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Lean Six Sigma for Services

Services are Full of Waste

Slow processes are expensive and error prone, resulting in dissatisfied customers and declining revenues.  Services are notoriously slow.  Product and service complexity impedes process flow, resulting in greater work-in-process (WIP).  In an office environment, WIP is located everywhere, in inboxes, emails, databases, and action items to name a few.  Greater WIP means customers wait much longer than they want for products and services.  If you're interested in becoming customer focused, reducing defects and wastes, improving process velocity, and reducing complexity, Lean Six Sigma training is exactly what you need.

"The lack of initial [Lean] Six Sigma emphasis in the non-manufacturing areas was a mistake that cost Motorola at least $5 billion over a four year period." -- Bob Gavin, former CEO of Motorola. Only 20% of the price of products and services are driven by direct labor.  The remaining 80% come from costs associated with support and design functions such as purchasing, human resources, product development, engineering and finance.

Service companies that attempt to use sophisticated process improvement tools without the fundamentals in place to sustain and leverage these improvements may have a few successful projects but the initiative will quickly flounder.  This training, which draws heavily from Michael George’s book “Lean Six Sigma for Service: How to Use Lean Speed and Six Sigma Quality to Improve Services and Transactions.”, focuses on how to lead a process improvement initiative within a service organization by putting in place from the beginning the foundation necessary for success.   It is by no means focused on manufacturing.  This training has been adjusted both in terms of the number and complexity of the statistical tools.  Data collection and complexity value stream mapping are emphasized. Hence, this training will be useful to you if you encounter some of the situations below:

  • Do you chase down information?
  • Do decisions require multiple approvals?
  • Are you constantly interrupted?
  • Do you need to expedite regularly?
  • Does work get completed in batches?
  • Does work sometimes get “lost”?
  • Do you find yourself wondering what’s important?
  • Do customers (internal or external) complain about service? 
  • Are requests for products or services incomplete or contain errors?
  • Does everyone seem to have their own method of prioritizing work?
  • Does the backlog of work never seem to subside?
  • Do employees have an over-reliance on “heroes” ?
  • In general, are procedures and metrics lacking?

By addressing issues such as those above, Lean Six Sigma helps you discover better ways of doing business.  As a result, dollars, people, materials and equipment are freed up for other purposes.