LEAN – Focus on the Client’s Needs

Is your company producing at is optimal? Do you now that experts have estimated the cost of poor quality to be 5 to 30% of gross sales for most companies. How should you go about to find where the cost is and how to reduce them? Do you at all believe that your organization has room for improvements? …and do you create your process with the customer in mind?

They probably didn’t feel they had room for improvement in the 1950s when they organised the pit stops in Formula 1. It is though fascinating to see by how much they have increased the efficiency and shortened the time that the car stands still while they perform the same tasks.

What happened and how did they manage to improve to perfection?

With heart for the client

The answer is simple: they had a heartly focus on the customer! The Formula 1 team has a clear passion for becoming the best at all time. The team’s passion is obviously to assist the driver in becoming the best so that the whole team can shine together. The team is clearly focusing on providing the best process to their internal client – the driver.

In addition, all Formula 1 teams have external clients called supporters. The Formula 1 team’s other clearly defined focus point is to deliver satisfying results to the supporters.

Delivering an optimal process and good results is far easier when it is done with heart and passion for what you do….and the process makes itself when you keep focus on what the client wants.

Room for improvement

Having clearly defined processes seems very simple. It is although often where we fail in organisations. We tend to get used to work the way we always have. Too often the number of tasks performed in the process have increased without a critical view on what’s really needed and in accordance with the client´s needs.

I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process – Vincent Van Gogh

Obviously, when there is no clear process, everybody adds a little personal touch. Too often our personal touch is personal and might not be in line with the client’s wishes. Hence, the total quality might differ quite a lot and the variations in the final delivery could become quite important.

Clearly defined processes and process flow

LEAN is a structured method to streamline processes and organise the process flow in an optimal way to reduce waste.

Defining the processes is providing people with a tool to deliver even better quality work.
Traditionally we tend to organise our staff by thinking resource optimisation. The job descriptions are set and a person is introduced to the position. Unfortunately, too often we maintain the organisation chart based on the employees and the traditional job descriptions, without thinking about the needs of the clients.

Organising the workforce to optimise the processes increases the performance of the teams. The work comes in a natural order and is processed step by step.

Thinking LEAN is simply having a philosophy were each employee can win 5 minutes a day – and half an hour per week. Multiplied by the number of employees this gives a lot of extra time to focus on the core business that gives income and providing the clients with quality.

LEAN is a learning process

Too often LEAN is looked upon just as a method to structure work. It is much more. LEAN is a way of thinking and especially organizing your internal training. Introducing LEAN by removing unnecessary tasks and streamlining the process, gives more time for creativity.

Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits – Twyla Tharp

A learning organisation is able to go back and review the processes on a regular basis and my experience is that they also have a joyful teamwork.

The Formula 1 team has clearly defined tasks. They’re working in a process flow, they’re focused on the client’s needs and they continuously improve their job by training and developing new ways of working….this business is the perfect example on how introducing a LEAN culture can improve the final results and get happier clients.

Continue to LEAN your pit stops with a heart for the client and occasionally think radically out of the box and you will for sure boost your business!

Good luck with your heartly client focus!

@Grete