Category Archives: Production Operations

Turning Digital Disruption Into a Building Block for Change

This piece by Ken Cottrill from MIT discusses Jeanne Ross’s views on the trends in digital support of enterprises. Clearly they are growing, and it’s also apparent that there is potential for great improvement in enterprises by careful attention to what’s important.  There are two nice cases cited.

But I found most interesting was her statement that

“the operations mindset is not a good fit for highly fluid digital services platforms…”

In operations we tend to think that everything is operations, or at least has a close connection, looked at from the right point of view.   This statement challenges us to think through how the operations community has been limiting itself by its point of view, and perhaps needs to retool with a closer connection with the new practices of agile, customer-centric and user-motivated change.

We need even more of the design thinking and entrepreneurial attitude in operations.

Source: Turning Digital Disruption Into a Building Block for Change

Customer experience & next-generation operations 

This McKinsey piece makes some of the best points I’ve heard about improving the customer experience.  These thoughts resonate with me concerning the import-export logistics experience for customers.

Especially useful are:

  • Exhibit 2, which makes the supply-chain point that you can locally optimize the individual steps, but flunk out on the whole process experience.

image exhibit 2

The journey stinks though the legs perform well. Put in the context of ocean logistics, If the ocean carrying segment has only 70% reliability, it really doesn’t matter how reliable the other steps are; you’re limited to 70% satisfaction overall.

  • Exhibit 3, which reports on a study of some real examples (it happens, in banking) that shows how firms can miss the point and concentrate on improving the experience for the wrong things.

image from article

Some touchpoints have high importance but give low customer satisfaction.

 

Here’s the link to the article:

  The benefits of improved customer experience can be fleeting unless changes to supporting back-end operations are made, as well.

Source: Putting customer experience at the heart of next-generation operating models | McKinsey & Company

Another article form the same source, cited above as reference 2:

 New research reveals that focus, simplicity, “digital first,” and perceptions matter most.

Source: The four pillars of distinctive customer journeys | McKinsey & Company

Automating Supply Chain Resilience – High on Your Digital Agenda?

Can we use software and analytics to help insure supply chain resilience?  MIT and others are doing a lot of study in this area.  and so are a lot of companies.  This will be a growth area for software companies who come up with clever solutions that can be integrated with existing data and systems and which actually work. Entrepreneurs, start your engines!!

Here is the survey mentioned in the article: cse-2016-final-dsciwhitepaper-resilience

Source: Automating Supply Chain Resilience Should Be High on Your Digital Agenda