by Isabella Janovick, Anacomp, Inc.
Every business, whether large or small, has a primary goal of having a strong business model that will grow repeat business and result in financial success. But is that enough? Business management and the understanding that client needs will evolve over time will make it necessary for a successful business to evolve to survive.
Continuous process improvement is a fundamental tool for business management and growth. Business processes and an efficient workflow enhance quality, productivity and response time of business processes by removing any actions and costs that are not adding value to the business. However, before a successful process can be implemented, a business needs to identify their existing processes and costs using effective tools and analytical methods in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma is a combination of two powerful methodologies: Lean and Six Sigma. The Lean toolkit provides ways to streamline processes by reducing waste and the Six Sigma toolkit provides methods to reduce defects by conducting root cause analysis. Together, they provide the fastest, most effective way to improve processes and prepare a company for future growth.
A Lean process is achieved by removing “waste”, which is any activity not required to complete a process. After removing waste, the only steps remaining will be those required to produce a product or service that is of value to a customer.
A Six Sigma process is one that produces only 3.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO). This means that Six Sigma can also be thought of as a goal where processes encounter close to zero defects, and do so consistently.
Organizations use the powerful toolkits offered by Lean Six Sigma to increase revenue, decrease costs, improve efficiency and develop effective people and teams.
Eliminating Waste is the main goal of Lean Six Sigma and is important in order to spend more time and resources on providing value to the customer. The more an organization can reduce waste the better. Some examples of waste in an everyday work environment can include duties that are not adding value, unnecessary steps to complete a project or task, or not willing to apply new tools to improve a process because it has always been done a certain way. Looking for and finding waste in a process is the first step to reducing the waste in an organization.
The 8 Wastes are Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-Utilized Talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion and Extra Processing. Once these wastes have been defined, an organization can eliminate the waste, improve the process that is causing the waste, streamline the process and overall minimize the waste in the process.
5 Phases of Lean Six Sigma
The 5 Phase method, or DMAIC, are the tools and techniques that lay out the Lean Six Sigma methodology. These phases include Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. In the Define Phase, the problems and issues are outlined and the customer requirements are clarified. The Measure Phase includes data collection so that the process can be better understood. During the Analyze phase data analysis and process analysis combine to help uncover the root causes of defects and other forms of waste. Detailed process maps, charts and graphs are used to provide ways to develop and test hypothesis. Once the root causes are identified, the project then proceeds to the Improve Phase. In this phase solutions target the waste uncovered in the Analyze Phase. The goal is to improve the process flow, remove root causes, mistake-proof the process and provide increased value to the customer. The last phase is the Control Phase which maintains the gains achieved in the Improve Phase. Ongoing monitoring and analysis ensures that all phases in the project continue to be successful.
WorkSmart and Lean Six Sigma
Anacomp’s WorkSmart program utilizes Lean Six Sigma methodologies that encompass multiple steps of data gathering, as-is process analysis, and process improvement recommendations. WorkSmart delivers an in depth analysis of existing agency workflows, and permanent records then maps processes to identify areas for process improvement. Deliverables to customers include an objective view of the current document and records management processes, identification of all problem areas and their root causes and a proposal for a new, improved process with business value and cost justification. To learn more about WorkSmart and what it can do for your organization please visit the Anacomp website at http://www.anacomp.com/services/worksmart.html or contact us today for a demo at 844-405-1968 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.