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Sample Projects – Lean Office

Problem:         The sales engineering department of a customized products manufacturer was having difficulty producing quotes for customers in a timely manner.  Promised submittal dates were met only 20% of the time, and accuracy of cost estimates was poor.

Solution:         A cross-functional project team was commissioned to study the problem and implement solutions.  The team determined that lack of product definition/standardization was the leading cause and, among other solutions, developed a plan to create Product Standards Books for four major product families. 

Results:          This team project contributed significantly to raising on-time submittals of quotations to over 80% (up from 20%), raising throughput in the quoting process, increasing throughput in the design engineering process, significantly improving accuracy of quotes, and improving on-time delivery of the manufactured product to the customer.      



Problem:         A manufacturer of critical products for the aerospace industry was missing promise dates to customers for shipment of “in stock” products.  On-time delivery was less than 25%, and lead times averaged 2 weeks.

Solution:         A project team consisting of representatives from all departments involved with these orders was created to improve the process.  A large number of time delays were uncovered in the office, in final inspection, and in packaging.  Solutions were implemented to eliminate errors and speed up the work flow for shipping “in stock” orders.

Results:          Within 30 days lead times dropped from 2 weeks to 2 days and on-time delivery to customers improved to over 95%.



Problem:         A provider of services to the printing industry was experiencing quality problems in its order entry process.  Internal order documentation was often incomplete or erroneous, resulting in delays and additional costs.

Solution:         A project team analyzed the order entry process and found a large number of root causes for incompleteness and errors. The team implemented an action plan that addressed root causes not only in the order entry process, but also in the preceding quotation process.

Results:          Errors in internal order documentation were reduced by 75% within 6 months, and questions caused by incompleteness declined substantially.