Introduction: Link between Strategy and Operational practices
Back in 2016, I wrote an article on LinkedIn that followed the linkage of Corporate strategy to Operational practices. (link below). This was an ideal scenario but the unfortunate reality is that this linkage is often not there.
Often, Operations leaders on the floor are kept in silo as far as the corporate strategy goes. The strategy, after transforming in several ways, makes their way to these leaders in the form of a very specific and defined objective (ex: reduce the total process time to increase capacity). This is a problem in today’s world of extreme competition and disruption.
Why we need to understand the link?
However, it is critical that Operations leaders who work in the roots understand the impact of strategic decisions at the top on their operations. There are many advantages to it, a couple of them being:
(1) Be proactive about some of the initiatives they can launch even before the strategic decisions percolates all the way up to them (and earn brownies points).
(2) Understanding the strategic aspects/implications of manufacturing, distribution and warehousing processes will help them become a more well rounded professional, with the right mix of operations, business and strategy and will help them progress their career as well.
The same link exists between Business challenges and Operational Practices
Strategy evolves as the business challenges evolve. So essentially, Business challenges have impact on operational practices as well. We will review that in a cheat sheet format.
While there is a framework to translate Corporate strategy into operational practices, as defined in the article link provided above, we will not go through the entire approach in this post to keep it short. In the illustration below, I highlight how some of the high level strategic decisions translate into warehouse initiatives.