“Operational effectiveness and strategy are both essential to superior performance but they both work in very different ways” - Michael Porter
While STRATEGY is about:
- Building & strengthening competitive advantages
- Offering your products/services to a niche set of customers in a unique way & understanding customer’s changing needs
- Understanding the competition business models & what clearly differentiates you from them
- Creating substantial value for customers & capturing the value through appropriate profit models
- Building strategic controls
- Creating stickiness with the customers
OPERATIONS on the other hand is more about:
- Efficiency, productivity, capacity utilization, cost optimization & process improvements
- Efficient supply chain management
- Kaizen, 5S, TQM, TPM, TEI
- Reducing throughput times
- Speed-to-market, etc.
Even if you are the best-in-the-world at operations, it is not going to be enough to guarantee continued business success. Business leaders must therefore learn to differentiate between strategy-building-execution and operations. Without this clear differentiation, success is just a matter of luck.