Operational Excellence

We help companies focus on optimizing the interaction between value streams, operations, culture, employees and management. This creates a continuous culture of improvement that creates lasting competitive advantages.

Why choose Zephyr Consulting:

We are good at identifying and creating the right conditions for any company to succeed

Our many years of experience enable us to cut to the bone and focus on what is relevant

We make long-term improvements through transparency, focus, involvement and discipline


How to Create Operational Excellence

In our work helping companies to become truly great at delivering value to their customers, we have a strong focus on the company’s total system of value streams, daily operations, culture, management and people. Operational excellence is about being able to bring value to customers and get everyone to pull in the same direction. The ultimate proof of operations excellence is that the business in question is in continuous profitable growth.

Over the last several years, many companies have worked hard to improve their value creation. The activities have been many and have, for the last 10-15 years, focused on LEAN and implementation of continuous improvement. The results have been varied. Unfortunately, many blame the LEAN approach and this has given it a mixed reputation. From our side, it is mostly because people have forgotten that it is about mindset, people and discipline and that it is essential to get the right conditions in place.

For us, the work on operational excellence is about using LEAN to work in a focused and efficient manner on improvements and to ensure that the efforts support the overall strategy.

One of the methods we use is called Policy Deployment (Hoshin Kanri). It is a method that translates and breaks down the long-term strategic goals into tangible goals and activities. At the same time, it focuses on the most important areas that need to be improved if the business is to succeed.

In short, the process consists of four main activities:

  • Preparing strategy, including prioritization of focus areas as well as what and how much needs to be improved.
  • Involving the organization in how it can contribute to the goals, including how the individual “piece” in the process can create the greatest possible value for the customer.
  • Establishing activities and goals for everyone in the company (from management to individual level).
  • Continuous follow-up of the activities and goals.

Success with improvements and LEAN

Lean and optimization is not a quick fix, and many companies often get fast gains. The greatest value comes from focusing on the long run, both for bottom line and employee motivation.

Productivity and efficiency are never a coincidence. They are always a result of discipline, intelligent planning and focused effort. This effort requires involving several parts of the organization and focusing on their interdependencies. Basically, people want to do well—it is just about creating the right conditions.

We offer different courses depending on what you want to achieve

  • Introduction and implementation of the Policy Deployment.
  • Basic hands-on LEAN training
  • Visual Management: Create transparency with performance boards.
  • Improvement course incl. training of ambassadors.
  • Identifying improvement opportunities (diagnosing current condition and presenting improvement opportunities).
  • Implement Operational Excellence from strategic to tactical level

Our process of improvement is ALWAYS adapted to the individual business/organization’s current situation and challenges.

This is how we work

Group of business people having a meeting at office

1. Clarification

The process starts with an initial meeting where we clarify your current situation as well as what you want to achieve when we finish the task. This allows us to get a picture of where we should focus the efforts. For us, it is important that you as a company get a solution that is worth the investment and can be felt even after we have finished the task. Normally we return with a proposal for solving the task within a week, after which we agree on the further process.

2. Agreement

Once we agree on the scope of the agreement we begin, together, to define:

  • Purpose
  • Success criteria
  • Scope (duration, participants etc.)
  • Measurements (how and how often we measure progress and success)
  • Follow-up and feedback (usually we will have 1-2 feedback meetings during the process)

3. Evaluation

The process concludes with an evaluation meeting.

The purpose of this is multi-faceted:

  • To check if success criteria are met
  • To obtain feedback on our performance.
  • To provide feedback from our side on any observations that may have relevance to the organization going forward.

We believe in continuous improvement as a means of staying ahead.

Finally, we agree any follow-up activities.