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DUBAI,UAE–The second edition of the Operational Excellence Conference (OPEX) concluded recently with the theme “Towards Creating Value to all Stakeholders.”Throughout the event, participants explored groundbreaking operational practices in various industrial and service sectors. The primary objective was to leverage these practices to attain the highest level of benefits and facilitate knowledge transfer through the adoption of operational excellence principles and updated standards. These standards specifically addressed challenges, fulfilled present and future requirements, and focused on enhancing efficiency, promoting sustainability, and embracing technological innovation.

The event was inaugurated by His Excellency Abdulrahman AlFadley, Saudi minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture. His Excellency Eng. Abdullah Al-Abdul Karim, governor of the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) emphasized at his opening speech the primary objective OPEC, which aimed to create value for all stakeholders involved. He stressed that the conference was not organized solely by SWCC but was a collaborative effort between the government and private sectors.Furthermore, H.H. shared that the idea for the conference originated in 2019 from the same venue where the participants had gathered that day. He highlighted that it emerged during a specialized session focused on achieving operational excellence within various enterprise sectors. Since 1974, these sectors have regularly held meetings to discuss growth opportunities and foster a culture of operational excellence. Additionally, Al-Abdul Karim elucidated that the concept of the conference has evolved through visits to various global entities, with the aim of identifying well-established experiences that have fostered an advanced culture in the field of operational excellence. The Governor added, “In the current edition of the conference, we are sharing the work accomplished in various sectors, including Hajj and Umrah, transport and logistics, industry and mining, energy, finance, R&D, innovation, real estate, human resources, docial development, and telecom.”

He also said that whether these sectors belong to the public, private, or global organizations, they all possess pioneering experiences, “that we should collectively share on one platform. He also emphasized the urgent need for more creativity, innovation, and investment in operational aspects on a global scale to enhance businesses across all sectors. He recognized that bringing together selected local and international experts in one location provides an opportunity to exchange information, knowledge, and experiences. This exchange enables the realization of promising prospects and the fulfillment of goals and aspirations in the service and industrial sectors. It also facilitates the development of resources and capabilities in these sectors.

Success stories

During the conference, several success stories were showcased, highlighting the promotion of a culture of operational excellence and the adoption of its principles in line with the highest international standards. One of the highlighted success stories was that of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KAUST), which demonstrated its achievement in developing operational capabilities and implementing developmental projects. This particular success story was presented by Ms. Noha Al-Hajji, director of the Rehabilitation and Enrichment Programs Department within the city.Meanwhile, Engineer Khaled Al-Ammar, assistant undersecretary for Technical Affairs at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, narrated the details of the story of digital transformation in asset and facilities management, and how leading change, promoting innovation, and improving service quality contributed to achieving the goals of operational excellence.

Ms. Malak Al Majed, senior business Process Development Specialist at the Communications, Space and Technology Commission, reviews the Commission’s digital transformation journey, which was distinguished by its winning the leadership level and excellence in digital regulatory maturity among the G20 countries, highlighting its role as a digital regulator in providing more than 200 percent of the Wi-Fi technology ranges in the Kingdom. Engineer Badr Al-Harbi, Operational Excellence advisor at Aramco, revealed the company’s journey, which culminated in raising performance standards through continuous improvement of its business, systems and policies, which enabled it to achieve leadership in the field of energy and reach distinguished levels of efficiency, reliability and safety at the lowest economic cost. For his part, Engineer Ziad Al-Shiha, CEO of the Saudi Investment Recycling Company, presented the success story of (SRIC) by recycling 16 million tons within a year, thus recording a success story in investment and the circular economy, by adopting operational excellence methodologies and processes in the fields of mega projects.

Engineer Talib Al-Qablan, general supervisor of Technical Development and Studies for the Projects and Public Health Agency, at the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing, revealed the impact of applying the Project Management Guide in the municipal sector on the quality of outputs, efficiency and the success of the operational excellence journey, while Professor Daniel Saleh presented the best global practices being implemented. It was applied at KPMG Saudi Arabia as part of the company’s program to achieve operational excellence goals, and Professor Anna Diaz told the success story of successful planning stemming from a continuous commitment to excellence and innovation, in ensuring the achievement of operational excellence at Management Solutions.

Additionally, Engineer Amer Al-Rajaiba, vice president for Resource Planning and Analysis of the Operational Excellence Experience at the Water Partnership Company, reviewed the company’s operational excellence journey and its success in participating with the private sector in implementing water infrastructure projects, following its strategies that combined technological innovation and environmental sustainability, while Engineer Yasser narrated Al-Asafi, director general of the Industry and Water Empowerment Sector at the Spending and Projects Efficiency Authority, is a success story that transformed the Project Management and Employment Support Program into a body with multiple responsibilities aiming to improve quality and achieve efficiency.

Success stories

During the conference, several success stories were showcased, highlighting the promotion of a culture of operational excellence and the adoption of its principles in line with the highest international standards. One of the highlighted success stories was that of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KAUST), which demonstrated its achievement in developing operational capabilities and implementing developmental projects. This particular success story was presented by Ms. Noha Al-Hajji, director of the Rehabilitation and Enrichment Programs Department within the city.

Meanwhile, Engineer Khaled Al-Ammar, assistant undersecretary for Technical Affairs at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, narrated the details of the story of digital transformation in asset and facilities management, and how leading change, promoting innovation, and improving service quality contributed to achieving the goals of operational excellence.

Ms. Malak Al Majed, senior business Process Development Specialist at the Communications, Space and Technology Commission, reviews the Commission’s digital transformation journey, which was distinguished by its winning the leadership level and excellence in digital regulatory maturity among the G20 countries, highlighting its role as a digital regulator in providing more than 200 percent of the Wi-Fi technology ranges in the Kingdom. Engineer Badr Al-Harbi, Operational Excellence advisor at Aramco, revealed the company’s journey, which culminated in raising performance standards through continuous improvement of its business, systems and policies, which enabled it to achieve leadership in the field of energy and reach distinguished levels of efficiency, reliability and safety at the lowest economic cost.

For his part, Engineer Ziad Al-Shiha, CEO of the Saudi Investment Recycling Company, presented the success story of (SRIC) by recycling 16 million tons within a year, thus recording a success story in investment and the circular economy, by adopting operational excellence methodologies and processes in the fields of mega projects.

Engineer Talib Al-Qablan, general supervisor of Technical Development and Studies for the Projects and Public Health Agency, at the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing, revealed the impact of applying the Project Management Guide in the municipal sector on the quality of outputs, efficiency and the success of the operational excellence journey, while Professor Daniel Saleh presented the best global practices being implemented. It was applied at KPMG Saudi Arabia as part of the company’s program to achieve operational excellence goals, and Professor Anna Diaz told the success story of successful planning stemming from a continuous commitment to excellence and innovation, in ensuring the achievement of operational excellence at Management Solutions. Additionally, Engineer Amer Al-Rajaiba, vice president for Resource Planning and Analysis of the Operational Excellence Experience at the Water Partnership Company, reviewed the company’s operational excellence journey and its success in participating with the private sector in implementing water infrastructure projects, following its strategies that combined technological innovation and environmental sustainability, while Engineer Yasser narrated Al-Asafi, director general of the Industry and Water Empowerment Sector at the Spending and Projects Efficiency Authority, is a success story that transformed the Project Management and Employment Support Program into a body with multiple responsibilities aiming to improve quality and achieve efficiency.

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