If your clients, suppliers and staff are telling you that “your business is difficult to engage with” – you have a real problem.
Even more in the Digital Age, instant responses are the norm, and a sluggish or bureaucratic reaction will reduce the likelihood of customers returning to your business. Staff, also, hate papering up the cracks and you will find staff turnover is greatest where the operations do not hit the spot.
Processes, poorly thought through or having evolved over time, can be the barrier not the solution to improved visibility of the customer experience. In these circumstances, you might not even notice that the client has been relegated from being king to working in the kitchens.
Recognition and acceptance that this gloomy situation needs improving is the first step. The next requires the development of, what we call, a “lean mindset” across the business.
So what is a lean mindset?
A lean mindset is based on creating flowing processes that help the customer achieve their requirements, profitably.
Clients sometimes forget that last word - “profitably”, but your job is not to do everything the customer wants but only those things that help them admire you, pay you and want to come back.
Once you understand what the your customers want you need to surface what is happening at the moment. We use a basket of tools and techniques to do this and are, in particular looking for signs of non-productive tasks, wasted effort and moments of customer misery.
Lean thinking will the help you strip out those tasks and create moments that the customer value and want to pay for.
The outcomes of a lean mindset
Simply put, there are 5 key outcomes stemming from developing a lean mindset. These are:
Where we work with businesses to develop a lean mindset, we notice that the organisation becomes more confident, customer focused and innovative. This results in enduring and sustained change, far outweighing the immediate profit and morale benefits that also accrue.
If you are interested in finding out more about how your business can build a lean mindset then contact firstname.lastname@example.org
South West Growth Service also run an introduction to lean operations and a developing lean operations course. These courses are highly practical simulation based courses and designed to start your business on its journey to develop a lean mindset. To find out more go to https://www.dbec.co.uk/training
Chris Lorimer is an
experienced management consultant who has helped many owners, Directors and staff to achieve more.