Business improvement isn't just about improving the bottom line (although this is often a direct result). It's also about being more responsive in a given situation and improving the customer's experience. One of the primary lessons in Lean is that you should aim to be delivering a product or service in response to customer pull. This is a much more efficient way of operating, since it guards against over-production, batching and demand amplification issues in manufacturing and processing and for example, patient waiting time in the healthcare sector.
These are just a few examples of how we have helped:
Lead times were reduced by an amazing 84% when South Tees NHS Trust enlisted our aid to help them to improve MRSA testing in the Pathology department at the James Cook Hospital. Before our arrival, batch sizes for processing were typically 40 to 80 units, which slowed down the throughput of the procedure. We recommended smaller batch sizes for both processing and reading. As a result, lead times could be reduced and data and samples could be co-processed meaning better customer service and minimal chance for error.
Results from our involvement at the Baker Petrolite plant in Hartlepool included a reduction in cycle time of 4-6 hours and an improvement in Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), mainly in the areas of availability and performance. We have continued to work with Baker Petrolite in their quest for world class business improvement and resultant service to their customers, most recently providing Six Sigma Green Belt training.
Our recommendations for cellular processes and single piece flow at AL Control Laboratories have made a dramatic difference to their responsiveness with sample processing turnaround times improved from 38% to 90% efficiency. Customer lead times were reduced by almost two-thirds (from 12 days to just over 3.5 days) thanks to development of a series of mini labs, processing smaller sample batches and improving flow.
Our Continuous improvement training, which engages personnel at all levels of an organisation, has helped global coatings company Akzo Nobel go from strength to strength. The adoption of 5S principles meant that stock accuracies were significantly improved across stores areas. Another benefit saw in excess of 250 man hours saved through increased right first time - which improved responsiveness and customer service.
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