Lean/Lean Six Sigma

MetaExpert Holly Helps a Call Center Go Lean for Big Savings
Our MetaExpert, Holly, gets it done! See how she used her expertise in lean methodology and value stream analysis to bring big savings to a call center. Situation A call center was nearing the end of their State contract, with only 1 year remaining. The scope of the contract represented 20% of health insurance members. Actions MetaExpert Holly implemented a Value Stream Analysis to identify areas of waste within the call center that were a detriment to customer satisfaction, costing the organization money, and slowing down their processes. Holly’s analysis revealed that:  85% FCR resulted in activities having to be routed to multiple areas within the organization.  1/6 of these activities aged longer than 30 days resulting in significant member dissatisfaction.  Several projects were underway within claims escalations, but none would solve the root cause.  Waste in the process included up to 35% misrouting, and 25% first pass yield costing…
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The Situation John, a MetaExpert was hired by the U.S. Air Force to help tackle the lack of concrete processes for conducting medical physicals which were causing inconsistent patient care. Prior to John’s arrival, the Air Force was providing inconsistent patient care resulting in long wait times for patients to be seen by providers. In addition, key information was being missed during appointments which caused the need for additional appointments. Outcome John led the Air Force project team through mapping their current “AS IS” processes in several functional areas and developed standardized processes where none existed. He implemented the Lean methodology to reduce excess waste in the existing processes. John made recommendations for future projects and the team was able to see immediate results with some of the “quick wins” John implemented. John’s expertise in Lean, Six Sigma, leadership, process mapping (Visio), waste reduction, and ability to implement quick wins…
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Six Sigma
MetaExpert, John, leveraged his expertise and experience with Lean, Six Sigma, process mapping, waste reduction, and quick wins to overhaul poor performance and low customer service rates in a large company in the warehouse and logistics space. He tackled slow processing times, low throughput, inventory inaccuracies, and customer order discrepancies. Outcomes John implemented automation best practices, increased volume, and decreased costs across the board. He redesigned a more efficient floor layout, implemented conveyor systems which eliminated linear foot movement and increased throughput time, and maximized automated pick systems. He employed barcode technology, thermo labels, and integrated systems which maximized efficiencies across the warehouse. In addition, he eliminated batch methodology which enabled the company to complete orders in real time. Not only did John transform these functions leading to a cost savings between $40-$60 million, his expert actions improved quality and accuracy to the customer, bumping customer satisfaction to nearly 99%.…
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Consulting Projects
Part of company problem-solving starts with an honest and objective appraisal. The company needs to evaluate if they have the human resources and political environment to properly analyze problems, develop a corrective plan, create buy-in of all stakeholders, and the leadership to make needed changes while the company continues with its daily business. In fact, making a decision to hire consulting assistance is much more than just a cost-benefit proposition. Most companies become focused on making changes when results (particularly sales or profits) turn down or don’t meet expectations. Many companies think they know what the problems or deficiencies are; however if that were the fact, why the problems? When making changes to a company’s process or procedures (or innovative ways to meet the ever-changing marketplace) it’s a wise proposition that before jumping to conclusions that the perceived problem be thoroughly investigated; regardless of how “obvious” the symptoms are.  If…
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Lean Six Sigma for Companies
What is Lean Six Sigma? Six Sigma is a set of methods and tools for process improvement with the goal of improving efficiencies and profitability. Developed in 1986, Six Sigma has become a global phenomenon with companies around the world adopting the paradigm as the core of their business operations. The “Lean” methodology is similar to Six Sigma. It stresses achieving the greatest efficiency in all characteristics of operations. Six Sigma emphasizes more on eliminating errors within processes. The lean strategy focuses on identifying needless steps that consume effort and resources. Lean Six Sigma (LSS) has proven to be so successful that it is estimated that over 69% of the medium and large manufacturers in the world use it. I mean, who doesn’t want to be efficient and well organized? In fact, as businesses grow, the tendency is to become more inefficient and less organized. These two methodologies have spawned…
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Becoming a Lean Office
How a marketing Kaizen can help revitalize sales All companies depend on sales. But, as with all things dynamic, sales can run in cycles. In fact, while there may be certain macroeconomic issues that impact sales cycles, many slumps in sales change as a result of the inner workings of a company. In fact, what may have worked before may no longer be effective. Indeed, this was the case with a Health and Welfare Benefits vendor. Rather than just accept a “normal” cyclical downturn in sales, the CEO decided to take a closer look. After hearing some grumbling coming out of the sales department, he decided to investigate. He wasn’t sure what the problems were, and he had hoped his Sales Manager would have let him know in their regular meetings. The CEO decided to have an outside expert come in and perform a review of the company rather than…
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Chuck Intrieri
Set high-performance expectation goals & pace of daily support of the new manner of work Engage & empower your people to solve problems Create an organizational structure with readily identified team leaders to allow continuous change to happen Form core teams with strong leader and team members along the path of workflow Breakdown barriers between artificial silos of control so improvements can occur horizontally Foster regular communication within and between workstations within your control as well as outside your department (customer-supplier relationships) Drive reduction in variability by standardizing the work activities, connections, and pathways Implement visual management, with posted daily metrics of value for each work unit reflecting opportunities for change or stability of process Stabilize processes through a continuous focus on waste reduction Move to continuous flow, innovate triggers to ‘pull’ work Identify opportunities for front loading and work simplification Continually push to reduce time waste daily Increase Throughput…
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Business team testing virtual reality headset in meeting
Ron Crabtree The concept of 5S, which is a methodology to reduce waste through a rigorous approach to workplace organization and cleanliness has five steps that loosely translate as Sort, Setup, Scrub, and Shine, Standardize and, finally, Sustain. Until recently, it never really occurred to me that the concept of 5S could be extended creatively to improving processes that have absolutely nothing to do with physical organization. Joann Parrinder is a co-author of our book Driving Operational Excellence and has written a very interesting chapter in it titled “Lean Thinking Applied to Your Idea Development [Life]cycle.” Joann, glad you could join me. Joann Parrinder Thanks, Ron. I’m glad to be here. Let me give you a bit of my background. I have about 15 years of program and project experience and I’m PMP certified in project management. I like to build things, so my projects have primarily been in the…
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Team Of Engineers Having Discussion In Factory
Ron Crabtree We’re going to touch on something near and dear to our hearts in any kind of a business setting. Specifically, identifying an illuminating the sources of business waste. It is my pleasure here to introduce to you in a moment another of the authors of the book, Driving Operational Excellence, Mr. Gary Wickett. In Chapter 14, Gary takes a refreshing look at practical ways to think about waste and a very pragmatic and simple approach to smoking out the true root causes of systemic and process wastes. I like Gary’s chapter so well I included it as reading for the Michigan government process re-engineering program I recently developed and delivered. One of the things I particularly liked about Gary’s chapter is he makes it specific to the service providing industry. He uses a fantastic case study in applying these techniques, so no matter what it is you do,…
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