Just about everyone is familiar with the term Operational Excellence (OpX), but what exactly is it and how can it be achieved? One straightforward definition comes from an article by Michelle Adkins, in Chemical Engineering for March 2 007, "Operational Excellence Begins Here:" "[O]perational excellence is a holistic approach to integrating operations management methodologies in order to optimize people, assets, and processes." There are OpX approaches to everything from process improvement to supply chain management, but we're going to talk about the use of information from all sources to make improve efficiency in process plants.
The major elements of operational excellence include:
- Six Sigma and its elements VOC (Voice of the Customer), DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control ) and DOE (Design of Experiments);
- Lean, with its elements 5 S (the Japanese concept of housekeeping) and value stream mapping;
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs);
- Footprint Rationalization;
- Premier Resource Management.