Over the last weeks we’ve been discussing the idea of bringing lean principles to the back office – the things to think about during planning, and the key considerations for starting an implementation. With this in mind, just how important is getting the right software solution behind you?
Making the same mistake twice should be unforgivable, yet it happens all the time. Delays, over-spends and unexpected third party hires are all unpleasant, but never more so than when it’s happened before for the same reason. With this in mind, what can professional services companies do to ensure their operations continue to improve with experience?
People have been making maps for thousands of years. Of their local environment, important routes and own property. From the Babylonian clay tablets, to the GPS system in your car, we’ve continually been busy with working out where we are, and planning how to get where we want to go. Sadly though, if you want to take your business over the border, a map of roads, rivers and territorial borders isn’t going to be enough to ensure a successful journey.
To offer your customers the standard of service you need to be successful, you need to be on top of every order at every point in the chain. Use of an integrated ERP system will offer you the standardization and streamlining you need to minimize problems, and fix any that still arise as quickly as possible.
When companies begin working with work breakdown structures, they can struggle to pin down the appropriate level of detail required for an effective overview. Some find they become so bogged down in details that effectively executing the work becomes impossible, while others leave the plans at too high a level for them to be of any practical value.
The production strategy of many companies is changing. Shifting to assemble-to-order production, manufacturers are focusing more on R&D, sales & marketing, purchase and production assembly. To stay competitive these companies constantly focus on lead time reduction, searching for new lean methodologies to keep operational margins healthy.
Up to 90% of the processes running in the average office incorporate waste. Waste that's also costing your organization time and money. Think about the tsunami of CC emails that fly round, receipts sitting in trays waiting for a manager to initial them, incorrect data entry, no or double hour registration, waiting times at the help desk and standard reports that nobody even has the slightest interest in reading any more. Lean has the ability to stop these deviations in your processes in their tracks, driving the quality up and the costs down. Automation, together with correct process design, can then further amplify the effect.
Across the board, from manufacturing to retail, companies seem to have a significant issue – controlling quality and service level across the full breadth of their product assortments. Put quite simply, many businesses are letting their portfolio get out of hand.
Billability, or billable utilization, measures the percentage of worked project hours which are billed to the customer (and conversely the percentage that could not be billed). But why is it important?
In today’s global market space, speed is now the key differentiator. When labour costs are high and quality is a must, short lead times become the key to remaining competitive.