Lean is not just for manufacturing. Many companies have excelled at reducing waste in their production processes yet their offices are filled with inefficiencies. The inefficiencies in the Lean office are the next big areas of opportunity. Lean in a service environment is catching on as a key productivity factor to streamline and eliminate waste from administrative processes and to achieve bottom line savings. It makes sense, considering that 60% – 80% of all costs related to meeting a customer demand are administrative or non-production related functions. To be Lean, the concepts must be understood, implemented and sustained throughout the entire company.
A lean office can impact administrative processes at all levels of an organization:
At the enterprise level, it streamlines and accelerates those processes that touch external customers and suppliers such as order entry, customer service, accounts payable, marketing and sales, and research and development.
At the organizational level, Lean can help streamline key support processes, for example IT, HR, engineering or purchasing. It helps identify internal customer requirements and what is important to them, improves communication and cross functional cooperation.
At the department level Lean reduces activities that add time but have little value. You will run Lean projects at this level which will be the focus of this course.
And lastly, at an individual level you can reduce paperwork, manual entries and errors using some of the Lean techniques in your own job.