SECRETS OF LEAN

Addressing both service and manufacturing's most critical needs:

 

Continually improving quality and efficiency while controlling costs can make the difference between success and failure in all industries today. One promising process improvement approach implemented by leading institutions is LEAN, a quality improvement methodology and set of principles originated by the Toyota Motor Company. Over the last two decades LEAN methodologies have proven applicable in complex service industries just as much as where it began in manufacturing. When well executed, Lean transforms how an organization thinks and works; creating an insatiable quest for improvement.

 

Lean is a cultural transformation that changes everything; no one stays on the sidelines in the quest to discover how to improve their daily work. It requires new habits, new skills, and a new attitude of continuous imporvement throughout the organization from senior management to front-line service providers. Creating a culture of Lean will take time and patience to implement, but developing a Sense-of-Urgency is the first step in this journey sustainable success.

 

A set of common core principles.

 

Today, the concept of LEAN applies to businesses and organizations across all industries, from manufacturing to healthcare. Lean methodology is governed by a strong set common core principles. They are as follows:

 

  • Specifying what creates value from the customer's perspective.

  • Identifying all the steps across the entire value stream.

  • Making those actions which create value flow seamlessly and predictably.

  • Only making or delivering what is required by the customer when it is required.

  • Striving for perfection by continually removing layers of waste.

 

To maximize value and eliminate waste, leaders in healthcare, as in other organizations, must evaluate processes by accurately specifying the value desired by the user; identifying every step in the process and eliminating non-value added steps and making value flow from beginning to end based on the expressed needs of the patient / customer.

 

Using less to do much more.

 

LEAN thinking is not typically associated with healthcare, where waste... of time, money, supplies and good will... is a common problem. But the principles of LEAN can, in fact, work in healthcare in much the same way they do in other industries.

Deploying LEAN allows your organization to strive to become a high reliability organization, one that aims for (and successfully reaches) the following:

 

  • Fanatical reduction of waste

  • The highest qualiy

  • The delivery of reliable procucts and services

  • The lowest cost

  • High morale at all levels of an organization

 

Eliminate non-value added work.

 

One of the overarching goals of Lean principles is to eliminate the amount of time currently spent on non-value added activities. In other words, by identifying the essential elements and eliminating the wasteful activities you will increase the productivity of your workforce and reduce costs.

 

On average, LEAN programs and the incorporation of LEAN methodology can double productivity and reduce costs from 20 to 50 percent. Other benefits of implementing Lean principles include realizing dramatic reductions in both service and manufacturing industry administrative costs, better flow paths, increased participation by the workforce in process improvement activities and high employee retention rates. The benefits that can be achieved through LEAN transformation include:

 

  • Reduced backlogs

  • Improved quality and efficiency

  • Prevention of errors

  • Efficiency and cost gains from reduced waste

 

Culture change and continuous improvement.

 

All businesses are increasingly turning to LEAN principles to help get more out of the same resources, to help improve the quality of producs and services, eliminate errors, cut delays, and reduce the length of time from design to market.

 

Today's economic challenges makes the quest for imporvments in Lean process and quality an absolute necessity. High quality is no longer a goal, it is an expectation. LEAN experts are leaders in the implementation of sustainable operational improvements based on LEAN principles in the pursuit of waste reduction and increased revenues.

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