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Get Inspired By 26 Opex Professionals As They Reveal Their Innovative Strategies To Engage Employees, Change Cultures & Drive Continuous Improvement & Operational Excellence

Drive & Sustain Operational Excellence With Savvy People Engagement & Culture Change Strategies: Win Buy In From The C-Suite To The ‘Shop Floor’, Embed Change-Ready Cultures & Align Customer-Centric OPEX Strategies To Business Goals & Leverage New Technologies & Data For Effective Continuous Improvement Journeys, Long-Term Efficiencies & Impressive, Measurable Results

08.30 Registration, Coffee & Informal Networking

09.00 GIC Welcome, Interactive Voting Introduction & Morning Chair’s Opening Remarks

Parul Kumar, Global Head of Operational Excellence, Expedia Group


09.10 Weave Operational Excellence Methodologies Into The Business Fabric To Identify Waste & Map Improvement Strategies Which Further Business Objectives

  • Identify and align OPEX to the business needs to ensure improvements are driven by clear organisational end goals
  • Prioritise the right initiatives to deliver the right impact - how do organisations actually identify the best opportunities for improvement?
  • The right framework(s) to build your OPEX strategies around to develop the hybrid of different methodologies that works for the business needs

Ashutosh Pandey, Head of Strategic Quality Transformation, Nokia


09.30 Culture First! Lay The Groundwork For Sustained Operational Improvements By Cultivating Improvement-Receptive Cultures & Performance-Enhancing Behaviours

  • Achieve business goals through culture! From hiring, training and communicating what are the lessons learnt?
  • How do you measure culture change?
  • Investigate the culture and behavioural changes which will impact performance most positively
  • Elevate your culture change approaches and achieve greater impact by exploring newer behavioural psychology, sociology and leadership theories
  • Culture, mindset, behaviour: enable the business to become efficiency-driven and always thinking of improvements to build a solid foundation for OPEX

Ashutosh Pandey, Head of Strategic Quality Transformation, Nokia



Scott Worth, Operational Excellence Manager, Central England Co-operative



Claire Maher, Head of Continuous Improvement, IAG Cargo



Toby Harding, Operations Director, Kier Utilities & Rail



10.10 Communicate Change & Continuous Improvement Objectives To Unlock Employee Advocacy, Overcome Internal Barriers & Resistance & Sustain OPEX

  • Identify enthusiastic change agents and empower grassroots team members to drive improvements from the bottom up
  • From square one: overcome internal hurdles and flat-out employee disengagement and resistance to deliver change successfully
  • Reinvigorate staff to sustain change and continuous improvements throughout long-life projects where momentum has dipped
  • Tactics to tackle large-scale, “scary” change vs. agile, rapid-fire continuous improvement; to embed both types into the business and ensure neither inspires fear or frustration

Christopher Dixon, Lead Specialist - Continuous Improvement, Specialist Services, NHS Blood & Transplant

10.40 Morning Refreshment Break With Informal Networking


11.10 Becoming Better Every Day. Your People As CI Experts… Saving £600k In 4 Months.

  • Back in 2019 NKD + Woolworths Group Supply Chain Australia collaborated to build a 21st Century Continuous Improvement Academy. One that got team members on the floor excited about their role in continuous improvement and making changes to their work environment that made their world of work better. While simultaneously building smarter and safer operations, and ensuring that the customer sees the benefit.
  • Out of that, ‘Better Every Day’ was born. Four months after roll out 4,000 of the 7,000 team members have been trained and engaged with the CI toolkit.
  • The result: team members who can’t wait to get involved, £600k of reported savings to date and £5m in reported savings through replication of improvements across their 14 Distribution Centres. And it’s only the beginning.

Michael Faulkner, Managing Director, NKD


11.25 Evaluate & Prove The Impact Of OPEX: The KPIs & Metrics To Accurately Benchmark Progress & Bottom-Line Results From The Business Perspective

  • From day one to completion: what exactly to measure and benchmark to assess progress and how does that evolve as the project moves forwards?
  • Two months, two years or ongoing! Gain tangible measures on end-result business improvements
  • The challenges of setting the right KPIs or when figures are just vanity metrics: ensure operational efficiencies are benefiting to company objectives
  • ROI? CX? Reduced waste? Increased production? Translate your progress into visually-digestible information which satisfies the c-suite

Lee Robinson, Operational Excellence Manager, Travelodge Hotels



Sarah Wooledge, Continuous Improvement Manager, The Binding Site


11.55 Building A Financial Services Centre With Accounts Payable Automation 

  • Improving invoice workflow with automated invoice-matching process
  • Reducing Costs
  • Improving FTE Engagement

Tim Coackley, Finance Reporting & Processes, HSS Hire


12.10 Tap Into Employee Drivers, Behaviours & Psychology To Maintain Engagement & Motivation During Change & Ensure “Shop-Floor” Feedback is Actioned

  • Create and maintain a two-way dialogue to keep employees engaged when the only constants are change and uncertainty
  • But why am I doing this? Invest time and effort into preparing employees for change and CI with function-specific comms which translate the reasons, rationale and potential results
  • Solicit and action employee feedback and front-line insights into where improvement needs to be made – and give them the credit!
  • Easy come, easy go? Reignite interest with change-fatigued, burnt-out colleagues to go beyond a one-hit-wonder for operational improvements which stick

Neil Cavill, Head of Continuous Improvement, ARCO


Pete Gough, Partner & Continuous Improvement Development Manager, Waitrose & Partners


Gary Ballard, Senior Performance Improvement Manager, Virgin Media


Sandra Borja Santos, Continuous Improvement Manager, BP



Elizabeth Young, Continuous Improvement Concept Manager, Marks & Spencer 



Victoria Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer, Seenit Digital



12.45 Lunch For Delegates, Speakers & Partners


13.15 Informal Peer-To-Peer Discussions

A) Agile
Neil Cavill, Head of Continuous Improvement, ARCO


B) Lean

Pam Scarry, Head of Development, HMRC Continuous Improvement Team

13.45 Afternoon Co-Chair’s Opening Remarks

Anita Tadayon, Business Design Director, BT Consumer



14.00 Real-World Insights Into Achieving Sustained, Long-Term Operational Excellence Initiatives
So you’ve implemented operational improvements, seen positive results and all is well... but what next? How do you keep that momentum going, side-step change fatigue and avoid your long-thought-out change strategies becoming a flash in the pan to achieve longevity and sustain real culture change?

James Barfoot, Operational Excellence Manager, Ageas


14.30 Why Does OPEX Sometimes Fail? Real-Life Experiences, Quick Wins & Hard-Won Truths

  • Learning points from monitoring and managing large-scale culture Change when there are so many moving parts!
  • Are business driving improvements in silo? Create cross-function communication to get an overview of business-wide innovation
  • When have really good ideas run out of steam and how can you maintain that momentum?
  • Older and wiser? What contingencies do you now put in place when embarking on a plan?
  • How do organisations identify the best opportunities for improvement? Where have we missed a trick?

Parul Kumar, Global Head of Operational Excellence, Expedia Group


Will Burrows, Continuous Improvement Manager, Halfords


Miles Miller, Senior Lead Consultant - Operational Standardisation - Global Lead Markets, McDonald’s


Stuart Anwyl, Head of Operational Excellence, Balfour Beatty 



15.00 Leadership Buy In Practical Exercise

  • But... What Are The Benefits? Secure Proactive Leadership Support & Buy In & Encourage Middle Management To Champion Operational Excellence

15.25 Afternoon Refreshment Break With Informal Networking

NKD To Announce The Competition Winner


16.10 The Reality Of Integrating Systems, RPA & New Technologies To Boost Operational Efficiencies & Improvements

  • Secure buy in! Pitch tech internally to win support and boost excitement for successful tech application opportunities and prove there’s no threat
  • Results! Where was it right – and wrong – to integrate technologies? Lessons learnt to inform future forays in the field and bolster confidence in upcoming initiatives
  • Explore the future of work, digital transformation and the new technologies on the horizon
  • The reality of tech and automation: pitfalls and hurdles to successful integration into the OPEX framework, scaling up and making the right investment choices

Amit Dixit, Head of Operational Excellence, QBE


16.25 Real-World Insights Into Achieving Sustained, Long-Term Operational Excellence Initiatives

  • So you’ve implemented operational improvements, seen positive results and all is well... but what next? How do you keep that momentum going, side-step change fatigue and avoid your long-thought-out change strategies becoming a flash in the pan to achieve longevity and sustain real culture change? 

Sarah Wooledge, Continuous Improvement Manager, The Binding Site


16.50 Deliver Stand-Out Operational Excellence With The Customer At Its Heart

  • When the ‘customer is always right’ how can you enable your business operations to service customers and end-users most effectively and boost satisfaction?
  • Assess the value of your current operations, where could we add value, reduce frustrations or improve quality of service?
  • Action customer and front-line feedback and view the customer journey from the outside in, to design  operations and processes with the customer in mind

David Harrison, Head of Operational Excellence, Sales & Service, Ageas UK

17.10 Chair’s Closing Remarks & Official Close Conference

Parul Kumar, Global Head of Operational Excellence, Expedia Group