I’d like to share a different angle on the OSS cost-out mantra

As you’ve all noticed, “cost-out” is one of the biggest justification techniques used in the OSS industry. The theory is that if you can automate activities, then you can reduce head-count from the operations team, thus reducing costs. While I’m happy to help customers build business cases around this perspective, I have a slight divergence that I share with them and am sharing with you today.

I’m a believer that OSS have two main responsibilities – to drive efficiencies and to deliver insights. The cost-out mantra aligns with the efficiency drive.

Now here’s the important spin – efficiency comes from reducing waste. Sounds pretty obvious right? The mindset shift comes from looking beyond the operations team for waste to resolve. An OSS / BSS touches so many parts of an organisation and collects data from them, that they’re perfectly positioned to identify waste (ie insights) and then monitor / manage waste reduction programs (ie efficiency).

The challenge for the teams that are building OSS / BSS business cases is that they’re generally not familiar enough with all those other parts of their organisation to identify waste. But it doesn’t take too many questions to the right people to uncover some of the key elements of waste (I’m assuming the 80/20 rule of questions here!). Examples include missed truck rolls, under-utilised products (or opportunities for new products), inefficient designs (ie network bottlenecks), supply chain hurdles, etc.

But to ask the right questions of the right people often means building collaborations that haven’t happened before.

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