No business can afford to stand still. Global competition and rapid innovation are raising the bar for organizations to continually develop new products, increase customer satisfaction, improve quality, and reduce costs. Every organization needs operational excellence.
In some cases, business leaders may know where they have opportunities for strategic improvements. In other cases, however, the task can be overwhelming, with business processes spanning multiple functions across multiple geographies. Where do you focus your business process improvement efforts to gain the greatest benefit with the least amount of effort?
Focused Approach to Business Process Improvement
Our Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belts methodology are to identify the areas of highest priority, with the greatest payback, and where the recommendations have the greatest likelihood of being implemented.
We do this by working with you to prioritize the business processes most critical to organizational success and also in most need of improvement. We also map the processes in their “current ” state so that you know the level of cost savings for every improvement implemented.
Based on the level of improvement needed, we create a customized plan for your business which falls in three main categories:
- Formalize the Process. For processes that perform at an acceptable level, it may be enough to simply formalize them through documenting the process, written procedures, implement performance metrics, and then training and coaching process leaders throughout the organization on the updated processes.
- Improve the Process. Processes that are substandard in terms of cost, schedule, or quality may need optimization, but not wholesale process transformation. Here, our recommendations may be to eliminate waste, combine tasks, do activities in parallel, automate elements of the process, or apply industry best practices. The goal is reducing cycle time, improving quality, and optimizing costs.
- Re-engineer the Process. Business processes that are beyond repair or show opportunity for breakthrough performance may require radical transformation through business process re-engineering. Here, we facilitate breakthrough thinking and application of new technologies to achieve step change improvement in performance.
In implementing any major culture change initiative, it is crucial to pay attention to the people side of change. As a result, we provide the expertise to implement a “change management” initiative so that all process practitioners have the awareness, desire, knowledge, and skills needed for continuous improvement. Our change management framework also ensures that each major process has a process owner and process leader with defined roles, responsibilities, and process metrics.
Our Process Improvement Toolbox
Our team bring a variety of tools and methodologies for improving business processes, too numerous to list completely.
Our toolbox includes data-gathering tools, direct observation, waste walks, coupled with the inclusion and feedback from your employees. We have an extensive portfolio of analysis tools such as value stream mapping, fish bone diagrams, root cause analysis, 5 Why with countermeasures and Pareto analysis. We are especially fond of using the PDCA tool which helps create the culture of continuous improvement with the framework of your employees becoming life long learners.
For clients in the manufacturing, wholesale, and retail industries, our team is also highly skilled in lean manufacturing, lean six sigma, kanban, kaizen, just-in-time, total quality management, and material flow optimization.
Not every process needs the same level of business process improvement. By analyzing and prioritizing your needs and focusing your efforts, you can achieve significant improvement in profitability and gain competitive advantage in the shortest time possible.