By Tonya Mott
I mentioned in my last blog post, “What’s a Fastcap?” that our LEAN journey started with an office wide cleanup. That is not entirely accurate. We actually started with the “Why”. Why would we want to do this? It’s a lot of work! If we don’t have buy-in from the team, this may not work. I shared the “Why’s” and the “What’s in it for us” with everyone:
- Deliver value from the client’s perspective
- Eliminate Waste
- Continuous Improvement – leaving it better than you found it
What’s in it for us if we become a Lean Culture?
- Time maximization
- Organizational Clarity
- Increase Morale
- Easy access to resources/tools
- Greater company investment
- Potential monetary rewards
- Work on projects that motivate you
Good news, everyone was onboard!
Then came our timeline and action plan. We decided what we wanted to do and when:
- Immediately – Identify waste and stop signs (ongoing)
- Office wide cleanup – 3 S’s, 1. Sweep, 2. Sort, 3. Standardize
- Workflows – Analyze process, make them “LEAN Certified”
For our office cleanup, we started with a two-week window to clean up our own work areas. Then we closed for half a day, rolled up our sleeves, and got to work. What is the old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words?
Check out the new and improved RISQ Employee Benefits and Employer Services office space:
Storage Room – Before
Storage Room – After
Office Supplies – Before
Office Supplies – After
By making these changes we spend less time looking for supplies and can easily identify what needs to be ordered. We find everything we need by reading labels or visually looking at pictures posted on the front of the cabinets or drawers.
Now that we’re done with the cleanup, we’re evaluating our workflows with a microscope. This involves documenting each procedure, then removing waste. Once we are satisfied with the workflow we’ll deem it LEAN Certified. Even though the process gets the LEAN stamp of approval the work is never done. We welcome any employee’s suggestions and feedback (even if they have nothing to do with the process) to improve the workflow when a change can positively impact our employee’s and client’s experience.
Needless to say this has been a lot fun for our entire team and the end result is a comfortable, clean, and organized work environment for employees to deliver a “platinum rule” type of client experience. The Platinum Rule is part of our client experience compass, but alas that is for another blog article, a little something to you keep you anticipating!
I’m currently participating in LEAN trainings throughout the year, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about LEAN and how to implement it in your workplace. Below is my contact information:
Employee Benefits – Vice President, Operations