In an office environment, the primary goal of Lean is improved customer service. The customer might be a consumer purchasing a product, a citizen receiving a service or another department or operation within the same organization.
By working to eliminate "waste" (anything not valued by the customer) you’ll be better able to provide exactly what the customer wants, when the customer wants it and in the way the customer wants it:
- The product or service is the right product or service
- The product or service is there in the right quantity
- The product or service is there in the right condition
- The product or service in the right place
- The product or service is there at the right time
60 to 80 percent of all costs related to meeting customer demand are administrative or non-production-related functions. In fact, for some, the percentage of lead time taken up by front office tasks like engineering, purchasing and quoting can be 80% or more of product cost. Since most organizations (of any kind) don’t really understand how much waste contributes to lead time it’s difficult for them to focus on it:
- Overproduction: Producing too much or producing it before it is needed.
- Transportation: Movement of materials, products or information that do not add value.
- Waiting: Inactive or lost time created when material, information, people or equipment is not ready.
- Motion: Any motion that is not necessary to successfully complete an operation or task.
- Over Processing: Efforts that create no value from the customer's viewpoint.
- Inventory: More information, project, or material on hand than the customer needs at that moment.
- Defects: Work that contains errors or mistakes, lacks something vital, or needs rework.
- Skills: Underutilization of employee skills and knowledge.
At Global Solutions & Services (GSS), we know the value of re-engineering your front office processes and the risks you run by staying the same. Contact us so that we can review them with you.