O.P.E.N. for Change

Manufacturers have played a pivotal role in innovating during life changing events throughout history. COVID-19 is no different. The OPEN framework is a tool for manufacturers to identify challenges and opportunities. 

June 11 2020

Manufacturers have played a pivotal role in innovating during life changing events throughout history. COVID-19 is no different.

Change-ready but not sure where to start? 

I recently had a conversation with manufacturing expert Jeremy Praud from LI Europe. He introduced me to the O.P.E.N. framework – a tool for manufacturers to identify challenges and enhance capability.

It’s a sequential process used to implement any kind of operational excellence philosophy. Things like LEAN and 6 Sigma fall underneath this. There are 4 steps:

O. Observe

Start with facts, figures and truth – these are crucial in tailoring a change model that is right for you, for your sector and for the current climate. This starts with identifying whats going on in your supply networks, recording against observations, analysing and subsequently feeding back whats going on to your team. 

Take the governments advice and 'stay alert'. Keep looking out for trends, changes in consumer behaviour, and any opportunities to redirect core capabilities to cater for emerging demands. This will enable you to activate alternative sources of supply, even as you review other potential outbound logistics options.

P. Plan

Provided the observations made are supported by timely and accurate data, you should have an idea of where the gaps in your core capabilities lie. If this information is lacking, consider adding digital technologies that increase visibility and transparency. Evaluate all aspects of the business to isolate efficient and non-efficient parts of the operation.

When planning actions to advance on opportunities that're just out of reach, it is important to exercise strong leadership. Productivity is not about capital investment. The reality is that it comes down to people. So ensure the planning process is collaborative.

E. Engage

This is where your actionable plan is set in motion. Assess your strategy - knowing what you know now, does the trajectory need altered? 

Does your strategy include building “digital muscle” across areas like the supply chain, mobilising partnerships to drive targeted business goals? Digital transformation will enable you to standardise, automate, relocate functions. 

Hold onto the streamlined decision-making processes used during the crisis. If your team don't know what's going on, they can't help. Ensure they are equipped and trained to deploy the new change model. 

N. Nurture

Change management does not end with implementation. The nurturing and observing are not dissimilar to one another. Nurturing involves holding teams meetings to measure up on KPIs. Facts and figures will continue to aid in providing visibility. Put focus back on your people to ensure change delivery is at the forefront.