Following the very successful ‘Helping SMEs Build Resilience’ training sessions, we’ve reached out to Christelle Fakhoury, Trainer and Founder of Escalate to share with us her top 10 tips for SMEs in operational excellence.
The ‘Helping SMEs Build Resilience Program’ was launched by Berytech under The Rapid Response and Recovery Programme, led by Youth Business International (YBI) and funded by Google.org, to support underserved micro, small and medium businesses to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Operational excellence is a philosophy and mindset in business that positions its strategies and people around problem-solving and leadership. It helps to ensure that processes are designed to prioritize the customer’s needs, while also supporting the morale of employees. When operational excellence exists within a business, the business is positioned to beat out the competition because it can perform more reliably and strategically by lowering costs, lessening risk, and ultimately, increasing revenue.
Here are some of the top tips to adopt and maintain operational excellence:
- Create Value: Your bottom line depends on your customer. You have to consistently and reliably deliver what you promise to the end-user. From a smooth workflow and dedicated team, this is how you can achieve results. These values come together to support operational excellence.
- Practice Quality Assurance: Quality comes from all the pieces of a process working together and delivering their intended results. By maintaining and measuring each step along the way, you can ensure a quality product or service every time.
- Seek Perfection: When you set your goal up to be error-free, then you can at least implement the best processes and methods to try to achieve that state. While all businesses do, of course, face both controllable and uncontrollable risks, you can at least minimize such risks.
- Invest in your team: Build a diverse team and that believes in supporting one another and delivering value to the customer.
- Show respect: People need to know that they are respected and that their opinions matter. When adapting processes or addressing problems, be sure to include your employees and make sure they know that their insight is valuable.
- Think Scientifically: Everything you do should be measurable, and with data and analytics, you can make it as such. Therefore, you can create a culture that embraces the idea of trying new things, failing fast, and bouncing back.
- Maintain Purpose: Your business has a reason for existing. This should be shared with everyone who comes on board from the get-go. That way, employees can consistently align their work with the company goals and deliver its purpose.
- Develop processes: Develop an integrated working environment with a seamless flow. A fundamental way to make this happen is to leverage technology and automation software to your advantage.
- Never forget your vision and your mission: Always work on the reason for the existence of your company to align all work and improvement efforts accordingly.
Applying these tips will help you develop a well-executed operational excellence strategy that will exceed customer expectations through improving business processes and culture.
About The Writer
Christelle Fakhoury is a serial entrepreneur with 17 years of experience in launching, co-founding, and building companies in Lebanon and the GCC. After exiting her first company (C2C), she joined the digital startup world and co-founded three tech startups. Today she is the founder of Escalate, an on-demand COO business that helps founders build sustainable, scalable, and profitable companies.