What is Operational Excellence (OPEX)?

Today, the rapid development of technology changes market conditions and customer expectations every day. Adapting to this change becomes the primary goal of businesses. Operational excellence (OPEX) is the key to achieving competitive advantage and sustaining business growth. It helps businesses create a roadmap for continuous improvement in the changing business environment. In our blog post, we will discuss the definition, principles and benefits of operational excellence.

Definition of Operational Excellence (OPEX)

OPEX is an approach that focuses on businesses constantly improving and improving their business processes. This approach aims to eliminate waste, improve processes, optimize resources and increase product/service quality so that businesses can gain a competitive advantage.

Operational excellence is achieved by constantly monitoring, analyzing and improving business processes. Businesses can benefit from techniques such as Lean, Six Sigma and Kaizen to achieve operational excellence.

Lean is a method used to increase efficiency by reducing waste in businesses. Six Sigma is a method that helps reduce errors in business processes. Kaizen is a method used to achieve maximum benefit by making small, gradual changes in processes. Each technique has its own characteristics and benefits that enable informed decision-making.

What are the Basic Principles of OPEX?

Operational excellence is built on some principles to increase performance and ensure competitiveness. These principles encourage continuous improvement, employee involvement, innovation and customer focus. The basic principles of OPEX are as follows:

1. Customer Focus

The customer decides what is valuable and what they are willing to pay for. Therefore, understanding customer expectations, needs and preferences enables businesses to achieve maximum value delivery efforts. Businesses that provide competitive advantage are businesses that put the customer at the center of their operations and consistently deliver value efficiently.

There are basic practices that businesses must follow to create customer value:

  • Receiving feedback from customers and paying attention to them,
  • Understanding customer needs and expectations,
  • Constantly looking for ways to eliminate waste and add value to processes.

2. Continuous Improvement

A key component of operational efficiency is continuous improvement. Businesses that adopt a continuous improvement approach can constantly capture new opportunities to improve processes, increase performance and reduce waste.

3. Lean Thinking

Lean thinking focuses on eliminating wasteful processes to maximize efficiency. This is why one of the fundamental principles of operational excellence is lean thinking. Lean thinking increases value by reducing waste, unnecessary steps and delays.

4. Standardized Process

Process standardization refers to business processes that are performed continuously and provide consistent results. Standardized processes ensure that employees use proven methods in performing their tasks.

5. Employee Participation

Employee engagement is crucial in achieving operational excellence. Involving employees in decision-making and improvement processes gives them a sense of responsibility. This increases employee loyalty, enabling them to actively participate in continuous improvement activities.

6. Respect for Everyone

One of the fundamental principles of OPEX is to respect everyone associated with the business. These individuals may be employees, customers, vendors or partners. Respecting people enables them to give much more than just effort.

7. Data-Driven Decision Making

OPEX focuses on making informed and accurate decisions based on data. Collecting and analyzing data about a process enables a data-based plan to be made while identifying areas that need improvement.

8. Continuous Learning

OPEX emphasizes promoting a culture of continuous learning in the workplace and providing professional training to employees. This learning culture ensures that employees have the information they need to contribute to continuous improvement processes.

9. Leadership

Leaders have a huge role in ensuring operational excellence. OPEX depends on the leader giving feedback to employees, soliciting ideas and suggestions from employees, and encouraging continuous learning. The leader’s behavior ensures that employees present new ideas and are willing to contribute. In short, a leader’s perspective and approach to continuous improvement processes also changes the approach of employees.

10. Pull and Flow Value

In order to provide maximum value to customers, it is necessary to offer them the products they demand when they need them. This highlights the importance of demand-driven production in OPEX processes.

What are the Benefits of Operational Excellence (OPEX)?

There are some advantages that the operational excellence approach provides to businesses:

  • Because OPEX promotes a customer-focused company culture, it helps businesses better meet customer demands, build customer loyalty and gain competitiveness.
  • Continuous improvements in business processes reduce costs by eliminating waste. In this way, business processes become more efficient and effective while resource usage decreases.
  • Operational excellence increases quality by encouraging continuous improvement in products and services.
  • Advantages such as low costs, high quality and customer satisfaction provided by OPEX increase the competitiveness of businesses.
  • Including employees in continuous improvement processes increases employee participation.
  • Continuous improvements in products and services provide innovation. Innovation provides the company with long-term success.

What are Operational Excellence (OPEX) Techniques?

Companies can achieve operational excellence by using some techniques. We can list the commonly used techniques as Kaizen, Lean and Six Sigma.


One of the first techniques that come to mind to achieve operational excellence is Kaizen. Kaizen means “continuous change for the better”. It focuses on providing maximum benefit by making small and gradual changes in processes. Kaizen is based on five basic principles:

  • Understanding customer expectations to deliver value,
  • Eliminating waste,
  • Organizing visits to the place where the work is done,
  • Being data oriented,
  • To encourage employees.

Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing focuses on minimizing waste in processes and delivering the highest value to the customer. It includes certain basic principles:

  • Value stream: It refers to all the workflows required to complete a product.
  • Flow: It is the relationship between all factors of the value stream.
  • Pull: It refers to making production based on customer demand.
  • Transparency: Emphasizes that every employee involved in the value stream should have access to the information they need.
  • Perfection: Carrying out continuous improvement activities to always achieve better.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a technique used to improve processes and reduce defects in processes. A method called DMAIC Cycle is used in the Six Sigma technique.

  • Define: The Define phase focuses on identifying a problem and determining its impact on customer satisfaction, employees, and profitability.
  • Measure: At this stage, basic metrics are determined and measurements are verified.
  • Analyse: In the analysis phase, the causes of the problem are found.
  • Improve: Solutions are identified and a plan is developed to solve the problem.
  • Control: If process improvement has been achieved successfully, it is approved and standards are established to ensure the continuation of process improvement.

OPEX Solution

oneri.io offers OPEX solutions that enable businesses to achieve operational excellence. This platform brings together processes carried out by business units such as continuous improvement, lean production and OPEX on a digital platform.

  • Kaizen
  • 5S Audits
  • Suggestion System
  • Action Management
  • Near Miss Reporting
  • Help Desk
  • Lessons Learned

You can contact us to get more information about oneri.io.

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