What if I told you that by implementing lean principles in your office areas, it’s possible to reduce your administrative processing time by 50%. Would you believe me? I think I amÂ probablyÂ hearing a “maybe, or a maybe not”, right?
What if you were presented with data that clearly demonstrated how a company actually achieved this goal using lean principles to restructure and develop their lean office procedures. Yes, that’s right, I bet you would like to know how a lean office reduced processing time by 50%! So, did I perk your interest? I would like to share a great article that I found on the WMEP website. It explains how a small family-owned company called Dalco Metals, in Walworth, Wisconsin used some basic lean tools to achieve these amazing results.
How A Lean Office Reduced Processing Time By 50%
Since 1973, family owned Dalco Metals of Walworth has been a premier supplier of flat-rolled steel-processing services to manufacturers throughout the Midwest. John Ring, executive vice president of Dalco, credits this long-term success to the companyâ€™s focus on the customerâ€™s needs, close relationships with suppliers, and constant attention to quality in every manufacturing and business process..
â€œAbout eight years ago, it seemed that everything pointed toward adopting lean manufacturing methods: a customer recommended we look into lean manufacturing, a classmate in my MBA program recommended 5S (a lean method), and I attended the Manufacturing. Matters! conference and participated in a Lean workshop presented by WMEP..
5S is not a static tool â€“ Dalco Metals continually works at sustaining the changes theyâ€™ve made and to continually find new ways to make the process better, cleaner, faster and less expensive. â€œDalco Metals is a great example of what it takes to generate the benefits of Lean manufacturing over the long-term,â€ said Thiltgen. â€œMany companies start lean programs, but lack the stamina and commitment it takes to fully realize the benefits gained when Lean is a way of life. Dalco Metals has tremendous executive support of Lean â€“ itâ€™s a part of everyoneâ€™s job.â€.
Chuck Ferguson, inside sales and applications manager, agrees. â€œThe â€˜sustainâ€™ part of the program is the toughest part. We are trying to ingrain the 5S mentality in everyoneâ€™s minds here at Dalco and I think it is working. As long as we have the support of the management, Dalco will continue to operate at peak efficiency.â€.
Ferguson implemented the following steps to ensure that the company remains focused on 5S…[read more in the original article]
I have been involved in the Continuous Process Improvement field for almost 30 years and I still get pretty excited when I read an article like this one. Why is that you might ask? Well, its because small to medium sized businesses are the backbone of the US economy and it’s great to see them leading the way when it comes to improving productivity. Contrary to popular belief, it is not using lean principles to improve efficiency and effectiveness that forces companies to close their doors and causes people to lose their jobs. LEAN is not an acronym for “LessÂ EmployeesÂ Are Needed!” So what does this mean? What is the real cause of the problem?
It’s poor management structures and decision making that creates inefficiency and increase the amount of waste in the system, and this eventually leads to rising costs that is the root-cause of the problem. So, if you want to create a right culture that’s capable of developing a successful lean process, you need to start with the management team first. Then you will be able to write your own article with the same heading as this one – How A Lean Office Reduced Processing Time By 50%!
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