An ongoing issue many business owners have, no matter how successful they are, is how to maximize profit. Some rely on advertising, but it’s not unusual for big money to be sunk into marketing campaigns without getting much traction in return.
Some operators start cutting costs, but they’re not strategic. Employee hours, quality of the hardware, marketing expenses are fair game. Some even take on more work themselves to save on labor costs. There’s a better, more strategic way to reduce costs and unlock profit — Lean principles.
Lean Principles are Widely Used
Lean was first developed and implemented by the Toyota corporation in the 1950s and 1960s. Manufacturing process improvements were implemented to reduce quality issues and time-wasting procedures. Gains produced by Lean included consistent and predictable quality, lower labor costs, faster and more efficient production systems. Since then, Lean has become a widely accepted principle used by businesses of all kinds.
This article examines basic principles of Lean, how they apply to ISPs and the steps you can take to implement Lean processes into your processes.
Pillars of Lean
The guiding principles or Pillars of Lean are “Continuous Improvement” and “Respect for People.”
Pillar 1: Continuous improvement identifies opportunities to streamline workflow, and reduce waste while adding value to the operation. This pillar adds value by increasing operational efficiencies.
The basic steps of continuous improvement are:
- Identify operational waste
- Plan for better efficiency
- Execute efficiency improvements
- Review the results
Each one of these steps is crucial to the cycle, from identifying issues, such as long customer service calls or making multiple trips to activate a new subscriber, then developing a plan to improve the issue, executing it and measuring the results.
The beauty of the Lean principle is that it’s a continuous improvement process shared and performed by your entire team. Lean principles can apply to every part of the business, each department, process and person benefits. Every team member can identify areas for improvement: is it an inaccurate inventory system that impacts efficient installs or something else? When your entire company commits to the process of Lean, you’ll remove waste, increase quality, improve results and realize more profits.
Pillar 2: Respect for people occurs at each step of the process – increased efficiency and improved quality reduce cost and drive sales respectively. Lean demonstrates a high level of employee respect by empowering them to make decisions regarding work environment, process and quality. The employee feels a sense of connection, contribution, and purpose to their job and in return, they perform at a much higher level.
Lean leaders provide clear-cut direction that keeps their staff focused on delivering customer value.
Imagine how much better your outcomes would be with streamlined processes, every task is done by staff who adds value to your customer. With an employee-driven continuous improvement culture based on Lean principles, your processes and profit continue to maximize day after day, year after year.
Create a Lean Culture
Implementing Lean principles does not require a large outlay of cash. It costs nothing to start and the benefits to your organization are instant. Once you know what to look for and how to fix it, you and your team will find opportunities to apply Lean principles everywhere. It takes persistence to establish a process of continuous improvement that reduces waste and maintains respectful relationships between subscribers and your staff, but it’s worth it.
Want to produce greater value for your subscribers? Focus your staff on the two Lean Pillars to maximize your operation and protect your profits. Reinforce your commitment to Lean principles by working with vendors that embrace the two pillars, too. At Visp.net, we embrace the Lean Pillars because our customers’ success matters. Let us know how we can support your ISP.