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Deepak Ranganathan: Achieving operational excellence using data as the single source of truth

Deepak is a Change Manager at Enlighten, guiding clients towards operational excellence through a process-centric approach. With 12 years of experience in design, manufacturing, and operations, he aims for consistency in delivering Enlighten’s products and services.

Specialising in coaching frontline managers to interpret data for better decision-making, Deepak has implemented many successful business transformation initiatives and aspires to work with diverse clients in different sectors.

Deepak discusses the challenges faced by customers, the benefits of applying Enlighten, and his insights on the industry’s direction in the near future.

Tell us a little bit about your role at Enlighten and how you began your journey.

As a mechanical engineer, I have 12 years of experience in design, manufacturing, and operations within the aerospace and defence industries. I have delivered process improvement projects that improved efficiency and identified waste, working with stakeholders across the organisation, suppliers, and offshore business centres to ensure consistency in delivery.

As Change Manager at Enlighten, I communicate with clients’ business managers and stakeholders to help them achieve operational excellence through a process-centric approach. To ensure success, I use Enlighten software‘s data points to drive technological and behavioural initiatives. Guiding clients through the product framework and methodology, I work with them throughout the change curve until they achieve results within our six-month cycle. I excel in dynamic environments, cultivating strong relationships that enable me to meet teams at any point on the change curve. Personalising product setup and delivery is key to integrating Enlighten software for transformation that lasts.

A crucial part of my role is coaching frontline managers to effectively interpret data provided by Enlighten and using it to make better business decisions, including forecasting future trends. Havig a single source of truth also helps establish a culture of consistency, reduce operational waste, and drive efficiency and productivity. When business managers express their appreciation for Enlighten after the rigorous 6-month project cycle, it is a very rewarding moment indeed!

What is the next step on your journey at Enlighten?

Having successfully implemented as many as 6 business transformation initiatives, my goal is to continue to help clients achieve operational excellence through the consistent delivery of Enlighten products and services. The challenge of obtaining frequent, reliable, and consistent data is pervasive among most organisations. However, the capabilities of the Enlighten tool inspire me to assist my clients in overcoming this obstacle. I collaborate with my clients to analyse their processes using the Enlighten methodology, leveraging data to achieve tangible results.

I am constantly striving for excellence and aim to achieve several milestones over the course of my career. The next step in my journey will see me deliver projects from the position of Change Program Director, thereby expanding the reach and impact of our software solution. I aspire to work with diverse clients across various industries, helping them to optimise their operations, enhance efficiency, realise benefits, and achieve their business goals through effective software implementation. Ultimately, my goal is to establish myself as a trusted industry expert and make significant contributions to organisations leveraging software as a service.

What are the key challenges facing customers in today’s market?

The major challenges in the market for leadership and operational strategies have always centred around employee empowerment, customer-centricity, sustainable excellence that includes environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations, and the integration of technology. The most significant change occurring right now is the need to connect these changes with data to gain a deeper understanding of the interplay between people, processes, and performance. This is where Enlighten can help organisations address and embrace these changes, priming them for sustained success in a dynamic market landscape.

If a new business was seeking your opinion on why they should implement Enlighten, what would your response be?

To drive home the key benefits of Enlighten, I would combine its productivity-boosting features with proven results from various clients in the form of case studies. I would also emphasise how Enlighten helps businesses tackle challenges related to operational efficiency by leveraging data-driven insights. Sustainable behavioural change is crucial in achieving operational excellence and Enlighten ensures that these improvements are long-lasting. This cultural shift fosters continuous improvement and drives a results-oriented mindset throughout the organisation and that is the transformational advantage Enlighten provides.

Where do you see the industry headed in the immediate to mid-term future, and what do you think the future holds for leaders as businesses continue to change rapidly?

In the immediate to mid-term future, I see organisations prioritising sustainability and ESG considerations into operational excellence initiatives through circular economy principles and social responsibility. Additionally, building agile systems for resilience and risk management will be crucial. As businesses continue to change rapidly, leaders must adapt by embracing technology, continuously learning, managing remote teams effectively, promoting employee well-being, and focusing on purpose and sustainability. Those who navigate these challenges will position their organisations for sustained success in the dynamic landscape ahead.

You were a recent winner of the Enlighten BOBS award, a peer-nominated award for Enlighten team members who exemplify the BOBS code: Be respectful and humble, One team, Bring positive energy, Step up. It was noted that your interaction with clients is engaging and welcoming. Tell us how your interaction with clients exemplifies the BOBS code.

The BOBS code truly embodies the core values of Enlighten, and I’ve been inspired by every colleague I’ve worked with to uphold these values throughout my journey. I would like to thank my colleagues for recognising my efforts through this award. I encourage everyone to own their behaviour and actions, communicate respectfully and humbly, and embrace a collaborative mindset.

To help clients feel welcomed and drive engagement, empathy, timely responses, follow-ups, and feedback are key. When onboarding clients to Enlighten, I simplify the training language despite their expertise in Lean Six Sigma principles. While data can be overwhelming, I prioritise helping clients understand how data defines the process, not the people using it. Enlighten brings Lean Six Sigma principles to life.

Crisis leadership. Learn more on Enlighten.