Lean is a customer-centric philosophy of continuous improvement to maximize value and reduce waste. Doing that, it improves the quality of services and products, subsequently benefiting the customer.
The focus of Lean is to minimize the expenses, workforce, and excessive activities in order to increase the efficiency and eliminate the costs. Therefore, the main idea of Lean is optimising the value-creating processes of the customers to finish the whole operation smoothly.
Lean provides an organisation with many advantages since the correct application of the Lean principles will achieve considerable benefits. The direct benefits are improving quality, smoother operation, more efficient business processes, providing solutions to cut down errors, reducing cycle times, managing process complexity, increasing team productivity and morale, reducing operating costs, reducing lead-time, and many more. All these benefits are possible if Lean is incorporated into your business.
Lean for Service Businesses
Service organisations are very different from a manufacturing company; however, they still have many wasteful processes that could be minimized or completely removed. Therefore, the philosophy of Lean in a service environment remains identical – to realize maximum performance and productivity with minimum resources, besides being more difficult to locate immaterial wastes.
The service companies are under the pressure to provide quicker response times, exceptional customer service, and support for the customers. Lean targets wastes and in that way helps to optimise the service processes. Either Lean will remove the wastes entirely or it will move them to a more efficient state.
The Benefits of Lean in Healthcare
Delivering quality healthcare efficiently is challenging. Healthcare processes have a large avoidable waste component, so Lean is the perfect quality improvement approach. It improves health and the quality of care for patients while saving resources and time. Minimizing waste is not the crucial goal but a means to improve services to the patient. Putting the patient in the first place requires a thinking workforce.
Some benefits of Lean healthcare are:
- Reducing waiting time for patients
- Improving hygiene
- Improving the flow of treatment to patients, without mistakes and accidents
- Making sure emergency patients are treated with the best protocols without delays
- Standardizing procedures that create the basis for constant improvement while creating a stable working environment
- In Lean, all obstacles are found and eliminated, so, the number of patients attended increases, while working with the same equipment
- Ensuring pharmacies have an optimal level of stocks and avoiding losses due to the expiry of medications
- Preventing medication errors by error-proofing processes
Applying Lean in healthcare has resulted in improving patient satisfaction, decreasing readmission rates, and decreased the length of stay. The entire workforce has become motivated and they understand that they are identifying and providing value to their patients.
The Benefits of Lean in Law
Increase client profit and satisfaction by reducing waste
The clients get better service by removing waste from legal processes and the work is done faster. In addition, the department stays on the budget since there are fewer costs associated.
Optimize the firm
This includes reviewing the responsibilities of the firm and employees, making sure, if the right people are performing the right tasks. This allows the lawyers to concentrate on the higher complexity jobs.
The amount of work on cases can be disproportionate to the value of the case and that troubles the legal system. One of the solutions of Lean is to improve the communication between lawyers and clients, so the lawyers can understand what exactly their clients want and offer the best given their budget. Also, this means increasing the cooperation with the opposite client.
Use the talent in your office
Lean encourages new ideas from all employees that can result in excellent improvement. It makes the work environment more relaxed, resulting in new and better strategies.
One of the most important benefits of developing a process map is better resource management. It identifies duplicate and wasted effort. It establishes boundaries for a project, preventing the project to spin out into areas that are not part of the plan. Also, it makes sure whether the right level of legal resource is used at every phase. This requires every employee to develop a well-defined picture of the issue and the procedures to address it, keeping everyone involved on the same page.
The Benefits of Lean in Finance Organizations
Lean thinking provides an operating methodology to businesses as banks, investment and insurance companies to maintain process excellence and constantly improve results. It provides with cost-effective solutions and reduces the risks during an economic dip. So, Lean helps transform accounting and finance into high-performing and customer-focused organizations, focusing on delivering value.
Focus on value from your customers’ perspective
It prevents you from performing entire processes that do not produce value but make you waste time improving them.
Eliminate non-value adding activities
Lean is efficient at the identification and elimination of extra processing and overproduction, unnecessary transportation, rework, waiting time, and other non-valued added activities. By mapping the process and finding these tasks, improvement teams can address the waste and considerably improve process performance.
Turn problems into opportunities
The Lean approach to quality views problems as opportunities to advance process capability and improve customer value. It strives to resolve the problems by addressing the source of their origin, as soon as they happen. Once their source is identified, the team modifies the process to avoid the problem from reappearing. This is made by depersonalizing process improvement. The tactic is not to blame the people, but the process. One approach that works well is to refer to the process as the “systems and processes”. People are never reluctant to identify problems with the inanimate systems.
Lean is used widely in the service sector for maximizing value and improving the efficiency of the business. With applying Lean, the business gets more motivated employees, increased customer value. It helps the businesses to do their job better with a more effective strategy, resulting in better, faster, and more effective service to external and internal customers. From the better management of process complexity to improved team morale, it is clear that the benefits of Lean go far beyond the work itself.
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