Operations

The three keys to unlocking enterprise alignment

Advancing construction through operational excellence requires enterprise alignment.

Too busy
to read the article?

We’ll forward it to your inbox.

I talk and write a fair bit about operational excellence, and how important it is for construction companies to strive to achieve it. It’s been a topic near and dear to me for my entire career in the industry.

In a previous blog, we looked at how cultural enablers, continuous improvement, and enterprise alignment are the bedrock on which organizations build operational excellence. In another, we dug into the specific need for continuous improvement. Today I’d like to deeper look at the topic of enterprise alignment, explore its role in operational excellence, delve into the three tenets you must adopt to achieve it, and discuss how Briq helps with them.

First: achieving operational excellence demands teamwork — everyone working committedly together toward the company’s success. It also means, as I’ve said before, that leadership and problem solving must flow across the organization, not just from the top down. Those don’t happen overnight, and enterprise alignment aids in making these profound shifts in business process and approach. All of that requires a more connected, informed workforce from top to bottom, and vice versa. (And that’s where Briq comes in, by the way.)

Leadership and problem solving must flow across the organization, not just from the top down.

Have a game plan. Attaining the enterprise alignment needed for operational excellence requires good change management practices because, again, everyone needs to be on board. 

Here are the three key things you need to look at:

1. Thinking systemically

Walk through the mechanics of how your business functions. What are the key metrics that make it tick (KPIs and OKRs)? How are projects being delivered? And how is that impacting your cash flow? Taking a deep, hard look at business processes and functions requires good data governance and clean, accurate, and timely information. 

Briq enables you to think about the business more analytically because, quite frankly, everyone becomes more efficient with their time. Instead of spending hours in repetitive or redundant data entry, the financial automation provided by Briq affords project leads, accounting teams, and corporate executives the time needed to analyze the business, its best practices and key metrics. Briq also provides the tools needed to reinforce the processes that you’ve determined are needed to achieve the objectives and goals you’ve systematically set down.

2. Customer value creation

This is almost more an outcome than an enabler. By achieving internal efficiencies — for example, having the right headcount on a project or being able to identify where equipment is needed or underutilized — customer value is naturally optimized. Jobs are delivered on time and within budget. In a sense, you share your operational excellence with everyone you work for, or with.

Beyond the efficiencies that Briq helps you achieve, there’s also value to be gained from the vital information you and the customers can more easily and accurately glean by using the platform. The same recognition of trends and accurate forecasting that allows you to pivot faster also acts as an early warning system for your customer — for whom an unexpected deviation from plan or completion could, say, compromise lending. Put simply: valuable insights for you are valuable insights for your customer.

3. Creating constancy of purpose

This is one of those areas where teamwork, leadership, and good change management are so critical. To achieve operational excellence, everyone must understand the role they play in the organization, and how it impacts not just themselves and the company, but each other. 

Think about it: if I don’t do my duties in a timely way, the next person in a workflow can’t do theirs, and so on. This hurts the company, and sometimes customers, in ways that the employee might never even realize. For instance, it might seem innocuous to skip adding a bid number when creating a job, but without one how can the lifecycle of that job be tracked from bid to completion to warranty?

Because Briq automates financial workflows, everyone involved in a process is cued up at the stage they are needed. In addition to the many benefits of automating workflows, such as improved efficiency, accuracy, and transparency, this lets everyone fully understand their role and see just how they impact processes.

The transparency Briq provides into operations also eliminates any attempts to obfuscate problems that might be happening to try to avoid conflict. The data is the data, it’s just a fact. Automating financial reporting removes the sense or feeling of blame from activities like forecasting; no one becomes the herald of bad news when the numbers speak for themselves.

Armed with real visibility in the business, the identified KPIs and OKRs that are meaningful to it, and buy-in from across the company, you can make remarkable progress in your ever-improving journey toward operational excellence.

Want to find out more about how Briq can help you to reach operational excellence in your construction company? Contact us to set up a demo.