Blog | Lean Thinking to Achieve Operational Excellence
12th May 2015
Lean thinking is an attractive business term for this generation, but one that is difficult to put your finger on. PWG Training are an excellent Manchester based training organisation who yesterday delivered “Operational Excellence and Process Improvement”.
We sent one of our directors along to assess our own processes and thinking, with an eye on how we can pass this on to our clients and help make them more efficient and valuable.
Lean thinking never stops
Adam drew a number of conclusions, one of which was a commitment to continually asking questions.
“Lean thinking never stops. The ideas and vision behind being efficient and happy as an organisation have to be inherent – it has to emanate from the spine of your company. We need to ensure that we are both profitable and happy, which in turn allow us to grow”.
The course brought together people from manufacturing and creative backgrounds, from training to accounting services and tested their thinking. Fuzzy Duck believed they were incredibly creative but had successfully grown to a point where processes were desperately needed to manage finances and quality. The Apprentice Academy has plenty of processes and organisation but seemed to work in silos and were possibly getting bogged down in admin.
Directors and managers from many organisations discussed their daily challenges – organisational, political and financial – as others chipped in advice. Through all the group work and discussions, Adam noted:
“Interestingly being a more established, larger business didn’t seem to make a difference either as growth continued to create issues. One stifling process would be replaced by yet another process, whilst many staff would patch up procedures rather than revisiting the drawing board. Being a young and relatively lean business now gives us a great advantage to evolve in the right manner – we just have to make sure we do”.
Humans are here to make decisions
At Project Octo, we are constantly reviewing a clients internal processes to help make them more efficient, and then using our technology as an enabler. We believe that a client’s time is best served making decisions and building their vision – that is what makes us human. Their time is not best spent creating formulas in a spreadsheet, finding stock or processing refunds – things that can be done systematically.
We believe in being efficient. Lean thinking not only boosts the profitability of a business, but it makes the staff happier. As the trainer Alex Martin explained:
“What you do must impact the end user positively, or there is no point. You can’t be everything to everyone, you can only be right for YOUR customers.”
That’ll be going up on our wall then.