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Operational Excellence Begins Here  

By Michalle Adkins, Emerson Process Management |

    The pressures and challenges placed on the chemical process industries (CPI) have been heralded so often that even a person on the street can articulate most of them; and the list continues to grow – cost containment, lawsuits, fewer blockbuster discoveries, unexpected competitors, and many more. The cold hard reality is that the CPI have entered into a tough, cruel business world where only those companies committed to excellence – to becoming the best-of-the-best – will enjoy success. Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, describes excellence like this: "To me, excellence means being better than the best. Its achievement requires an introspective assessment of everything we do, say, or make, and an honest inquiry: ‘is it better than the best?’ If it is not, we will ask ourselves, ‘what will it take?’ And then, we will rally the resources required to get there" [1]. What Welch and others are describing and what many companies have begun to pursue is operational excellence. According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, "Operational excellence is the goal of conducting business in a manner that improves quality, obtains higher yields, faster throughput, and less waste.…
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