There are a variety of ways a business can become more lean and efficient while also continuing to increase its bottom line. Some practices involve slimming down the manufacturing process, while others offer tools that can provide insight on potential improvements. However, there is a critical area for manufacturers to continue enhancing their business’ lean strategies: the office.
This is often overlooked, but keeping your administration and office on the cutting edge is just as important as doing the same with your production process. Any business that finds itself losing money with its billing or order processing plan, unable to meet on-time delivery demands, or even slows to a halt when an office employee is sick or on vacation, most likely needs to implement Lean concepts for their office.
The idea behind Lean Office is practical: it’s a strategic business plan designed to improve and slim down administrative processes without interrupting the production process. The balance of any Lean business is to cut down on waste while still continuing to grow the bottom line, and this goal is no different in the administrative setting. The Lean Office process involves tackling causes of waste at three different points of your business:
Enterprise: This includes any processes that involve the external operations of your business, such as research and development, product design, scheduling, inventory management, production control, etc.
- Organizational: These are any “support” processes, as in ones that provide assistance to your overall business operations, like human resources, information technology, engineering and finance departments.
- Departmental: This last group is to determine the best efficiencies for an office based on roles and responsibilities, as well as lowering the number of hand-off breakdowns, and also reducing the number of tasks that take an excessive amount of time or eliminating them completely.
If you are interested, NJMEP has a variety of lean strategies to help any NJ manufacturers curate their own smart office, known as Lean Office. Through these three areas, NJMEP will be able to determine a Lean Office analysis for a manufacturing business. Most often, these suggestions fall under the list of Eight Wastes, which is a variety of the most common issues in any office that need to be reduced or eliminated completely. This might include problems as simple as an overuse of the office printer to significant overproduction and excessive inventory. With proper moderation, manufacturers will often see improvements over time on their office processing time.
To learn more about NJMEP and more Lean Strategies for your office, click below!