Continuous improvement programs are great for manufacturing but how do they apply to service businesses? The usual answer to this question is that process excellence works across functional silos. It is horizontal, transversal and industry agnostic. Although true, this answer does not always address the concerns of the leaders in service businesses and financial institutions.
- No clearly defined processes
- Low morale affected all team members who felt not recognized despite their constant efforts
- Outdated tools and absence of metrics
Situation Analysis: The cash desk of a Fortune 50 company processed 1,000 cash transfers per day and approximately $170B per year to its customers and vendors. Improperly executed wire transfers resulted in problems for the company and its customers. One such misstep was significant enough to get the attention of senior management. A team was assigned to correct these issues, and upon review, the team found:
Project Approach and Findings: The team had limited time and resources available to do it right first time. The team decided to focus on several key elements: Continue reading Case Study in Financial Services – Cash Management, Treasury Function
Good times, bad times, you know we’ve had our share…. Anytime is a good time to reexamine the principle of “getting Lean” or improving processes by applying a set of tools that will deliver significant reductions in cost and lead time. Sigma techniques as championed by “blackbelts” is often the rallying cry.
But what about Quality (with or without a big Q)? Is quality or Total Quality now passé, having been supplanted by Lean and/or Six Sigma? Are all of these synonyms? Are they just dressed-up, consultant-speak ways of describing historic “best manufacturing practices?” Do they work together, or do they Continue reading Quality, Lean and Six Sigma: Often Misunderstood