What about Lean in a Services Environment?
Everyone knows that Lean came from the manufacturing world, and many arent quite sure how, or even IF, it applies to more service oriented environments. Well, rest assured, it does. I see countless examples of Lean success stories in a broad range of services/transactional domains. Financial close, claims processing, call centers, software development, enterprise software implementations, patient waiting times, logistics and supply chain, order fulfillment . The list goes on and on.
Our Lean QuickStart Presentation here.
Granted, adoption of Lean in services environments has been a little slow, but adoption is happening now at a rapid pace. Why? It could just be the natural progression of things, but I think its also a function of the business environment since the recession. Internal efficiency and productivity, doing more with less, and cutting costs are now just the way business is done, the new norm . And that, my friends, is what Lean is all about.
Lean first and foremost is about the elimination of waste, and it defines 7 ( or 8 ) elements of waste. Any activity that doesnt add value, from the customers perspective (internal or external), is by definition non-value-add and should be minimized (or eliminated). Now, think about this some very reputable research suggests that, in a typical services process, 80% of the activities are non-value add.
Yet, all those NVA activities add time and cost, and opportunities for errors to the process. In the case of most back-office processes (e.g. Finance, Customer Service, HR, IT, supply chain, etc), any saving in cycle time / cost filter straight to the bottom line.
80% NVA activities, savings straight to the bottom line That tells me that there is ample room and opportunity for Lean in Service-oriented processes. Think about it and contact me if youd like to discuss in more detail.