Optimising financial processes

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“Chase the Waste”? Or Create Customer Value?

When it comes to process improvement and even transformation, we tend to focus on eliminating inefficiencies and “chasing the waste” out of our business processes.

If you are an aficionado of LEAN thinking, you will be familiar with the concept of the types of inefficiency, “The Eight Wastes”, summarized below;  

  • “Defectivity”
  • Overproduction
  • Waiting
  • Excess Movement/Transportation
  • Excess Inventory
  • Excess Motion
  • Over-processing
  • Unused/Underused Talent

But there are also some “naysayers” who question what LEAN really stands for.

The balanced article below addresses this. It is worth a read.

We all know that a sole focus on cost reduction can result in unintended consequences. A discrete activity may reduce effort and expense in the short term but generate costly unintended consequences up and downstream.

While cost is important, it is not the only game in town.

There is a growing realization from business leaders that we cannot cost reduce our way to success, we need to drive enhanced value.

Where is that value ultimately evaluated? In the eyes of the customer.

Customer value is the ultimate business performance measure and we need to focus on new ways of imagining customer facing processes and everything upstream that serves them. 

Creating genuine, additional customer value is the highest goal of any process change.

Ron Jacques and Rick Bohan give us a challenge to change our focus from “Eight Wastes” to “Eight Barriers to Customer Value” in their article “Can We Rename the ‘8 Wastes’ Already?“, which you can read here . . .

This is well worth 5 minutes of your time if you are tasked with, or focused on, performance improvement, technology implementation, process change or transformation.