Lean office could tackle 80% of business waste

Posted on 8 Oct 2008 by The Manufacturer

The Manufacturing Institute has launched a new Lean Office education programme that provides the know how to reduce costs, eliminate waste and boost efficiency within business processes.

“Up to 80 per cent of waste in a manufacturing or engineering business can occur in the back office – providing huge and largely untapped potential for business improvement”, said Manufacturing Institute practitioner and course leader Bill Tiplady. “Our programme provides tried and tested practical lean tool kits to identify and strip out this non value added activity, which is less visible than in a production environment.”

The three-stage Lean Office programme begins with a five-day (over five weeks) practical foundation stage, after which participants can choose to undertake Lean Office Advanced then Lean Office Champion modules, a development pathway which qualifies them to lead lean office improvement programmes and support organisation-wide improvement strategies.

Lean Office Foundation, which is available as both a public and in-house course, covers: value stream identification and mapping; waste elimination; error prevention; 5S and layout; performance measurement; kaizen; root cause problem solving, effective team working, culture and leadership, and aligning computer systems to customer value.

It is aimed at office based professionals, such as office and departmental managers, or team leaders and supervisors with responsibility for productivity and business improvement.

Delegates ‘learn by doing’ through a combination of practical forums and classroom based sessions. The hands-on sessions are designed to provide a practical tool kit of skills that can be immediately applied to work – addressing specific company issues. An optional in-company improvement project can be undertaken with project supervision from the course tutors.

The course is delivered by some of Britain’s best lean experts and practitioners and features case studies of successful implementations of lean in the office. It is a quick and simple path to rapidly boost business process performance.

Research commissioned by The Manufacturing Institute showed that manufacturers considered that the application of lean to the office could reduce errors, re-work and lead times, and boost competitiveness through improved response to customer demand. The top four office functions where they considered lean would have greatest impact were: (in rank order) customer service, sales, facilities/operations support and general administration.

Added Bill Tiplady: “Many businesses have made great strides to lean their production processes, but this can so easily be undermined in the customer service or sales office. As economic conditions toughen, no business can afford to ignore the scope to use lean to transform their whole enterprise.”

For further information contact The Manufacturing Institute on 0161 872 0393, or visit manufacturinginstitute.co.uk/leanoffice.