Industry Case Studies

Service

A software service provider was struggling to process data input received from clients.  This resulted in invoicing and ultimately cash flow to be delayed.  In addition, staff was spending too much time answering client questions and reviewing and manually modifying data once received from the client.  By applying Lean principles and tools to the process, we

  • Standardized how clients provide data for input
    • Reduced the number of input templates from 9 to 1
    • Reduced monthly processing time from 40 hours to 1 hour
  • Automated data uploads to reduce processing time from 3 hours to 20 minutes
  • Eliminated the acceptance of paper forms
  • Eliminated sending duplicate copies of the same reports
  • Improved timeliness of data submissions from clients from 30 days to 14 days

Government

A State labor department needed to improve their operations for processing applications for a tax credit program that was on hiatus and had recently been reauthorized.  In 2015, a total of 8,056 new applications were received and verified and were still pending completion due to the hiatus of this program. As of the fourth quarter of 2015, the department had a back log of 14,079 applications. Historically this program is renewed and expires as determined by Congress, therefore the department was always processing older applications.

The program required every step of the process to be handled manually.  It was necessary for managers and staff to make the determinations on how the applications should be processed for completion.  Out-of-State request are received and completed via the fax machine and postal service.  Out-of-State requests were received differently and had its own separate process which required several attempts to submit and receive the verification.  We worked with the team to improve the current workflow and expedite the process to better serve their customers.  Some of the results:

  • Reduced time to process an application form 63 minutes to 13 minutes
  • Reduced data entry time per application from 10 minutes to 2 minutes
  • Reduced paper and postage required to save approximately $17,000 annually
  • Freed up staff time spent making determinations

Manufacturing

A commercial large scale custom sign designer and manufacturer was faced with changes in the marketplace and recognized the need to improve how they quoted, produced, delivered and installed their products or be left behind by competition.

We completed a Lean Transformation at the company.  We addressed plant operations as well as the front end of the business including sales, design and quoting.  Starting with fundamental Lean tools, we were able to address inefficiencies in the layout of the plant, inventory management, and production flow.   Once Lean foundational improvements were in place, we continued with Lean process change to address inefficiencies in many different processes throughout the organization.  Ultimately we were able to save the organization time and money while better-serving their customers.

  • Reduced time to create bid package from 30+ days to 9 days
  • Reduced time to generate a proposal for a client from 45 days to 12 days
  • Redesigned the layout of the plant to improve product flow between operations
  • Implemented visual tools throughout the organization so employees could quickly determine status of an operation
  • Improved manufacturing process resulting in 92% of orders meeting quotation, up from 42% previously
  • Reduced lead times from 12+ weeks to 6 weeks
  • Assisted staff in identifying and tracking the most important metrics (Key Performance Indicators) for their organization

Non-profit

A large non-profit foundation that is a proactive community and philanthropic leader, dedicated to meeting the needs of local people, needed to streamline their process for gift intake and acknowledgment.  They receive gifts and donations by check, cash, credit card, and stocks.  It was necessary that they process and acknowledge these gifts faster and more accurately.

  • Improved the turnaround time from gift receipt to acknowledgment from 6 days to 2 days
  • Implemented checks and balances that did not result in a duplication of work
  • Improved the accuracy of data entry of gifts to data base to eliminate corrections and re-work
  • Defined clear definition and delineation of employee roles in the process to eliminate the duplication of efforts
  • Simplified the process flow