Tony Tregurtha, CEO & Co-founder “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain
Efficiency is the name of the game for modern-day organizations. To thrive amid the stiff market competition, organizations strive to achieve optimum efficiency and improve their bottom line. Accomplishing such a task is neither a walk in the park, nor is it rocket science for that matter. It is a continuous process where organizations consistently tighten the loose ends in their operating environments by establishing transparency in their people, processes and systems. Once organizations gain transparency, they can seamlessly achieve maximum efficiency through systematic management of their complex workloads.
Take, for instance, the success achieved by the automotive industry. In the earliest days of the automotive era, Caveat emptor, or “let the buyer beware”, was the guiding principle where manufactured cars became an amalgam of questionable materials and poor workmanship. Today, car owners enjoy a lifetime warranty on automotive, owing to a monumental shift in quality management standards upheld by the manufacturers. Achieving such a feat was only possible because automotive manufacturers, over the years, employed innovative methodologies for continuous improvement and made data-driven objective decisions.
While the automotive industry witnessed a phenomenal turnaround in their operating procedures, FinTech companies lag far behind with opaque processes that significantly hinder their productivity. Tony Tregurtha, CEO & Co-founder of Enlighten Operational Excellence (Enlighten), posits, “There are many fundamental underlying operational business problems that exist in FinTechs leading to inefficiency.” Traditionally, organizations operating in insurance, banking, financial services, and wealth lack a clear idea about the resources or “waste” that exist in their business environments—how many people genuinely need these resources, how much capacity they have, the quality of the work they are doing, the kind of errors being made, and so on. To this end, FinTechs need to build a framework of operational excellence that focuses on overhauling the bottom line by improving transparency and implementing sound strategies.
Addressing these business-critical challenges is a SaaS and consulting company, Enlighten Operational Excellence that helps some of the world’s largest firms streamline processes and achieve dramatic and sustainable operational transformations. With Enlighten’s programs, FinTechs gain complete transparency on business processes that allows them to increase productivity and customer satisfaction, while lowering costs at the same time.
Enlighten offers an operational management system that seamlessly allows FinTechs to continuously measure, analyze, and improve operational performance. Tony says, “Our operations management system enhances transparency across the clients’ business processes by continuously improving on the three pillars—fetching information, training managers on how to use it and simultaneously improving engagement.”
The Enlighten software is a SaaS-based solution that uses AWS as the backbone to help clients achieve continuous improvement. It empowers leaders and teams with actionable intelligence, enabling them to infuse data-driven inferences into their daily performance-driven workflows. “The idea is to get a completely holistic, balanced view of performance. Because if we push hard on productivity to reduce costs, the quality of work is affected,” mentions Tony. To this end, the software provides a dashboard at all levels, including team, process, and executive levels, giving stakeholders clear visibility into productivity, efficiency, quality, employee engagement, and customer service levels.
Our operations management system enhances transparency across the clients’ business processes by continuously improving on three pillars— fetching information, training managers how to use it, and simultaneously improving engagement
This allows clients to harmonize performance goals with quality and service objectives at every level of the organization.
Meanwhile, with daily performance reports, managers across teams can identify best practices and improvement opportunities. Enlighten also offers advanced forecasting methodologies that predict volumes and help clients model capacity requirements, ensuring they are prepared for any sudden volume spikes. The software translates the complex interplay of volume trends and granular time standards into reliable and easily interpreted resource requirements.
More importantly, Enlighten’s unique system makes waste visible and quantifiable, which allows clients to maintain a lean posture across the organization. With Enlighten software, clients’ teams can recognize how much time is spent on value-added work, non-value-added work, and waste. The software even categorizes the waste across all the business areas, enabling executive insight, prioritization of improvement efforts, and accurate measurement of impact. Finally, the software allows clients to analyze unit costs and end-to-end process costs to help them understand and minimize the expenditure to realize ROI swiftly.
By analyzing costs, clients can prioritize waste eradication and process improvement initiatives that accelerate throughput.
A Transformational Journey toward Operational Excellence
Interestingly, Enlighten does not undertake a one-size-fits-all approach and first assesses clients’ processes before rendering resolution. “We only deliver our solutions if we believe that we can add value to the clients’ business processes,” explains Tony. The company’s onboarding process begins with a transformation program that follows a standard 24-week structure in which proven management methodologies are combined with cutting-edge software. Within two weeks, the Enlighten software creates an activity list for each of the clients’ teams and maps all incoming data from their systems. The software then uses the data to calculate workloads, set up base data for forecasting, and to measure performance. Subsequently, before completing week four, the company benchmarks the clients’ historical performance and organizational structure, aggregating the various standards and metrics that act as a base for performance improvement. It also enables the managers to provide performance feedback to their teams. “The way we help our clients get up and running is by giving them the metric first and then coaching them through every stage of what they need to do to gain benefit from the solution,” informs Tony.
After completing benchmarking, Enlighten trains clients’ managers on metrics and methodologies through structured face-to-face training sessions. Each training session is conducted by experienced facilitators who deliver the information engagingly and collaboratively, ensuring that the knowledge transfer to all levels of the business is clear, concise, and relevant. Training also includes interactive activities to ensure engagement during the sessions and assessments to guarantee a high level of understanding.
At this point, clients can leverage the Enlighten software to obtain new performance metrics. An individual within the clients’ business environment can review their productivity by checking their quality scores, errors, and waste during the day.
“Our system delivers a completely holistic and balanced view of performance at each level of management, from CIO all the way down to the frontline individuals,” explains Tony. With daily performance reports, managers can drive results by developing a strong culture of open communication, feedback, and engagement across the business. They can pinpoint the best performers in their teams as well as those members who are encountering more obstacles or need further training. It sets the appropriate game-plan for the day ahead and conveys a clear and positive message on the previous day’s performance results. Once managers start getting the hang of the Enlighten software, they can understand the causes of errors, non-value-added activities, and waste. The software records waste based on three categories: process, incident, and error, which allows managers to pinpoint non-value-added services. Once identified, they can eliminate waste, thereby creating capacity which can be ‘reinvested’ back into the business.
Our system delivers an entirely holistic and balanced view of performance to each management level, from CIO down to the frontline individuals
Before the start of week 17, clients start enjoying improved productivity as well as employee engagement. Now, they can leverage Enlighten’s forecasting methodologies to plan for leave, backlogs, training, and recruitment in a structured and consistent manner. Not only this, Enlighten continues to provide post-program support for the software and builds in quarterly sustainability reviews to ensure ongoing client success.
Several industries, including FinTech, healthcare, and BPOs, have achieved operational excellence using Enlighten’s functional management system. Tony shares a customer success story of a major insurance company that wanted to eliminate operational inefficiency in its business processes. Due to complex and siloed processes, the client did not have any visibility into their operations. Upon implementing the Enlighten operational management system, the insurance company improved its output by 66 percent. The collaboration provided a tailored and targeted approach to address the client’s business issues and helped the firm achieve its performance targets, drive efficiencies and reduce cost. “Within a year of implementing our solution, the client registered a double-digit improvement in their Net Promoter Score,” extols Tony.
Enlighten has several such success stories where it has helped clients achieve operational excellence with its innovative offerings. For instance, in the post-pandemic world, where hybrid work environments gained impetus across industries, organizations were entirely in the dark about the efficiency of such work environments. However, with complete transparency into the clients’ operations and data across all systems, Enlighten Operational Excellence was able to objectively establish whether a hybrid work environment would suit their business or not, helping the client make informed decisions.
Established in 2005, Enlighten, with a long list of satisfied clientele, has expanded its client base across 28 countries worldwide. The company has regional offices in the US, UK, India, and Australia. Notably, after moving to North America in 2013, Enlighten has registered a CAGR of 100 percent each year. Encouraged by such substantial and tangible results, Enlighten is planning to scale up its operations globally in the short run, to help organizations achieve operational excellence.