Efficiency Works would like company management to get out of the office and observe how their workers are delivering value to customers at the ground level. Efficiency Works delivers Lean training for companies mainly through the nationally recognised Competitive Manufacturing program.
The company was recently asked to present to company managers at the Queensland Manufacturing and Safety show about how they could improve their business. Efficiency Works’ presentation centred on the need to truly understand the way value was delivered to the customer.
Efficiency Works believes there is a lot to be gained when company managers go to the real place where value is created for their customers.
A big failing of modern day business is that management is becoming increasingly disconnected from what is happening, despite improved communication tools such as email and mobile phones. Business managers need to get out and find what their customers value about their products and services and how well these are being delivered.
A strong vibrant business relishes the opportunity to improve as well as the opportunity that the discovery of problems produces. In a world class business, people are used to discovering and solving problems completely. These businesses do that by dealing with the facts and following a disciplined process of improvement.
However, it is still possible that company managers are unable to learn anything from observing at the operational level. Most common reasons for this situation include following an unstructured method, not looking hard enough and not doing it often.
The lean tool of value stream mapping changes this by producing a picture that shows all the steps undertaken in order to deliver value to customers.
The right process to do a value stream map:
- Assemble the team together
- Arm them with a pencil and some paper
- Have them take a look and write down their observations including the work that is done and also any opportunity for improvement
Once the observations are presented and understood, the next step involves having the same team design a better way of doing the work and focus on achieving the new way. The process will need to be repeated forever.
Efficiency Works believes that this simple but powerful process has never failed to deliver improvement and surprises to their clients.