Lean management can help every business. That might sound ambitious – you’ve probably heard about lean being used in manufacturing, in production lines, and perhaps in public sector processes.
But the reality is that lean principles still apply in a service business or office environment. These are universal principles.
If you’d like to find out why that is, and how lean can benefit your business, tune in to BizSmart Core Adviser, Louise Blunt, as she talks about this on the latest BizSmart webinar.
Or read on for more information about how lean applies to your business.
Do you need lean principles?
Answer the following questions to find out whether it would be useful for you to look at lean principles.
- Do you have people in your organisation?
- Do you have processes that create outputs, services or products?
- Do you experience problems?
If you answer, “Yes” to any of these questions, and it seems likely that you would, then you will definitely benefit from applying lean principles.
Let’s start with what lean is, and what it isn’t, and then move onto some areas where you can potentially avoid waste in your business.
What lean is
A different way of thinking
A fundamental approach to running a business
A way of looking at the whole company and working out how to make it more effective at delivering great products and services to customers… whilst making more money for the company
All about the customer
What lean isn’t
Only for manufacturing
Only for huge corporations like Toyota and Apple
About paring things back to the bone
Yet another management fad – it’s nothing new
Just for the management team
Lean thinking will help you to cut down on wasteful processes in your business. And by cutting waste, you’ll potentially save money and increase profits, but you may also make the working environment more fulfilling for your staff.
8 key areas you can look at to cut waste
Transportation – are you carrying or posting files, or moving equipment?
Over-processing – are you manually entering data or duplicating activities?
Waiting – is there dead time while waiting for people or documents to arrive?
Motion – are people searching for paperwork or making more keystrokes than necessary?
Defects – are there data entry errors or is there missing information?
Inventory – do you have unused equipment or tools?
Over-production – are you writing reports that no one reads or making more copies of documents than is needed?
Skills misuse – are you continually using a higher skilled person on lower skilled work?
BizSmart aims to help SME and micro-business owners scale their businesses and create value through sound practical business support. We aim to give you insight and clarity and fire up your determination to succeed. You can access blogs like this and more besides through our free SmartRoom service here.