Operational Improvement Through Application Of Lean Principles in Office Support Processes

Client:  A custom building materials component manufacturer

The client had long lead times to process orders on custom designed building systems and prepare quotations. Process documentation was limited and new employees had difficulty processing new orders correctly within targeted lead times.

DAI worked with individuals and groups to identify the specific processes, procedures, and policies contributing to the underperformance of the organization. Issues were identified in: Standard Price Book release procedure (sales and finance process), Special Pricing process (sales and finance process), Order Entry, Manual Order Entry, Manual processing (engineering design function) estimation and custom design, and engineering project selection and control.

DAI focused the client team on developing clear understanding of customer needs of the process. The team was trained in the application of appropriate lean tools to analyze and improve all aspects of the process. Both a standard price book release process and a special pricing process were developed, along with procedures and management reviews to add or remove standard pricing features as required. Standard pricing content was updated, pricing strategies developed, and contingencies for custom requests created. A cadence for ongoing review and incorporation of popular special options was implemented. Processes were defined and streamlined, lead times were reduced and first time quality improved, along with significant reduction in rework. Wide ranges of quotations on similar product combinations were eliminated. Team alignment was much improved. In essence time and costs were reduced, morale was improved, and customer satisfaction was increased.