Operations Management - Lean Summits

OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

While operational excellence is critical for establishing and maintaining competitive advantage, it is also more difficult to achieve than ever before. The operations consulting teams at LSS assist customers in extracting value from all areas of their operations.

It has never been simple to increase the efficiency and efficacy of operations. However, due to supply chain disruptions, trade volatility, shifts in consumer expectations, and the growth of digital operations, which have upended services and industrial processes, being an expert in operations management has become even more difficult in today’s environment. As a result of these changes, corporate executives across all industries are asking themselves, “What will the future of operations look like?” And how can we be successful in this new environment?”

When it comes to operations management, we work with clients at every level of their organization to bring about transformational change and impact in key areas such as procurement, service operations and supply chain. We also work with clients in areas such as manufacturing, investment project management, and operational efficiency.

Efficiency is not about your people but about your systems

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Leaders are always looking for methods to increase staff productivity (including their own). Most of the time, that search does not extend beyond the time management training given by the human resources department. Those courses address the advantages and disadvantages of methods such as Inbox Zero, the Pomodoro technique, the Eisenhower matrix, Making It Happen, among many other ways that promise us the ability to achieve peak productivity.

Given that individuals are still overburdened with work, buried in email, and unable to concentrate on key objectives, it is fair to conclude that these productivity hacks are no longer applicable to most people. We have our unique approach towards systems management and accountability of each employee. Here are some of the thing we advise clients to  pay attention to:

Categorizing your problems

Categorizing your problems

Numerous highly productive companies have implemented a system of tiered daily huddles with a well-defined escalation process for all issues. At the outset of each workday, the first huddle, comprised of front-line employees, convenes. The following huddle, which will include supervisors, will take place 30 minutes later. After that, managers meet for 30 minutes, followed by directors, vice presidents, and ultimately the executive team. Issues are addressed at the most fundamental level feasible. If no decision can be made, the matter is escalated. This method strengthens the connection between the C-suite and the front lines; it expedites decision-making; and, perhaps most significantly, it increases productivity by decreasing the amount of random emails concerning a range of issues.

Tracking work

Tracking work

The majority of labor performed in an office setting is invisible – it is hidden inside people's computers or brains. As a consequence, it's impossible to determine what individuals are working on or if they're overburdened and unable to take on more responsibilities. Physical or virtual task boards (such as Trello, Asana, Airtable, or Zenkit), in which each task is represented by a card indicating who is responsible for it (and its progress), which allow a more fair allocation of labor. Additionally, it avoids numerous status check emails and the need to discuss the subject in meetings. The principal investigator of a medical research lab with whom LSS worked implemented just such a system and discovered that work was completed much quicker and with significantly less effort. This enables employees to observe what their peers are doing and respond appropriately.

Aligning responsibility

Aligning responsibility

If an individual is accountable for a result, they should have the power to make required choices without being compelled to engage in an unending series of meetings, emails, or presentations. ``Lattice`` management structure is an outstanding example of a way to delicate the responsibility. The business spreads leadership responsibilities widely across the organization, empowering workers to make “above the waterline” (low-risk) choices on their own and needing permission only for “below the waterline” (high-risk) decisions. LSS has spent years creating and refining the culture, systems, and procedures that support its own organizational structure, making it impossible for any business to replicate their model. Nonetheless, it demonstrates the kind of thinking that will help individuals — and organizations — increase their productivity.

Integrating new technologies

Integrating new technologies

Businesses should always seek for operational efficiency, not only via new system architectures, but also through the discovery of new underutilized technology. These may assist you in a variety of ways, from increasing customer satisfaction to reducing staff turnover. To choose the most appropriate technology for your purposes, you should compare your existing systems to your objectives. Consider the inefficiencies that may exist in your processes and how you might improve them. Like capturing relevant information, such as customer details, in the most simple, time-efficient way.

SOLUTIONS THAT WORKED

LSS has extensive experience developing new systems and tools for its clients. One example of that would be tools developed to avoid duplication – for example, utilizing technologies to reduce lead time for entering order information and assigning it. 

Achieving operational efficiencies via the use of new technologies and systems in order to retain a competitive edge.

Use Case

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MASS COMMUNICATION CHANNEL

This is especially effective when each log has a unique attribute and requires manual labour to match the order with an appropriate vendor. Consider the auto transportation business, where brokers are required to connect their customers with particular carriers.

This process is lengthy and may take longer than usual depending on the routes for which orders are received. Additionally, there may be instances where drivers cancel orders unexpectedly, leaving the broker with an unfilled order and delaying the promised delivery time.

Resulting in dissatisfied customers. In this context, LSS developed a mass reach out solution to all carriers based on their served routes, which were obtained from the brokers’ database. This facilitated the assignment and fulfillment of new orders as well as cancelled ones, while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. These technologies offer all of the essential instruments for operational efficiency, which entails producing at the same level with less resources.