Office Workers

Admin | Service Staff

Improving back office and  administrative processes 

Lean isn’t about manufacturing. It is about standardizing 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. So the next time someone in your administrative/ service organization tries to tell you that “lean is just for manufacturing,” you’ll know better.

Your back office and administrative processes should not be neglected in your process improvement initiative. They become fast, affordable and flawless quickly with our lean agile process improvement approach. Business readiness, speed, and transparency fit hand in glove with lean process improvement. Unlike traditional Lean Sigma methods we adopt an agile  approach to improving business processes. In one day we can help you simplify, and streamline your business processes.

To stay ahead in today’s competitive market, controlling costs is crucial. Did you know that administrative or office costs can account for 60-80% of your product or service’s total sales price? This staggering percentage underscores the importance of targeting internal inefficiencies to reduce expenses. By adopting lean practices, you can significantly cut these internal costs by eliminating common office wastes, such as:

  • Over-analyzing data beyond what’s necessary
  • Searching for computer files and documents
  • Inefficiencies from moving data between systems
  • Generating duplicate reports/information
  • Correcting data entry errors
  • Unbalanced workloads due to lack of cross-training

Lean methodologies are designed to help you identify, analyze, and eliminate the everyday inefficiencies in your office processes. By streamlining your administrative functions, you can boost productivity, reduce costs, and enhance your competitiveness. Embrace lean practices today to transform your office into a well-oiled machine that propels your business forward.

Can’t wait 6 -12 months to see a return on your improvement investment? How about one day? We believe we have the answer to your dilemma—Lean Sprint Facilitation Service.

Supervisors, managers and high-level executives in a wide range of industries will find the concepts and methods of Lean Process Improvement invaluable for driving performance improvement quickly. The practicality of the approach will help strengthen the problem-solving skills of the organization and transform it from a firefighting and reactionary mind-set to a proactive identifier of process improvement and effective problem solvers.

Why Lean For Service Organizations?

Lean principles aren’t just limited to back-office processes. In a service organization, Lean can revolutionize every function—sales, marketing, credit, collections, customer service, back-office, front-office, operations, and product development.

The original seven wastes of Lean thinking, defined by Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, are universally acknowledged as activities that do not add value for the customer. These wastes have been adapted to better suit service organizations:

  1. Delay : Customers waiting for service, delivery, in queues, or for responses. Delays may seem insignificant, but when customers take their business elsewhere, the impact is felt.
  2. Duplication: Re-entering data, repeating details on forms, copying information, or answering queries from multiple sources within the same organization.
  3. Unnecessary Movement: Queuing multiple times, lack of one-stop solutions, poor ergonomics during service encounters.
  4. Unclear Communication: Seeking clarification, confusion over product or service use, and wasting time finding a location, all leading to misuse or duplication.
  5. Incorrect Inventory: Being out-of-stock, unable to provide exactly what was needed, offering substitute products or services.
  6. Lost Opportunities: Failing to retain or win customers due to poor rapport, ignoring customers, unfriendliness, or rudeness.
  7. Errors in Service: Product defects in the service bundle, lost or damaged goods.

By addressing these wastes, Lean principles can streamline processes, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive growth across all areas of a service organization.

Definition of “service”

“Service” here doesn’t just mean office work or administration. It includes a variety of situations that aren’t always repetitive, where tasks can take different amounts of time, sometimes long and variable. Service can be anything from what happens in a hospital or a university, to processes in an office, a consultancy, a warehouse, or even field service maintenance. When we talk about “service,” we mean all the activities that add value for the customer, no matter where they happen.

Aspects of Lean service

Lean Service comes from the Toyota Production System (like Lean manufacturing). Lean in the service sector keeps evolving, so new ideas are always being added or adjusted.

Service companies are always under pressure to deliver great customer service, respond quickly, and provide valuable support. Lean helps streamline these processes by identifying and eliminating waste or making them more efficient through continuous improvement.

For example, an IT company is different from a manufacturing company, but it still has wasteful processes that can be improved. Lean tools and techniques can enhance the customer experience by cutting down on unnecessary activities like multiple call transfers and redundant IT processes. They also help reduce errors, empower employees, and make the company more cost-effective.

Want to learn more about Lean office/Lean service? Call us 708-278-1915 or complete our contact form.

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