Lean in the Back Office … Why is it so difficult?

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Implementing a Lean program on the Manufacturing floor, in a Warehouse operation, or in a Distribution Centre is challenging enough.  There are a series of process steps in which materials are transformed or moved in some fashion.

And your Lean program has at its core the objective of making these operations as efficient as possible. But when you try to apply these same Lean principles to the support organizations, or the back office, you are likely to experience a wide range of reactions.

So why is it so difficult to implement, and sustain, a Lean program in the Back Office of your organization? Continue reading “Lean in the Back Office … Why is it so difficult?”

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Change Leadership (Part 7) – Project Prioritization Simplified!

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We had the “Call To Action” from the CEO.  The business needed to be transformed to support growth.  And the business needed to be financially stronger and much more productive.

With the mandate established we had named the change initiative that we were about to launch.  We had enlisted leaders from every functional organization.  And we had began to roll out our communication strategy.

This project involved every employee, every function, and every process in the company.  We needed a simple way to prioritize all of the projects that we were about to undertake. Continue reading “Change Leadership (Part 7) – Project Prioritization Simplified!”

Procurement (Part 1) – The Spend Aggregation Obstacle Course!

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The theory is simple!  If you can increase spend levels through centralized spend aggregation across entities then you increase your leverage in negotiations.  This leverage should translate to lower costs and better terms and conditions.

These entities may be different departments or facilities within your own company.  They may be different companies under common ownership.  They may be disparate companies within an industry.  Or they may be unrelated companies spanning many industries.

The benefits seem clear.  So why is there so much resistance when it comes to trying to aggregate spend across these entities?

Continue reading “Procurement (Part 1) – The Spend Aggregation Obstacle Course!”