Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lean Process Improvement

Today I dropped my car off at the dealership for the 60,000 mile check up. There isn't anything wrong with my car but I want to keep the maintenance up so it will last longer and run better. Normally I drop my car off early in the morning to make sure I get it back the same day and then use a loaner car during the day.

When I arrived today, it took almost 20 minutes to process getting my car in for the service. There was no line and there was no back load of cars, it was just that much paperwork and moving around. The service person had to start the car, get the mileage, check the car and then start the computer generated paperwork. The paperwork took most of the time. He stood in from of the computer and kept typing and typing and typing. There were multiple pieces of paper printed out, then he took the paper to another area to put a stamp on them. Finally I signed in the two areas and initialed the other five areas.

This dealership needs to study the Toyota way of Lean process improvement. To my thinking, this entire process should have been done standing by the car in less than five minutes. If the process was mapped out and the steps were drawn out, I am sure they would be surprised by the duplication of effort and the waste in the process.

I need to ask them if they can get the process to less than five minutes. When they says it's impossible, my next question will be "I know it's impossible, but if it were possible, what would the first step be?" The start to a more Lean process.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

One of my favorite seasons is Spring. New growth. Sunshine. It's a great time of year. Our family has gotten the boat out of storage so the tubing and wake boarding fun is very close. Our daughter is learning to play tennis which I love. Our son is starting baseball and I am able to help with the coaching. Everything considered - life is good.

Now I have to transfer this thinking to business and make sure I improve what we are doing from a sales and marketing perspective. Spring has sprung, so it's time to start growing.