Continuous improvement, or CI, drives businesses to ever-greater heights, with stronger operating performance resulting in growth and increased stakeholder value. It involves constant, ongoing effort, with the team and the business always striving to reach the ideal state: operational excellence.
With that in mind, how should business leaders approach business transformation and change? How should you go about building and implementing an effective CI framework in your business?
Continuous improvement can boost a company’s overall performance and deliver a slew of desired business outcomes – but more than that, a culture that values continuous improvement is healthier, more positive and productive, and growth-focused. This sets the stage for even more growth and development.
That’s why, towards the end of 2021, Enlighten came together with our partners to discuss: how do you create a positive and high-performing culture around continuous improvement? Here are three key insights from our leaders’ dialogue:
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The crisis highlighted to the Northern Trust the need for being able to deliver their services in an appropriate time, despite the circumstances, and servicing customers sufficiently with a growing demand for their asset servicing and valuation offerings. To that end, they needed to understand their capacity, the cycle time on tasks, the work in progress and the load distribution at any particular time to be able to redeploy quickly and effectively.
Leveraging Enlighten’s solutions, the organisation was able to identify areas where staff could take over work usually performed by other regions. Geographical boundaries were no longer a concern with the remote working situation, and they were able to adapt to the crisis and leverage additional resources quickly.
Pete Cherecwich, President of Asset Servicing at Northern Trust, commented on the flexibility the Enlighten partnership allowed during a high-pressure time. “We’re sending work all over the place. For example, a lot of our asset servicing for the Australian market was performed from Manila in the Philippines. When that closed down, we moved it to Bangkok in Thailand, then to Chicago, and once the Philippines office implemented work from home measures, we moved it back to Manila,” he says. “If we know who has the capacity, we can move that workaround to maximise our output. So, if the volume in Asia is too high, we can have people in the US log in and pick up the slack.”
This is a strong example of a business that pivoted quickly, building operational resilience with a future focus and utilising strategic partnerships for greater agility during a disruption.
Learn more about Enlighten’s insights on operational resilience for the future here.
Nigel McCammon, COO APAC, The Link Group
The Link Group has turned the ongoing crisis around to see an incredible 6-12% increase in productivity over the last couple of months thanks to strategic use of the right tools. Tapping into Enlighten’s Single Source of Truth solutions, the organisation based their management strategy around meaningful metrics to drive outcome-based decision-making.
A critical turning point and Aha moment for them was in leveraging the tool’s in-built insights to demonstrate patterns that supported the focus on an elastic workforce. They realised there was significant potential in rethinking how they assigned capacity and leaned on external sources for support, and uncovered a newfound opportunity to harvest capacity from existing sources.
Nigel McCammon, Chief Operations Officer of APAC at The Link Group, speaks about the unique simplicity of Single Source of Truth, saying, “Sometimes the simplicity of the data in the right moment is all that’s needed to carry the message.”
He also highlights the critical importance of having not just visibility, but traceability in data. “There’s a subtle but significant difference in those two words,” he explains. “Visibility suggests observation of an individual’s activity, but traceability gives much more detail, like how our people spend their paid time or how our members and clients interact through the various mediums that we have in the business. Traceability is the critical enabler for us to make better decisions.”
Building on insights from Single Source of Truth, the company has been able to shift past crisis management into developing operational resilience, identifying four key pillars of capability to be strengthened: data integrity, risk and control, people and processes development and change delivery.
This is a game-changing example of an organisation that got ahead by investing in the right tools, designed to enhance their human element.
Annabelle Thompson, Executive Manager, General Insurance Sales & Service at Suncorp
When New Zealand announced the highest level of lockdown procedures starting on 25 March 2020, Suncorp had only just 48 hours to activate 100% remote work arrangements and ensure their employees had all the resources needed to stay work productively from home.
To pivot quickly, Suncorp leaned on Enlighten’s unique Single Source of Truth solutions, tapping into its insights to manage a remote workforce and drive decision-making.
With those insights, Suncorp came to a key realisation or, as we like to call it, Aha moment – that data is crucial to making better business decisions.
Annabelle Thompson, Executive Manager, General Insurance Sales & Service at Suncorp, stresses the importance of clear and comprehensible data in helping the company improve their decision-making process in a way that bolsters its bottom line.
“We use data to build business cases around what’s costing us, whether that’s lost time, drops in customer satisfaction, or whatever metric we may be measuring, and that makes it so much clearer for us to make good decisions,” says Thompson. “Now, we’re investing in process improvements in certain areas because of the data we’ve captured, and it’s helped me forward forecast demands and get my resourcing right for my team.”
In addition to providing straightforward data for better decision-making, Single Source of Truth also helps Suncorp manage their employees’ productivity. Clear visibility, regardless of location, has allowed the company to assess and manage their team’s performance, identify patterns and focus on helping their people be as productive as they could be.
“With data, we’ve built coaching more specifically around the needs of individual employees, rather than just using a blanket team approach,” she shares.
Suncorp is a great example of an organisation that champions the positives and appreciates that, with the right tools, a crisis can be an opportunity to create a better system of management for the future.