When you think about it, everything we do in manufacturing and elsewhere starts in the office. Designs, materials, instructions, and other resources are specified from there. Appointments, order processing, schedules, shipping paperwork and invoicing all occur in the office.
Every company no matter their function has offices so wouldn't it make sense to spend some time talking about Office Lean improvements? There's more information and videos below related to this topic.
I'm going to be hosting a free webinar on April 9 about Office Lean topics with Howard Zwick and the friendly folks at CPA Technology, LLC. Won't you join us?
Click here to register for the free webinar that starts at 11:30 on April 9 to learn more about how to make your office processes more efficient and effective.
If you want to learn more about a structured CI process, I have a Lean Practitioner Certification class starting in March. Check the website for more information under 'Training Events'. You can access the page byclicking here.
2-Second Lean update: Last month I talked about Paul Akers and his book 2 Second Lean. I suggested going to Youtube to see some of his videos. Turns out you can download a pdf of the book or get the audiobook for free.
Click here to go to Paul's website to get the book the way you want and in different languages. No registration, login or email required. It's easy and free!
Transactional Office Lean Process Improvement
Transactional processes are an integral part of every business – manufacturing, sales, service, medical. They are everywhere around us. So why would they not be a major part of any Continuous Improvement program?
By definition, a process is a collection of activities with an output of value to a customer, whether internal or external. In the manufacturing world, it’s easy to see process flow. We start out with a raw part and then shape it by removing and adding material, finally assembling and packaging it into a finished product that has a purpose. Read more to understand more about Office Lean processes.
"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection."
"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."
Vincent van Gogh
CI Terms Defined
" % Complete and Accurate"
This is a term used in the Office Lean world to measure the quality of information as it is passed from one person or function to the next. It measures the likelihood of having an order, for instance, able to be processed without having to be returned for corrections or for clarification.
You can measure it at each process step and calculate an overall % Complete and Accurate (%C&A) for the process. The metric will be in a percentage, ranging from 100% as excellent to much lower percentages depending how robust your processes are.
We calculate this as a baseline and then check regularly as we implement changes to know when the changes to the process are good and when we need to make different changes to the process.
To calculate % C&A for each process step take the number of orders coming past someone's desk (Total orders) Count how many need to be returned for corrections and clarification.
%C&A = (# of total orders - # returned orders) / (# of total orders)
To calculate overall %C&A multiply the percentages from each process step. The resulting percentage shows you how likely an order is to get processed without requiring correction or clarification. Focus on those steps with the lowest percentages first.
overall C&A = %C&Astep 1 x %C&Astep 2 X %C&Astep 3 x ...
Your initial results just might surprise you. Subtracting the calculated value from 100% demonstrates how much opportunity is available.