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Solve Every Customer’s Problem

Let the Experts Streamline Your Business Processes

No company starts out as a perfectly functioning enterprise no matter how well its owners and leaders plan for everything before the big launch. As a business owner, you know that there are simply too many variables that surely come into play as you operate.

Inevitably, there will be pain points you also need to contend with. Therefore, it is necessary to make adjustments in order to improve, streamline, and perfect operating processes. CJ Consulting in Cordova, Tennessee has expert consultants highly qualified to provide you with the knowledge you need to overcome these challenges. 

Read How We Helped a Client Sustain LEAN and CI Initiatives

Continuous Process Improvement Success Study– Sustainability

By Chester Jenkins CJ Globalogistics

Each year several thousand companies announce internally they are “going LEAN”. They have a LEAN initiative, form committees, and hire LEAN coordinators and managers to kick off their LEAN program. Within one year less than 2% of these companies have any type of LEAN activity in their organizations. They lack the ability and resources to sustain their LEAN implementation. These companies form groups, meet with management, change processes, publicize they are “doing LEAN”, they do all kinds of things to use the LEAN and Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) buzzwords. But still, they fail to see any gains because they just cannot sustain their efforts.

Why is it so hard to sustain the LEAN and CPI initiative? One answer is there is no buy in gained from the lower levels of the organization, the people and processes most impacted by these initiatives. The typical LEAN initiative is a big announcement from upper management, middle management is then briefed, and it is mentioned in passing to the employees who are in the greatest position to implement and improve the key processes. It’s hard to put new processes, etc. in place from upper management when the line employees are the ones responsible for the process and they are not included. As an example, a client company I worked with initiated a LEAN program. They even had all upper and middle managers in a room behind closed doors for one whole week developing a Value Stream Map. They outlined their current state processes and the future state process via Value Stream Map. After their week long hibernation they held meetings to detail immediate changes. Part of the presentation showed old processes and the new processes to be put in place. I advised my client that they should involve the sample of the actual process users to determine the accuracy of the current processes outlined in the Value Stream Map.

The line employees seeing the presentation immediately let management know their presentation of the old processes was not at all what their teams were doing. If the old process is not captured accurately there can be no accurate improvement when implementing the new process. Long story short, my client company had to re-start at the beginning with the Value Stream and include the actual users of the current processes to gain insight as to how the future state would improve and streamline operations. Going forward the company included actual users in all LEAN and CPI initiative actions and have been very successful in improving productivity, efficiency, and lowering costs. A key component of the success of this company’s LEAN efforts is being able to sustain their gains by keeping users accountable for the process improvement and its success because they are the ones who worked on creating improvements as they worked daily doing the same task and operation.

Diving deeper into sustainability, we can see that inclusion and accountability are some key components to growing the gains made when process improvements are implemented. In order to keep the improvements moving forward and identifying new process improvement opportunities there must be a strong emphasis on sustaining the LEAN and CPI efforts. There is a tendency for team members to revert to what they know when productivity increases or they are not comfortable using new processes. This can lead to productivity and efficiency gains being diminished significantly if not monitored properly.

There are three important phases in successfully sustaining your CPI and LEAN efforts. First and foremost, communication of the need for improvement, the steps to be taken to find process improvements, and the value of the entire team input for success. This creates buy in from management and line employees as they will understand the desired outcomes and will also feel valued in the creation of new processes. Secondly, monitoring the new processes and ensuring they are being followed by all involved. This is vital as it reinforces the need to follow new processes and keep them in place to accurately and continuously manage and chart productivity and efficiency gains.

Thirdly, coaching is paramount to ensuring all new process steps are being followed. Coaching allows management and line employees to correct and improve on any behaviors or missteps that may occur. By observing the actual process users and following their steps while reviewing the actual written process leaders are able to identify and correct any issues or missed steps in the process in real time, communicate the variance to the employee, emphasize the need to follow the process steps, and to ensure there are no unanswered questions so the employee will be able to perform the process correctly going forward.

Sustaining your company Continuous Process Improvement initiative as a part of a progressive LEAN program is paramount to successfully improving overall productivity and increasing efficiencies while reducing operating costs. By effectively involving team members from all levels, from upper management to line employees who follow the processes daily, in the process improvement through Kaizen experimentation you will engage at all levels and have a greater buy in for sustaining the improvements. Continuous and concise communication, monitoring, and coaching will reinforce the sustainability efforts and you will continue to see buy in as well as sustainability and the end result will be an organization taking full advantage of process improvements, growing their LEAN initiatives, and enjoying success in productivity, efficiency, cost reductions, and employee engagement.

The Key to Success

As experts in the field, we believe that business success is a process. Focus on strategies enabling efficiency, productivity, and profitability. These are the elements crucial to transforming your company into one that performs exceptionally well.

No Problems, Only Solutions

Our experience and knowledge in lean production, continuous process improvement, managing for daily improvement, and customer experience allow us to provide solutions for optimizing your teams' discipline, problem-solving abilities, efficiency, and productivity. Save on costs as workflow improves in the following operational aspects:

  • Manufacturing and Distribution
  • Marketing and Logistics
  • Customer Service

Our Mission

Channel our more than 12 years of multi-industrial experience and expertise managing small- and large-scale businesses. To make any company’s operations more meaningful, we initiate employee engagement programs designed to improve processes. 

Request a Free Initial Consultation

Companies must first be competitive before they can weather industrial upheavals, prevail over business rivals, and be sustainably profitable. We can help you configure this dynamic equation. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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