Lean Operations to Promote Business Growth

 In Best Practices, Business Intelligence

Lean Operations Result in Productive Warehouses

Efficient, lean, and smart operations are what sets successful companies apart. Avoiding waste and sussing out those golden opportunities for growth propel the eager, agile business forward, but adopting this mindset takes work and determination. 

Making that extra effort to run lean, though, pays off in a big way. When your operations are focused on efficiency, they’re focused almost exclusively on providing value for the customer. Putting that emphasis on the customer is a wise use of precious resources, and it serves as a framework for shaping your company’s identity. Your values are reflected by how and where you spend your money. 

Jeffrey K. Liker, author of The Toyota Way, puts it this way:

“The only thing that adds value in any type of process — be it in manufacturing, marketing, or a development process — is the physical or informational transformation of that product, service, or activity into something the customer wants.” 

So how do you learn to run lean in your operational processes? What are the tools you need to find and eliminate waste in your various systems?

Using Six Sigma Principles to Grow Your Business

If you’re familiar with Six Sigma methodology, you know that it’s a tried-and-true approach to improving business operations through the power of statistical analysis, rather than by gut feeling. Six Sigma principles are process improvement strategies that largely focus on improvement through the elimination of non value-added waste. This elimination of inefficiencies is a great kick-starter for improving your bottom line. 

“The only thing that adds value in any type of process — be it in manufacturing, marketing, or a development process — is the physical or informational transformation of that product, service, or activity into something the customer wants.”

There’s a lot to Six Sigma principles (so much so that you can enroll in entire courses to earn your Six Sigma belt of choice), but they all boil down to the five DMAIC steps: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. 

We’re not about to tackle all that’s entailed in incorporating Six Sigma principles into your business operations in a single blog post, but we’ll hopefully get you off to a running start. Consider this post your very own primer on how Six Sigma principles can help your product-centric company streamline your operations, chiefly through the elimination of unnecessary waste. 

Cut the Fat and Go Lean with Your Operations

First things first. Before you can fully eliminate waste from your operations, you need to take your cue from the experts at Six Sigma and define what sort of waste you’re dealing with. 

The seven main types of waste in typical ERP operations are as follows:

  • Defect Waste — This form of waste is comprised of process activities or outputs that do not conform to the customer’s requirements.
  • Waiting Waste — When you’re dealing with a work-in-progress waiting for something before taking the next action, it results in waste.
  • Not Utilizing Waste — Not utilizing knowledge, skills, and abilities of individuals on your team is one of the most unfortunate examples of waste. 
  • Motion Waste — If you’re adding movement without value, you are adding waste. 
  • Excess Processing Waste — This type of waste occurs when your business is performing more work than is required, or duplicating work. 
  • Overproduction Waste — Not truly understanding the demand for your product and overstocking as a result is another form of operational waste.
  • Transportation Waste — Avoiding transportation waste is a logistics game. Consider where your various resources are located and whether their paths can be streamlined.

Once you’ve defined the type of waste you’re dealing with, it’s on to the next steps. And that’s where it starts to get fun. 

Tune in to Learn from the Experts

Refining your processes to eliminate specific types of waste is a lot like solving an ever-changing puzzle. It’s a little bit art, a little bit science, and 100% in our wheelhouse.  

Much like the Six Sigma principles, SalesPad is also focused on facilitating lean operations by locating and eliminating waste within your processes. One of our main tools for helping businesses accomplish this is our flagship product — SalesPad Desktop. Implementing a lean, mean ERP machine, though, is not enough. You’ve got to dig into the product and learn the inside tips and tricks that will help you transform your operations.

If you’re using Microsoft Dynamics GP with SalesPad Desktop as your accounting and ERP solution, or if you’re interested in learning more about how this dynamic duo can help you go lean with your operations, you’re definitely going to want to check out our “Eliminating Waste Using These Six Sigma Principles for MS Dynamics GP Processes” webinar. Our resident product expert, Matt Greyerbiehl, will walk you through a few use case examples of how SalesPad Desktop can help you make the most of your operations through the power of Six Sigma principles and methodology.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn how to get the most out of SalesPad Desktop and MS Dynamics GP. Watch the recording of our webinar to learn more, and to be among the first to hear about our newest webinars, follow us on LinkedIn.

 

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