Process Improvement and the Benefits of Lean Methodology

by Jamie Critelli April 27, 2016
April 27, 2016

These days, information moves at the speed of light. We live in a world that is more technologically enabled than ever before. Yet despite all our conveniences, we struggle.


We should have all the tools we need at our fingertips, so why does maintaining control and setting strategic direction of an organization still seem so elusive? At the end of the day, we’re drowning in a sea of non-relevant information. How can an organization rise up and move forward?


How can we possibly break through to a better future?


Here at gC, we believe the answer lies within Lean processes and process improvement. No matter what it is that your organization does, it is a certainty that there is room for improvement. Cutting-edge companies use the term Lean to describe a business methodology for focusing on the customer, then working back through each process, to ensure every step is adding value.


Why Use Lean Methodology?

To our knowledge, and to our customers’ delight, we have been quietly running lean implementations and process improvement since our inception. Lean is the only business methodology we know of which can reduce the cost of providing a good or service, improve the delivery/lead time, and improve product quality, all at the same time. No other methodology even comes close.


Six Sigma focuses on top-down driven initiatives to cut costs, but often these gains are one-off and unless integrated, they are unsustainable. Total Quality focuses on quality alone, often to the detriment of cost and lead time. Lean however, if done right, makes managers into heroes in the eyes of employees and customers alike. It adds an unprecedented level of transparency which most companies could only dream of. And it puts companies on the path to adding value with every activity that they undertake.


To make this more tangible, think of your personal life. Would you be comfortable paying for something which was available elsewhere for a better price? Years ago, these different offers wouldn’t be available to easily review as you’d have to drive cross-town from store to store. But now, offers from EBay or Amazon can be viewed in the privacy of your home. And online ordering and transparency during the purchase and delivery process takes all the risk out of your transaction.


In your business life, don’t you think your customers feel the same way? All customers want is value for their dollar. Lean is the only surefire way to make sure they are consistently and reliably getting the best value they can, which makes your business successful over the long term.


Perhaps Lean sounds quite Utopian at this point. And to be fair, only 30% of the companies who embark on Lean consider their efforts a success. The 70% who fail usually do so because they gave up too easily, or because they lack the support of upper management to implement lean well enough to make it sustainable. There is certainly a high hurdle to making Lean work within your firm, but survey after survey shows that the end justifies the means. And the benefits outweigh the costs.


Lean processes are all about getting the waste out of processes, to make them best in class. A lean journey is never complete, though, as the ultimate goal is the relentless pursuit of perfection. Lean workers no longer consider work to be a chore. They see the value they deliver to the whole organization, so they spend their days improving the existing ways of working. Leaders enable this change by empowering and training their workers with tools to slowly and steadily improve their ways of working, day after day.

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