for the US market.

The production line lost parts that fell on the ground. Our conveyor belts generate static electricity which causes parts to tick and not fall. where they should. Several activities have been undertaken to try to reduce static electricity, but the desired result has not been achieved. We have about $2000/week worth of products.

Using a kaizen process, the team began collecting data to see where we had the biggest loss and we added a video to the data collection to see what really happened when they didn't fall like they did should have done. We tasked a few team members with finding out about static electricity and ways to reduce or eliminate it. We study the process 24 hours a day for 4 days, counting all parts in all defined areas. We have developed a graphical method to organize the data. First, the data was difficult to understand because we didn't know enough about static electricity. The two members who studied it came back with some knowledge, and we learned about a type of gear called an ionizer and the effect it can have.see more information

Learn more about the importance of Kaizen in our Fight Against Unplanned Losses.Online Course:

2.4 Conversion

(Video) Intro to Operational Excellence - Part 1

Change leadership or change management is based on the core value of operational excellence. It is present at the base of this triangle and in what we call the "conversion of ownership". It is a key component to the successful implementation and sustainability of Operational Excellence. Change leadership or change management generally deals with transformation to change people's culture, knowledge and skills to build processes, create value and achieve results. It is also about supporting the output of the Kaizen teams and making sure that it is taken over by the line organization. These activities ensure sustainability.

2.5 OpEx in everyday life

In your daily work life, you can use the OpEx thought process as you go about your daily tasks. In practice, Lean Thinking or Operational Excellence Thinking means that there are only two things you can focus on to improve your production:

● First you can add time. For example, if you want to produce more, you can work overtime. In the short term, it can be useful and help you make more money. However, in the long run, you also sacrifice life at home. Also, it could have health effects for some people, so it's not sustainable.

● Second, you can reduce/eliminate your losses. Your goal should be to achieve zero losses. It may not always be achievable, but the point is that you get your thinking to understand if it's possible. What's the fastest you can drive? Right time, zero waste, maximum effort, if you don't know then set a goal to strive for. If you don't know your losses, you don't know your business.

2.6 Working IN THE COMPANY

Working in business means going about your normal daily duties. That way, if you're trained, you can keep your losses in check. Performance control Operational excellence systems can be explained with an example: Imagine a bouquet of candles on a table. The candles are burning and you put your hand on one of them. It hurts, although some people like it, most don't. Imagine burning yourself on the same candle every day and on Friday thinking, "Guess what's going to happen on Monday? I'm going to burn myself again.” How do you live with that? It's exhausting just thinking about it. Next week there will be another candle to burn yourself in.

In the world of performance control systems, "working in the enterprise" means understanding what losses you have and attacking them to get the result. It doesn't focus on the outcome because you can't change the outcome without focusing on the losses that are preventing you from performing. It's like focusing on US gross profit to change that, it won't make a difference. You have to focus on something you can actually do something about. For example, shift supervisors meet at the end of the shift, recap the days, look at trends, and see where they're going. They know whether they are doing better or worse and what they need to do differently. What is negatively impacting performance on your shifts every day? Those are losses, that gets you thinking about operational excellence.

The Operational Excellence Model: The Complete Guide (5)

3. Conclusion:

Organizations that successfully implement an effective operational excellence system build a strong operational excellence strategy. They know how to run the various OpEx tools and how to train in OpEx. Slowly involve the whole organization by using Kaizen events/activities to eradicate waste. The point here is that it is a systemOperational Excellence is not a toolbox, is a way of thinking, living and acting together in a company.
To learn more about the Operational Excellence system, you can sign up for our online training, ranging from the basic Calle Operational Excellence Experience course to our official coursecertification programsBe a practitioner, specialist or Master of Operational Excellence. Once you earn your degrees and certifications, you can add the P-OpEx, S-OpEx, and M-OpEx acronyms to your name and use your certifications in your career development.


1. Shingo Operational Excellence Model - An Introduction
(Rick Edgeman)
2. Operational Excellence Goals
(the Crysler Club)
3. AWS Well-Architected for Startups - Operational Excellence
(Amazon Web Services)
4. Achieving Operational Excellence and Customer Intimacy: Enterprise Applications
(Marmelo Abante Official)
5. Operational Excellence in the Office: Using Design Guidelines to Create Autonomous Value Stream Flow
(Institute for Operational Excellence)
6. The Contractor's Guide to Operational Excellence
(Leap, LLC)
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