Successful companies are always looking for new strategies to improve their business and generate more growth. However, introducing a new strategy to an established business structure does not always improve the quality of the business. It is much more valuable to apply a strategy which can tackle the issues within a company, therefore generating a longer-lasting and more productive resolution.
LEAN THIKING is a tried and tested approach which enhances the competitiveness of your offerings by removing unnecessary processes that do not add any value to your customers. It aims to maximise value for the customer, whilst also minimising waste for the company, therefore creating a streamlined and effective structure for business.
Thousands of well-established companies, such as Toyota, Ford and Nike have already seen the advantages of using LEAN within their business and is now being applied in companies of all sizes and in all sectors. Here are five ways that LEAN could help to optimise your business.
1. It reduces costs whilst increasing value
Lean Enterprise Research Centre research has shown that 60% of companies’ have processes in place which do not add significant value to the business. This means that a huge amount are wasting their money and resources on flawed activities without even realising it.
LEAN THINKING works by pinpointing exactly what processes add value to the business and which can be removed without causing damage. Cutting out these ‘waste’ activities from the business allows companies to reduce their costs and also increase value by focusing their resources on areas that are more productive and worthwhile.
2. It gives you an advantage over your competitors
No matter which industry your business is in, it’s important to stay ahead of your competitors. Consumers are always looking for the best quality and the lowest prices, which is sometimes very difficult for businesses to keep up with.
LEAN thinking provides businesses with the means to produce top quality products/services for their consumers, without having to drastically increase their prices. Incorporating LEAN not only helps businesses to cut down on unnecessary costs, but it also strengthens the productivity of the company so that the quality of the product/service is maximised. This allows LEAN businesses to have a distinct edge over their non-lean competitors.
3. It improves your company’s reputation
A good company reputation not only attracts new customers, but it also ensures that existing customers remain loyal. Consumers like to know that they can trust the organisation they are buying from, and even do extensive research to find out whether both the product/service they are purchasing or the company they are buying from are reliable.
When a company has LEAN in place, it adds a certain level of reassurance for the consumer. LEAN aims to provide the right quality for its customers, who are therefore more likely to trust the company and perceive their purchases as good value. Once a company becomes known for providing good quality products/services, their excellent reputation will help the business to build and grow even further.
4. It raises employee morale
An efficient, well-run company with smooth, flowing processes is a much more enjoyable environment for employees to work in. Not only do they get more job satisfaction from being a part of its success, but a good company will also put more emphasis on empowerment and personal development for the workers too.
The LEAN concept believes in encouraging employees to get as much as they can from their career by training managers to be more like coaches or leaders rather than a ‘boss’. This not only helps employees to learn and progress more in their job, but it also creates a much better working environment for them. Looking after your employees, raising their morale and engagement will not only boost productivity levels significantly, and if you are known for being a good company to work for, you will attract staff with high skill sets.
5. It is more environmentally friendly
Many people are sceptical about making their company more environmentally friendly. It is often associated with being inconvenient, time-consuming and costly, which is both unattractive and impractical to many businesses.
LEAN, however, embraces an environmental approach but in a way that also benefits the business. The LEAN concept is to achieve more, but with as little resources as possible. This is done by cutting out all of the waste which has little or no value to the business so that the quality of production stays the same, often with the knock on effect of becoming more environmentally friendly. As well as being more efficient and cost-effective, promoting yourself as an environmentally friendly business is also a great way of giving yourselves that edge over your competitors.