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One might argue that the biggest benefit accrues to large companies, due to their size and scale (imagine a one-cent saving on 1,000,000 widgets… $10,000).  But small and medium size companies can easily apply things like Lean to start.  A simple 5S exercise, Sort, Set-in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain, is a great way to go.  Simple to start, everyone can get on board.  Think of it as a “place for everything and everything in its place” sort of discipline.  You can then move on to more advanced concepts like identifying some of the 8 Wastes and knocking them out of the way.  For example, waiting.   Just walk around your shop or just look at your e-mail inbox at all those e-mails waiting for your action.  The key is devising a plan to reduce the waiting (batching) of e-mail: Zero e-mails in my inbox at the end of each day.  Imagine that, an empty e-mail cue at the end of each day?  That’s productivity.

Ernie Arboles

Ernie Arboles is President of JASEC Consulting, a highly specialized boutique focused on finding increased profit in your business through customer-centered process improvement, rapid cost-reduction events, hyper-focused process improvement interventions. He has over two decades of experience around business process, finance, strategy, and change management.