To help potential clients understand what we do we sometimes say, “We do Lean Six Sigma in the office environment.”  Not familiar with those termsHere’s a technical definition: Lean spots sources of process variation (where people don’t handle situations the same way) and Six Sigma reduces that variation to achieve a cycle of continuous improvements.  

For decades Lean Six Sigma has been used to streamline the workflow on manufacturing lines.  When a company goes through the process they look to eliminate waste wherever possible. We do the same thing but our focus is on the office environment. We help companies look at the way their office workers communicate and collaborate, provide ideas how to eliminate waste, and streamline that improvement process.  

We also look at the communication and collaboration between the office and the manufacturing floor – often a huge opportunity for streamlining and improvements.  

At many companies high profit margins and rapid growth hide inefficiencies and poor quality. And a lot of times, key success factors just happened to align…for a while. The real challenge is to consistently deliver a valuable product or service, while running an efficient and scalable operation at the same time as creating a highly competent and engaged team. And then keep that going as things change!  

Here’s one example of where we found opportunity. We are working with a client on streamlining their workflow and we identified we could replace 2 FTE (Full Time Equivalents) by mapping out a new way to work and leveraging technology. In this tight job market this is an even more important strategy to consider. Why struggle with how to recruit/onboard/train when you can put those funds toward streamlining the workflow?  

Leaders are very unaware of the amount of wasted time in their organization. They may have metrics for tracking wasted raw materials, capturing billable hours, etc. but often no clear way to track wasted time and potential.  Can you give a resounding, “Yes!” to these statements?  

  • Our employees effectively manage their time, are not distracted, and stay focused on their top priorities.
  • Team leaders effectively manage people and keep them accountable.
  • We fully leverage technology. Training is required on all systems and we constantly reevaluate new software features.
  • We streamline our workflow and have clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
  • We communicate well. We have effective communication guidelines, methods and tools (i.e. effectively run meetings).

If you don’t answer each question with a solid “Yes”, you have time waste in your organization. It’s not always obvious. Take our company assessment to see how much money you are leaving on the table.    

Though saving time and money are great outcomes, are favorite results are when our clients see increases in the  

  • Value and experience for customers 
  • Joy at work for employees and 
  • Sustainability and scalability of their organization

Let us know if you’re curious about ways to increase capabilities and solve the important problems in your office. 

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