Lean management

Reviewing what, why and how you do things

Lean reviews help organisations identify improvements and increase efficiency by reviewing what they do, why they do it and how they do it.

In order to continuously improve and maintain your competitive advantage you need to regularly challenge what you do. Ask yourself the following questions about your business:

  • Why are we doing what we do?
  • How are we doing it?
  • What are the fundamental actions and processes needed to produce the goods and services we provide?

Taking an unsupported approach to answering these questions could result in added costs, ineffective change and poor outcomes for your business.

Bringing in a lean professional can prevent this. Lean methodology helps companies carry out structured challenge. This concept originally started in Japan, but has quickly become a significant factor for facilitating change across the globe.

Lean is about improving quality within your business and ultimately reducing costs. The methodology centres on doing more with less. This could be less human effort, less equipment, less material, less time, or less space. It also helps a company engage their staff in the need for change, and to challenge and question existing work practices in order to identify savings and improvements.

The key benefits of taking a lean approach include:

  • Using a range of internationally recognised tools which can be adapted to specifically meet the needs of each individual company;
  • Identifying measures which deliver quantifiable savings;
  • Delivering innovation and efficiency savings;
  • Empowering staff to lead and deliver ongoing improvements;
  • Developing new structures and processes that are specifically tailored to ensure a company achieves its strategic objectives effectively.

Specialists at business advisers and accountants, Scott-Moncrieff, have used lean tools and techniques to facilitate improvements and increase the efficiency of their clients, with methods including:

Rapid Improvement Events (RIE)

Rapid Improvement Events (RIEs) are used to engage key staff in identifying practical solutions to issues, problems or opportunities for improvements already identified within the business. RIEs work best when the issue is a service or process that is spread across a range of departments and teams within a company.

Engaging all key staff involved in the existing arrangements means staff members take ownership for the solutions and collective actions identified and leave the RIE committed to implementing the changes required. At a recent RIE, Scott-Moncrieff helped to reduce the timescale for completing a key process within the business from over four weeks to four days.

Targeted lean reviews

Targeted lean reviews involve undertaking a focused review of a particular area or service line within a business. The review seeks to identify the most effective way for a company to deliver this area or service and what level of resources are required to deliver it efficiently.

As an example, Scott-Moncrieff recently carried out a tailored lean review of a client’s procurement function. During this time, the team worked with procurement staff to map out the current activity within the team and considered alternative options for the procurement function. Opportunities to make significant savings were identified, resulting in resources being redirected to priority areas of the business.

The same client was supported with restructuring its procedures for the ordering and receipting of stock, which not only freed up congested warehouse space, but empowered staff to take greater ownership for the use of stock going forward. Annual savings generated for the organisation were more than 10 times the one-off fee they paid Scott-Moncrieff to carry out the work.

Reviewing what you do, why you do it and how you do it ensures that you are continuously improving and maintaining your competitive advantage.

If you would like more information on how lean specialists at Scott-Moncrieff can help you improve the quality of your services, reduce your costs and ensure you are making the most effective use of your resources, contact James Thomson, senior consultant in business transformation services, on james.thomson@scott-moncrieff.com or 0141 567 4500.