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Integration: "to make whole or complete by bringing together parts." Integration is at the heart of achieving the level of organizational excellence we refer to as "busi­ness excellence." The integration of people, processes, and tools is the means to achievement of world-class results, an expected outcome of business excellence.

Imagine your company's behaviors are modeled as best practice throughout the business community. Imag­ine your people are passionate about their role in the organization and its role in the community. Imagine chat they are constantly challenging themselves and liv­ing in the gap between their current performance and the next level of excellence. Imagine the results of achiev­ing outrageous goals. Imagine the potential of an orga­nization whose people, processes, and tools are fundamentally integrated. Imagine the competitive ad­vantage your organization would hold if this were you.

Organizations are not successful by focusing on tech­nology alone. Computers don't make successful busi­nesses. Nor have companies realized world-class results by focusing exclusively on processes. Processes are enablers to help people succeed. They will not be useful without the understanding and acceptance of people. People cannot succeed without robust processes that put reason into the use of tools (technology). The balance of all three elements—people, processes, and tools—is the fundamental key to a successful, world-class company.

Business excellence means knowing and serving the customer better than your competition can. It is dem­onstrating the strength and agility to thrive in a con­stantly changing and unpredictable environment. It generates results that exceed stakeholder expectations. Finally, it enables your company to fully personify your corporate values and convictions.


What does a business excellence model look like? It begins with an integrated strategic business planning process. Strategic planning is supported by an effective sales and operations planning (S&OP) process, which becomes the rallying point for integrating the monthly activities for all functions within the business. The S&OP process is sup­ported by three pillars composed of the weekly and daily processes of product development, demand management, and supply management. An organization cannot be strong if the three pillars are not balanced.

Balance means pillars of equal length. This implies that the processes are parallel in time-frame and process cycles. However, each business might depend more on one of the pillars than the other two. Custom products mean more effective product development. Consumer products mean more focus on demand management. Supply would be the emphasis when flexibility and responsiveness are required. Therefore pillars of the same length could have different girth. In essence, it is the girth that makes one company different from another. However, our individual success depends on the equality of the length of each pillar.

Critical Success Factors from the Business Excellence Model


An organization that has successfully achieved business excellence can identify those factors that were critical to its success. They include the following:

      Customer focus

      Commitment to excellence



There is a fundamental need for organizational align­ment with each of these factors. The objective of this presentation is the focus on the fourth factor—results.

To Be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 13


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