Level up Operations Management

Cover illustration: courtesy of ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique Vidéo du CSG – JM Guillon, SEOSAT placed onto the Vega launch vehicle (© 2020)

Excellence in Operations

Homo Faber: Do it Better

In the current world it is not enough to be good. In such a rapidly evolving landscape, the quest for operational excellence is the cornerstone of success for organisations in all industry sectors, from manufacturing to services.
Aided by real-life examples and practical insights, readers of this book delve into the pillars of operational excellence: customer focus, waste reduction, value-adding processes, reengineering, and continuous improvement.

This book is for you if:

  • You are a manager and a change agent who believes in the power of learning and continuous improvement.
  • You’re looking for practical methods to improve your company’s processes, products, and services and, as a result, both customer and company value.
  • You are committed to fostering an organisation that learns, adapts, and flourishes in the face of change.

ISBN: 978-2-8399-3779-5 
Pages: 257
Publisher: mediata sa  (www.mediata.ch)


This book is dedicated to all those who belong to the Homo Faber group – the “makers” – who realised that making is not enough. They made repeated efforts to improve what they were doing, sometimes they made mistakes and fell down, but they always got back up, aiming at excellence.

Operations is defined here as made of Logistics, Production, Purchasing, and Quality. Their foundations are described in my book Operations Management - Homo Faber at Work.
This book shows “how to manage Operations better” by applying a continuous improvement mindset and appropriate methods to reengineer company processes. This approach started originally within Operations, but its concepts and tools are easily applicable to other functions within an Industrial company as well as within a Services company.
The search for excellence is a must for all: it is a survival issue.

Strangely, even after more than forty years since systematic improvement methods were introduced in the business world, many companies still do not use them. Others use them without the needed consistency. Some used them but forgot such methods after a while. Hopefully, this pragmatic book can show the way to go.

“Doing it better” should be everyone’s task in a company, as an essential addition to their daily work.

“Transformation is everyone’s job” (E. Deming)

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Unit price: 39 CHF (excl. shipping)

From the Author

In this interview you can find out more about what the second book "Excellence in Operations - Homo Faber: Do it Better" is about and how I came to write it. The interview was held by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU). As the original interview is in German, you can read the translation in English below.

Table of contents

Towards Excellence

The Meaning of Excellence — Benchmarks for Excellence — The Toll of Passing Time — In Search of Excellence — The EFQM Model — Pragmatically towards Excellence


The Need for Change — A Model for Transformation — Set up the Right Culture for Change — Kaizen: Continuous Improvement — The Machine that changed the World

Customer Value

Focus on your Customers — Customer Satisfaction — Customer Complaints — Market Intelligence — Product-Service System

Six Steps for Reengineering

Process Focus — Process Reengineering — How to Reengineer — Step 1: Process Selection — Step 2: “As Is” Analysis — Step 3: Problem Solving — Step 4: Ideas generation — Step 5: “To Be”Design — Step 6: Test, Implement & Standardise — Design for Excellence

Tools to "See" Waste and Value

Definition of Waste and Value — Charts —Process Analysis Tools — Value Analysis & Value Engineering — Total Cost of Ownership

Tools for a Better Organisation

Five S — Visual Management — Standardised Work — Empowered Teams

Tools for a Better Flow

Statistical Process Controls — Prevent Errors: Poka Yoke & FMEA — Reduce Inventory: Kanban — Reduce Downtime: TPM — Reduce Changeover Time: SMED — Reduce Lot-size: One-Piece Flow — Result: Just in Time and More

Production Cases

Increasing Production Agility – Reducing Machine Breakdowns – Optimising a Work Centre

Non-Production Cases

Excellence only in Production? – Don’t stop at Material Flows – Quoting Services – Excellence is only reached Together

Implementation: Simply Do It

Remember Deming? — Lead towards Excellence — Hands on: Kaizen Week — Impacts on the Organisation — Training — Pitfalls to Avoid — Conclusions

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Book endorsements

Martin Hirzel, President SwissMem
Smart industrial companies actively drive process innovation, besides product innovation. Only continuous improvement in both leads to excellence. 

Philipp Morgenthaler, Head Manufacturing, Circa group
If companies want to survive and grow, they must chase “waste” in all their business processes and eliminate non-value-adding activities. The methods and tools of this book are for those who want to act and strive for excellence. 

Shaun West, Professor for Product & Service Innovation HSLU
Operational excellence orients businesses to increase customer value and build a learning, innovating and resilient organisation, able to face new challenges. If improving your business is important to you then you must read this book. 


About the author