“Can’t find people.” “We schedule 10 interviews. Only 2 show up and then never respond after the interview.” “We could sell more if we could just fill open positions.” These are a few of the ways I hear clients talk about the labor crisis. I have heard this feedback from the East Coast to the west Coast and it is impacting the ability to improve and grow business nationwide. Are you experiencing some of the same challenges? If so, consider exploring a practical approach to applying Lean Principles in your business.
Lean Enterprise Strategy can be an extremely effective platform to identify and create the path to improvement and ultimately additional capacity. Additional capacity reduces the demand for new hires to get the same amount of work and more revenue out the door. If the function has a series of steps in the process of doing the job, Lean Principles can apply. As an example, SPL Consulting, LLC. has generated over 80,000 hours of additional capacity or approximately 40 full time positions for clients utilizing these principles.
The Kaizen process is priceless in providing a methodology to understand and define your current process. Its core success comes from the involvement of team members from process experts, to those from completely unrelated areas of the business. One of the intangible outcomes from this process is helping to further team development across the organization. Invariably, Kaizen participants say they never understood how it worked or the complexity of the process.
I have applied these tools in virtually every business function to create efficiencies and ultimately capacity. Accounting, shipping, order processing, quality, manufacturing and sales processes to name a few.
SPL helped a new client in 2021 create over 8,000 hours of capacity, or 4 full time positions, in the last 4 months. Their changeover times have gone down 19% in three months with another 25% reduction on the horizon, utilization is up 7%, they’ve achieved record sales and record income as a result.
In a previous article I shared the 8 Wastes and the Waste Walk as a tool to allow you to “see” waste within your existing processes. I encourage you to explore this tool to help you and your leadership team uncover the opportunities that can help you win the labor shortage battle!