What if you were sitting on a Gold Mine?

Author: Miguel Van Damme


Most organizations are sitting on unexploited gold mines – neglected or invisible for years. Exploiting them delivers tremendous benefits. The best part, successful exploitation depends on things organizations control themselves (employees, machines, processes, etc.), not on external factors (market, clients, weather, etc.). Yes, that is almost magic.


The process to discover and exploit these gold mines is robust and systematic. It is operational excellence. Over the past years, we have helped services and production companies improve their margins by up to 100% while boosting the teams' engagement. The most challenging part was to convince our clients that they were sitting on a gold mine, not to discover and exploit it.


"I'm amazed by the insights you brought us in less than a month, I never realized that we were leaving that much money on the table."

– CEO of BW Client


Unique Principles


The overarching principles that a team deploys on a client engagement are essential for success. At BrightWolves, we apply five principles that make our operational excellence projects unique:


  1. We set very ambitious targets for ourselves: in a services environment, we aim at a minimum +50% productivity impact, in a manufacturing environment +20%

  2. We focus on people: employee happiness and productivity are deeply linked

  3. We integrate sustainability: teams are more excited to reduce "waste" than to "produce more"

  4. We get things done: we do not leave before impact

  5. We do not have a recipe: while we have a robust and systematic approach, the solutions we apply are unique for each client

Operational excellence is a mindset shift


I like to measure the outcome of an operational excellence project one year later. Where can we change the approaches and enable the client's organization to embrace the "continuous improvement cycle”? With that philosophy, we prepare the case of change and ensure that our project delivers lasting, cumulative impact.


Here is how a typical project goes:

  • Phase 1 - Potential Assessment: we scan the entire process/operation to identify the maximum improvement potential

  • Phase 2 – Pilot: we reduce the scope to one essential and visible part; the potential of lean will be demonstrated to everyone by achieving rapid impact

  • Phase 3 – Lean Sustainable System: we roll out lean initiatives to a broader scope, putting in place a structured and tracked approach

  • Phase 4 – Lean Leadership: we put in place process confirmation, a system of lean coaching and continuous improvement

So, what are you waiting for? ROI on our assignments are calculated in months (not in years). Let's talk!

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