Evaluating operational efficiency

by Gordon on Monday 27th February, 2012

Up to 190 jobs at American Express’s European headquarters in Brighton could be moved overseas. The credit card company said it was consulting staff over plans to redeploy the ‘non-customer facing’ roles to India or Argentina.  In a statement, the firm said: ‘As a global company, we are always seeking ways to make our business more flexible and efficient to help better serve our customers.  This approach sometimes involves moving some functions from one operations centre to another.’ (BBC, 22nd February 2012)

This sort of review is essential to ensure a business operates as efficiently as possible, which has a direct effect on its overall profitability.  Looking for ‘best practice’ might affect how, where, when or by whom an activity is carried out.  Anglo American, one of the world’s largest mining companies, has taken a strategic approach to this process, establishing its Asset Optimisation programme across the whole of its operations.   The aim of this is to achieve improvements, maximise efficiency and deliver best value for the company and its customers.

Anglo American takes a structured 8-step approach to the review process, focusing on three key elements: business improvement and best practice, change management and influencing behaviours, and monitoring performance.   Its communication strategies support this by ensuring people are committed to improvement.  Through sharing best practice across the organisation and by tracking and reporting on progress, Anglo American has embedded its AO programme in the organisation’s culture which ensures it is sustainable.

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