Some may not be knowledgeable of the history of Lean or the amazing ways to use it to take satisfied customers to astounded customers. Every company and business requires certain amount of paperwork; however, do not get lost in the numbers. Some head honchos forget that numbers translates to real people with real concerns and emotions. Although business is complex; the concept of LEAN manufacturing is not. Common sense seems to escape the daily mind when the mind is busy concentrating on other business aspects. Stop and breathe.
Quality Not Quantity
Think about the saying, “Quality not quantity,” and you will better understand the concept of Lean. Lean is concentrated on giving the customer the best value for their product or service. Unfortunately, there are so many companies and businesses that concentrate on the inventory numbers that have been logged as sold. This makes since to a certain degree; however, if a company only concentrates on that aspect of their business, then they will soon discover that number dwindling. This is due to the lack of customer service that they expect out of their employees, as well as themselves.
Customer Service Aspects
When an individual brings up the customer service issue of a business, people automatically think the verbal communication between a customer and the employees. Customer service may seem to start there, but it starts before the customer even requests the product or service. Quality of products that leave the manufacturer or the store is essential to be checked on a regular basis. A customer that receives a damaged product will then return the time. This creates a lower profit and in turn will decrease the profits total. The business will lose money on the returned product and will also lose money due to word of mouth. Word of mouth is still today the main form of advertising. Reviews and social media have made this aspect of advertising even more widely known. A customer can get online at any time to see what others have to say about your product they are interested in. Once an unsatisfied customer takes time out to report how awful service or the product was; this will deter other potentials customers and will cause a trickle effect. It may not happen over night; however, it will happen and the company will pay the ultimate price for this one unsatisfied customer.
Three Main Lean Fundamentals
Just like every important item that needs to be memorized and implemented, Lean has an acronym to help those businesses improve their way of operation to remove waste and provide a better product. It is vital to remember the name Tim Wood. Drill this into your mind and those who have an influence on how your business is operated. Tim Wood is a shorted explanation of where to eliminate waste throughout the company.
T – Transportation
I – Inventory
M – Movement
W – Waiting
O – Over Processing
O – Over Production
D – Defects
The second fundamental aspect of Lean is to add value and diminish those items that are not valued. Value added activities are important in transforming the potential for every business. It is a product or service that meets and exceeds the expectations of the customer base. Non value added activities are activities that take away time or resources that would otherwise affect the requirements set by the customer.
Become value added oriented. It may be difficult to begin with; however, every business that revamps the way they operate will not only become successful, but they will excel.
The third concentration should be to incorporate standardization and visual management for the business’s operation. There are many companies that keep a short leash on the allowances of their employees to meet customer expectations. Those businesses that have the philosophy of every employee being management are those who become more successful than their counterparts. Nothing is more pleasing to an unsatisfied customer than to walk in and have their problem addressed within minutes with no hassle. They will praise the company and become a loyal patron.