Did you know that more and more companies are applying the Lean Office methodology in their work environments? This booming concept saves many working hours, improving performance and productivity, and promoting teamwork. But what exactly does Lean Office mean, and how does it influence the organization and execution of work? Read on to find out here or at essay writer site!
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What is Lean Office, and where does it come from?
Lean Office is a work philosophy that seeks to improve productivity by eliminating those tasks – such as excessive red tape – that have no value for the development of the company and its activities. In short, Lean methodology is nothing more than the application of Lean Manufacturing to administrative processes.
This concept is based on the Kaizen philosophy of continuous improvement. In the 20th century, this methodology was implemented in the industrial sector to improve production and manufacturing. Henry Ford’s assembly line is an example of this. As a result, more and more companies in all sectors have joined this work model.
When we talk about “lean office,” the adjective “lean” refers to the sense of eliminating what is superfluous and keeping only what is strictly necessary to carry out our work.
What does Lean Office aim to achieve?
The main objective of the Lean Office philosophy is to increase productivity with the available resources, increase quality and reduce time to improve the experience of customers and users.
Lean Office promotes teamwork and aligns tasks toward achieving a common goal. To achieve this, it is necessary to involve workers and educate them on the importance of these new changes for the system to work. In addition, it is necessary to incorporate a system of cooperation and internal communication shared by all workers.
Lean Office Principles
Lean Manufacturing seeks to increase the company’s productivity by optimizing available resources. Its principles can be transferred to the Lean Office through the following criteria:
- Classify (Seiri): a classification of each worker’s tasks and the files and documents in the office must be carried out. At this stage, unusable documentation, which is irrelevant to daily work, is eliminated.
- Tidying up (Seiton): sometimes more time is spent looking for documents or materials than necessary. Keeping the workspace tidy greatly facilitates daily work.
- Clean (Seiso): the workstation must be clean and in harmony with the rest of the space. This is essential to make the best use of the available resources and prevent occupational hazards.
- Standardize (Seiketsu): adopting an appropriate classification method is essential to streamline daily functions. An example of this standardization is the use of color-coded labels.
- Maintain (Shitsuke): After implementing these principles, it is important to constantly turn them into a routine.
How to implement Lean Office
The first step is to know what the customer wants, their needs, and what kind of goods or services the company can offer them. This is a fundamental step since, from here, you can start working towards the final objective.
Simplifying processes is the most important step to succeed in any Lean Office project. It is necessary to eliminate unnecessary intermediate steps, superfluous documents, and approval processes and reduce intermediaries between departments. In short, cutting red tape streamlines the process.
The company’s objective is to be at the head of the market and to be competitive by increasing productivity. To achieve this, it is important to introduce new business management technologies and manage work times to achieve an efficient and effective system.
For the system to work, it is also important that the company’s management implements the Lean Office methodology in all areas equally. In addition, this has to remain linked to the company’s philosophy, be part of its culture, and be assimilated by all workers.
Supervisors or department heads, for their part, should do constant reviews to verify that the system is working correctly and to maintain the motivation of the workers.
Main Lean Office tools
Some of the main Lean Office tools that can specifically help to improve processes and activities depending on the improvement objective are:
- Value Stream Mapping (VSM): this tool reviews and improves workflows.
- Andon: it allows all workers to know how improvements are progressing and what is the status of their implementation.
- 5 ‘S: we will use this tool to establish the order and cleanliness of the workstations sustainably.
- FMEA: this tool allows us to perform a risk analysis to propose actions to eliminate or minimize them.
- Kanban: this is the most widespread tool. With its implementation, we manage to eliminate inventory and overproduction in addition to reducing possible downtime and delivery times, thanks to the regularization of the production flow between processes, suppliers, and customers.
How does the application of Lean Office benefit?
Streamlining daily work, facilitating the search for documents, or preventing accidents at work are some benefits that Lean Office can bring to a company.
Although this philosophy has always been implemented and put into practice in the industrial sector, the Galician University Business Foundation has gathered some of the benefits of using this methodology in different work areas:
- It reduces work times by half.
- It reduces the error rate by 90%.
- Eliminates duplication of tasks and improves the filing and documentation process.
- Improves employee and customer satisfaction. In addition, it favors collaboration between the different teams in the company.
- It shortens delivery times and saves on office supplies.
- Increases responsiveness to potential problems.
- It doubles the company’s productivity.
- In short, it improves the company’s profitability.
Implementing this technique means for the worker an improvement of the company’s internal organization, knowing the role each employee should have, and clarifying the responsibilities and individual objectives.
Many companies in the service sector have implemented this technique in their work routine to improve productivity and optimize the company’s resources in the best way. This allows companies to detect possible errors in time, intending to adopt the necessary measures to solve them, resulting in decisions based on facts and direct observation.