A simple experiment to see if your Service sector company needs Lean Management

Breakdown in service efficiency

But hang on? Isn't Lean just for manufacturing companies?

It’s a fair question in a way.

After all, in manufacturing, the processes and efficiencies (or not as the case may be), are visible and tangible. For example, the car assembly team can actually be monitored for efficiency by watching what’s happening….the team delivering the parts, the assembly line, the quality control function can all be observed…and thus improvements confidently made, where ‘hold-ups’ or blockages occur.

Transpose your mind to the scene of a service team within a large transport organisation that spans numerous offices and the opportunity to observe inefficiency becomes incredibly difficult.

But not impossible.

It IS possible to create visualisation of intangible processes and interactions but it takes skill and experience to do so.

Since service processes are not physically observable, especially useful are tools like visual management that make otherwise invisible work processes visible, and techniques that specifically develop a team member’s creative problem-solving and critical thinking abilities to the fullest.

If your service organisation currently doesn’t practice lean, there is an excellent experiment to highlight whether you should be:

  • Find a team that does similar work, such as for example, entering customer transactions, resource planning or answering customer calls.

  • Give each team member a different coloured pad of post-it notes and choose one particular process all team members complete regularly.

  • Ask each team member to write the series of steps that he or she takes to do the work on a separate post-it note.

  • Once all have completed their post-its, have each team member stick their series of notes—one row for each person, one above the other—onto a large piece of paper or a whiteboard.

After completing the exercise, take a step back, and take a look. Without question none of the rows will be the same length, or have the same steps in the same order.

Lean isn’t just about manufacturing.

It is about standardising work processes to make problems visible and developing your team members’ critical thinking ability so that they can solve those problems and improve work processes.

Our experience will get you there.

Call us today on 0207 412 8995 or email us on admin@valuestreamexperts.com your questions about Lean and how it can help transform your business.


#serviceindustries #lean #experiment

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