Why Lean in administration is important | Stratigo Executive Search | Lean Headhunter
Before we talk about this post’s subject: Lean in administration and its importance, let’s take a moment to discuss what Lean is and why it is important. The first thing we have to remember about Lean is that it is not a cost reduction program, but a way of thinking and acting for the entire company. The main priority of Lean is maximised value for a customer while minimalizing waste. You also must remember that, despite popular misconception, Lean does not only apply to factories and manufacturing. It can also be used in companies providing service and administration.
Every company’s core function is to bring profit. No company can exist when it brings loss. Every manager’s responsibility is, among other; maximise profit while reducing costs of the company. In order to be successful, we must look at the firm as a whole. Nowadays it is crucial to gain a competitive advantage over rival companies. Implementing successfully a Lean approach can become that advantage.
In order for Lean to be most efficient, it must be applied in every field of company’s work. Although it proves to be most difficult to implement in administration. It is because it involves not the only implementation of certain procedures. Most importantly it requires changing the way of employees’ thinking. Other difficulties involve the nature of administration, its multi-tasking and creativity, which often becomes challenging to standardise and grasps into structures. Often managers fail to notice certain administrative tasks to be wasteful and therefore compromise the implementation of Lean.
Two dimensions of Lean implementation
As a company, we can look into Lean implementation in two spheres. One, which tends to be adjusted easier, is optimising the use of resources such as paper, electricity or office equipment. The other one, which involves processes, is much more completed. It also requires more time and effort to implement changes in this field. The processes might involve dealing with customer issues, order handling, etc.
Organize, Stabilise, Standardise and Visualise
There are five main steps to take when implementing Lean into administration. They are organising, stabilising, standardising, visualising and improving. When enforcing a Lean we always must take the nature of our business into consideration.
First, we must look into all processes that take place and decided if they are essential or non-essential to company’s operation. It is crucial to eliminate or adjust processes which are not effective or cost building. Of course, each company has processes, which generate cost but must be continued due to legal requirements.
Once we recognise all processes we may begin next step of Lean implementation. Stabilising is designed to adjust all processes to have same output each time they are being performed. Create a repetitive pattern, which can be standardised and reduplicate with the same outcome.
The Lean implementation is the way forward
There are few tools or methods to implement Lean, such as 5S, PDCA or JIT. In order to choose the most appropriate course of action, we must take under consideration nature of the business and our goals. Regardless of the one we use in our company, we must remember that the outcome is what it counts. And although the process might prove to be lengthy and difficult, the final outcome will bring benefits. Not only successful Lean will maximise profit, it will also improve customer satisfaction – a must needed quality in today’s competitive market.