Global Corporate Survey 2020: Operational Excellence Budgets, Priorities & Tech Preferences

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Executive Summary

To provide a benchmark of high quality information about operational excellence programmes, Verdantix conducted 259 interviews with managers in operations, engineering, maintenance and process safety roles. Respondents were selected from 22 countries across 13 regions, working in 14 distinct industries. Ninety-three per cent of respondents represented firms with revenues greater than $1 billion. Respondents have reacted to COVID-19 and the ensuing recession with increased spending, with 84% reporting a rise in spending over the last 12 months. Moving forward, budgets for operational excellence remain healthy, with 92% of respondents planning increased spending on operational excellence for 2021. Operations executives detail their planned expenditure on software for operational excellence, as well as the key technologies and priorities they perceive in 2021 and 2022. 

Table of contents

Annual Global Survey Of 259 Operational Excellence Executives Across Multiple Industries
Diverse Function Heads Across Multiple Regions Lead Operational Excellence Survey 

Operational Excellence Budgets Remain Healthy Despite Double Impacts Of COVID-19 And Global Recession
Spending Will Increase On Operational Excellence Initiatives Over The Next Two Years 
COVID-19 Drives Digitization Of Operational Excellence Initiatives

Enterprise Software Remains Integral To Operational Excellence Programmes 
Safe Operations And Asset Maintenance Lead Commercial Software Investment Plans

Firms Selecting Asset Management Solutions Demand A Broad Range Of Criteria 
Operations Decision-Makers Identify Multiple Key Factors When Evaluating Asset Management Software 
Subject Matter Expertise Is Crucial For Firms Selecting Service Providers

Digital Innovations For Remote Operations Will Be Significant For Future Operational Excellence Initiatives 
Mobile Apps, Digital Twin Simulation And Connected Worker Solutions Will Be Significant Over The Next Two Years

Table of figures

Figure 1. Revenue Of Survey Respondents’ Firms 
Figure 2. Survey Respondents’ Business Function 
Figure 3. Industry Categorization Of Respondents’ Firms 
Figure 4. Geographic Location Of Respondents 
Figure 5. Change In Operational Excellence Spend Over The Past 12 Months 
Figure 6. Factors Driving Investment In Operational Excellence 
Figure 7. Expected Changes In Operational Excellence Spend In 2021 
Figure 8. Operational Excellence Business Priorities In 2021 And 2022 
Figure 9. Change In Spend On Operational Excellence Activities In 2021 
Figure 10. Expected Changes In Spend On Consultants In 2021 
Figure 11. Impact Of COVID-19 And Recession On Digitization Of Operational Excellence Initiatives 
Figure 12. Effect Of COVID-19 And Recession On Investment In New Technology 
Figure 13. Adoption Of Software 
Figure 14. Software Investment Plans For Operational Excellence Processes In 2021
Figure 15. Evaluation Criteria For Asset Management Software Applications 
Figure 16. Perception Of Firms Delivering Asset Management Digitization Projects 
Figure 17. Evaluation Criteria For Asset Management Digitization Service Providers 
Figure 18. Significance Of Digital Innovations For Operational Excellence In 2021 and 2022 
Figure 19. Factors Holding Back Investment In Digital Twin Projects
Figure 20. Drivers Of Spend On Connected Worker Solutions

About the authors

Hugo Fuller

Analyst

Hugo is a Technology Analyst in the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. His research agenda focuses on covering connected worker technologies, best practices, market trends and growth strategies. Hugo joined Verdantix in 2020 having worked previously in public relations and earned media at Cision. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from University College London.

Sebastian Winter

Industry Analyst

Sebastian is a Technology Analyst in the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. His research agenda focuses on covering industrial risk technologies, best practices and growth strategies. Prior to joining Verdantix, Sebastian worked for Trucost, a division of S&P Dow Jones Indices, and held positions in China, Brunei and Kenya. Sebastian holds an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London.

Malavika Tohani

Research Director

Malavika leads the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. Her current research agenda focuses on the digitization of Operational Excellence and covers operational risk technologies, best practices and growth strategies. Her recent research focussed on benchmarking the capabilities of the prominent operational risk software vendors. She has over 10 years’ experience in research and strategy consulting. Malavika previously worked at Frost & Sullivan, managing and delivering advisory projects for clients involving expansion, acquisition, benchmarking and product development strategies. Malavika holds a MSc in Economics from Madras School of Economics.

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