Many companies chasing Lean or Six Sigma are often looking for instant savings and a way to automate a process; but there is a deeper meaning to the methodology. The best use of this methodology is to reduce waste and eliminate non value added processes. That begs the question, how do you define value?
In my opinion there are really a few areas that speak to defining value that span across industries, some are more important than others but each should be considered.
What is Your Core Service?
Now I know that this sounds like a very simplistic question, but a quality product comes from knowing what you do and doing it well. That expertise creates value; if you don’t focus on your core you will not be able to consistently deliver value.
What Are Your Goals and How Do You Get to Them?
In business there are times when you find yourself in a very reactionary stance, kind of putting out fires as opposed to creating strategy. In waste elimination this becomes a big problem. You have to have a road map in order to create a process that eliminates as much waste as possible and creates access to the goals that you have set for your company.
When Do You Stop?
In Six Sigma the answer is never. You are always improving and monitoring the way the business is run; some businesses run from this theory because it’s too time intensive, it’s too much work or it’s just more than they want to do. The journey to create value for your customers means that you must commit to the idea that you will be vigilant in the quest for near perfection. You have to be on the lookout for ways to fine tune your core service to create the best value possible.