How much potential is there in optimization projects?

How much potential is there in optimization projects?

Interview with Denise Lelle, Business Development Manager and Dr. Sven Flake, Head of Solutions at OPTANO

Mathematical optimization is a powerful tool for identifying and exploiting hidden potential in complex processes and structures. Our experience from over 350 optimization projects has proven this: The greater the complexity of processes, the more potential there is to increase efficiency.

But how can you find out what optimization opportunities exist in your own company? Which levers need to be activated and what requirements need to be met? Are there quick wins that can be realized quickly? We would like to work with you to find the answers to these and other questions in our “Identifying and exploiting optimization potential” workshop.

In this interview, Denise Lelle, Business Development Manager and Dr. Sven Flake, Head of Solutions at OPTANO, explain how you can work with our experts to identify and exploit your company’s optimization potential.

Most companies are already aware of the potential for improvement. Who specifically is the OPTANO workshop “Recognizing and using optimization potential” aimed at?

Denise Lelle

The awareness or even the assumption that something can or must be done better is a good indicator. In the best case scenario, you already have a few ideas about where potential for improvement lies dormant and are thinking about projects in the areas of AI, automation and optimization.

However, it is often not entirely clear whether and how projects are worthwhile or how they should be approached. This is where we come in. We help to replace a gut feeling with numbers and provide recommendations and actionable tips along the way.

Which people from a company are involved depends on the specific goal. One thing is clear: the results are shaped by the knowledge of the participants. Diversity can provide diverse input here. For example, completely new challenges and questions can arise when people from the operational area (e.g. production) work together with representatives from corporate strategy.

Dr. Sven Flake

Operational stakeholders usually know very well where there is potential in their area, but in my experience they face two problems: they need collaboration with others to improve their process and they cannot quantify the impact of the improvement.

The second point is often an obstacle to getting the necessary collaboration. This is where we can come in. A classic example is the interaction between warehousing and transport logistics, which often run under separate responsibility but could realize savings through overarching planning.

Identify synergy potentials and quantify savings potential

How can a workshop with OPTANO help to identify the right optimization topics and drive their implementation in the company?

Denise Lelle

You are often trapped in your everyday life. The desire for change is there, but you don’t know how to go about it. Perhaps you also need to do some internal persuasion work and want to gather reliable arguments – facts and figures – for a project.

This is exactly where our experts can help. With their extensive experience, they can quickly record indicators for optimization potential and identify possible risks. They also provide initial assessments of potential savings or other relevant key figures and thus the basis for investment decisions. What is particularly great is that the participants receive concrete tips on what should be tackled first.

Dr. Sven Flake

We usually record an overview of the current process and the resulting costs directly on site. Even if these are only roughly available, this helps us to identify cost drivers on the one hand and synergy potential on the other and to quantify the savings potential. As a result, the participants can also update costs afterwards and thus estimate the potential more accurately. The above example often results in synergy effects that can be in the double-digit percentage point range, especially if such optimizations have never been made before.


Would you like to receive more information?

Details of the offer can be found here:

Please tell us how the workshop with our OPTANO experts works and what content is covered.

Denise Lelle

I would be happy to briefly discuss the organizational aspects first. After a brief preliminary discussion, we will send out a list of questions for preparation. These questions ensure that we can organize the workshop more efficiently and provide an important basis. In order to be able to talk openly, we are happy to offer an NDA at this point. The workshop can take place remotely or on site. The online workshops are divided into 2-3 sessions.

Dr. Sven Flake

In terms of content, we like to divide the workshop into several phases. First, we discuss the context and the overall goals to be achieved. Is there already something concrete or do the goals first need to be developed?

In the second step, we record the status quo together. This can be the structure of typical supply chains, but also a decision-making or production process. Insights from the participants usually emerge here if certain pains – cost drivers or time wasters – are already known.

The third step is to design an ideal process that the group would like to see.

On the one hand, the discrepancy results in a theoretical savings potential, but above all, there are correlations: if we were to coordinate our delivery processes directly with the available storage space, we could use space more efficiently. Working out these correlations is ultimately the core of the workshop. The potential arises from this.

The use of optimization software such as OPTANO enables the automation of processes

In your opinion, what advantages does software like OPTANO offer when it comes to optimizing processes and structures?

Denise Lelle

Anyone who wants to automate and improve processes quickly realizes that conventional tools and manual processes reach their limits. Too many conditions, restrictions, variables, targets, …

Where others fail, OPTANO is where the fun begins. We have software that can compare scenarios and provide data-based recommendations for action. The biggest advantage is that individual processes and framework conditions can be mapped in all their complexity. OPTANO offers the necessary flexibility and technological basis to provide solutions when others become too complex and individual.

Dr. Sven Flake​

What we develop as an example in the workshop can be mapped fully automatically in software. This allows customers to operationalize the insights gained in the workshops in their day-to-day work and continuously review and improve their processes.

What do the results of the OPTANO workshop look like for the participants and how can they continue to work with them?

Denise Lelle

Our participants benefit in particular from the concrete recommendations for action and quick wins that help them to better achieve their goals. They also receive an assessment from our experts as to how high the optimization potential could be in their company. The final document we provide offers a good basis for management decisions regarding possible follow-up projects and investments.
Of course, we are also available for follow-up questions and collaboration. It is not uncommon for concrete project ideas to emerge from such workshops.

Many thanks, Denise and Sven, for the detailed information on the workshop offer.

You can find a summary of this and other information in our factsheet “Identifying optimization potential – How much potential is there in automation, AI and optimization projects?”, which you can download here.

Request more information

Denise Lelle
Business Development Manager

Denise can be reached by phone, email or on LinkedIn – or simply make an appointment with her directly using the calender linked above.

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Alexandra Navarra

Do you have any questions?

Dr. Patrick Schuhmann
Analytics Consultant