The world thought that once it knew about six sigma it came to know about best model as far as operational efficiency is concerned. But the world stood up to take notice when the term “lean” was coined by John Krafcik in 1988 when he wrote the article “Triumph of the Lean Production System”. Like six sigma lean also talks about efficiency but lean creates a difference by working on elimination of waste. The lean business model was first associated with Toyota but has now been adopted by companies worldwide. There are experts for lean deployment strategy that are counted among the best professionals in the world.
The concept of the lean business model didn’t stop with John Krafcik. In 1990 a book titled “The Machine That Changed The World” was authored by James P. Womack, Daniel Roos and Daniel T. Jones that described the lean principles that are still in use today.
In this book about the lean deployment strategy the authors showed a step by step process on using the lean business model.
The value desired by the customer is first specified.
The value stream for each product for providing the desired value is identified and all the wasted steps are challenged and eliminated.
The product is then taken through a continuous flow through the value added steps that now remain.
All the steps are now introduced to ensure that they pull together to make continuous flow possible.
Gradually the process needs to move toward perfection so that the number of value added steps decreases and so does the time and information that is used for adding value to customers.
Lean is formed from six sigma (as already mentioned) but it works in a slightly different manner. For example, when someone takes a customer call in a call center the endeavor of the management is to ensure that the time taken per call is reduced so that the customer wait time is reduced. This requires lean deployment strategy where strategic decisions need to be taken. One of the ways to achieve this could be by offering online reference tools to the call center agents. It could also be done by first time resolution. There could be many other measures that could be taken depending upon the type of calls and the types of customers calling. This lean business model works well for call centers and has been a success.
The lean business model can work in any setup. Like six sigma it’s not limited to the manufacturing sector only. Since it is another way of process improvement it can be deployed anywhere. Of course, the requirement is of trained professionals that can work on the lean deployment strategy. Employees can be trained on lean by training institutes. The training can happen offsite, onsite and even online. Once there is a lean specialist available in an organization this person can train and certify others too. This is a great value proposition for any company and this is why there is considerable investment here.