How to achieve operational excellence in the face of economic uncertainty

By Fred Klören
B.Sc. Industrial Automation, Process & Control Engineering

The Movement for Certainty

What does a manufacturing giant China do when faced with slower economic growth, greater volatility and rising competition? According to McKinsey & Co director Gordon Orr, improving productivity and efficiency is on top of the list when it comes to maintaining profitability. In the current difficult financial climate, the South African manufacturing industry is under pressure and needs to become more competitive in order to maintain its leading role on the African continent.


From discussions with a wide variety of South African manufacturers, it became apparent that identifying, prioritizing and eliminating bottle-necks in the complex and dynamic manufacturing environment is their biggest challenge.


Complex and dynamic problems cannot be resolved through a standard approach. Executives and managers are realizing that operating their businesses without well documented processes is like a being a pilot flying at night without navigation. Well-documented and streamlined processes are essential in the smooth functioning of a team, as they help ensure consistency, track ability and focus towards the shared goal of operational excellence.

PinpointBPS® is a methodology that helps to identify true improvement and cost-saving opportunities in the decision-making process. It provides the laboratory with certainty about their decisions relating to performance and quantified insight into their processes, enabling them to pinpoint opportunities to make performance improvements that have a notable impact on the bottom-line of the laboratory.  PinpointBPS® offers:

  • Guide performance improvement
  • Accurately quantify the impact of change
  • Facilitate benchmarking
PinpointBPS® eliminates the need for, and risks associated with, trial-and-error methods of problem resolution.

Optimisation... and beyond

PinpointBPS®  not only empowers decision makers to accurately quantify and forecast the impact of change with certainty. It provides an ongoing system of support, expert advice and skills development that assists the laboratory in achieving success. This will ensure that time and money are invested where they matter most. Questions such as,“what is the maximum workload capacity with my current resources before my KPI’s are affected?” or “what is the cost of downtime and reliability?” can be answered accurately by PinpointBPS® .

Multiple scenarios can be tested against the model which helps to set realistic targets. PinpointBPS®  can, for example, forecast the impact of demand changes considering operational circumstances and economies of scale on staffing and organisational requirements. Exactly how costly is downtime for your business? PinpointBPS®  can help you to determine where your downtime vulnerabilities are, better equipping you to identify the costs associated with downtime as well as the overall impact to the business. With this knowledge in hand, you will be able to define the ROI of various solutions or tactics, helping reduce the costs incurred during business function outages or, ideally, to avoid them altogether.