Arguably, six of the seven strategies impact positively on all dimensions. Customers like being in control and entering transactions on a digital channel also reduces risk and improves efficiency. Making the work quicker helps improve client experiences, reduces the risk of things going wrong, improves efficiency and eliminates the frustration of doing pointless tasks.
But to me there is one strategy that is not only vital in itself but also a foundation on which everything else is built. That’s having the right people in the right place at the right time, or capacity management.
If you’re not able to do this effectively then no matter how good your lean programme has been, how many robots you have, how high your STP rate is or how many FTE you have right shored you will not be operating efficiency, controlling risk, looking after your people or delivering the customer experience that you want. It wasn’t the rooms that made Fawlty Towers so bad, it was the way that Basil ran it.
Through my career I’ve seen the damage that ineffective capacity management brings. Backlogs out of control, tired people, angry customers, stressed managers.
At an Operations Excellent conference in Vienna I spoke about capacity management. I followed a stream of speakers who had shared details of their own bank’s (almost identical) RPA programmes.
There was a palpable sigh of relief from the audience when they realised I was talking about something different, but the reaction to capacity management surprised me. To some it was a nostalgic response (I remember that we used to do this) to others it was new.
In all of the transformation / digitisation / robotics strategies, have we really forgotten the most important thing of all – the art and science of running operations?