Navigating Operational Excellence


Navigating Operational Excellence

Gregory Borel shares an older but always relevant post on  dysfunctional “operational excellence.”

I am sharing this note following the equally astonishing and disastrous experience of awaiting a shipment sent by my Mother from the South of France to London. You will have unfortunately seen a few of those horrors before. The (rather) long and short of it is that I stayed home a full two working days, handled 10 calls with customer services, adding up well above two hours, and waited in vain for promised call back 4 times. The ‘express’ shipment arrived a whole 48 hours after the planned time, and given this was a beautiful wedding gift, not without stress for the family on both sides. The many conversations, and the collection of erroneous or simply shocking updates, are pretty comical in hindsight.

I initially thought this to be the predictable outcome of customer segmentation. After all we are likely to get charged the highest price and get the worst service, given our very unimportant account. But the mess that followed surely cost the operator the premium in last minute fire fighting costs.

Along with my hopeless complaint, sent mostly to appease my dear Mother, I shared the following with the shipping carrier’s management team: a filter I have been using quite successfully for operational improvement program design. I will gladly share it here too.


Key points include:

  • Approach: process and tools
  • Organisation readiness
  • Performance management


Read the full article, A shipping nightmare, and thoughts on “operational excellence”, on LinkedIn.