Customer Service

Excellent Results from the Latest Lean Programme

Only for Manufacturing?

You may have thought that Lean process improvement was only relevant to manufacturing staff?  It has certainly been our pleasure to train and mentor this group who completed the 2017 Spring training programme last week.  Read about the excellent results they have achieved.

A Diverse Group

Let me introduce this group and briefly describe their results to date.


  • First of all, Louise works in Finance.  She managed to uncover potential savings of almost €40k per year.  Secondly, Rosie works in Finance and applied Lean thinking to reduce reporting time for all sites from 3 days to 1 day.  In addition, she eliminated significant system errors whilst doing so.
  • Next, Lorraine also works in Finance and tackled the customer returns process. In 3 months, an additional 20% of returns costs have been reclaimed.  Lorraine increased the number of processed claims by 20%.  Moreover, the number of outstanding returns is at a third of what it was at the start of the year.  One of her main aims is to reduce the overall process lead-time by 50%.

Finance for Lean

Customer Service

  • Thirdly, Amanda works in Customer Service.  This employee used Lean to reduce UK backorders from 17% to 0.6% and fulfil 99.4% of all orders within 24 hours.  Next, Denise works as PA to the General Manager.  On completion of this course, she applied Lean thinking to reverse a downward trend in sales with Irish customers.


  • Our next participant, Kevin was our Manufacturing representative.  He applied 5sKanbanSMED and Asset Care to improve the efficiency of his production area.  Thomas works in Supply Chain in the company.  He applied Lean thinking with his team to achieve lead-time reductions from his Far East Supply base. His pilot programme with a key supplier has already yielded an 8-day improvement.
  • Christine works in Product Registration. Her project was to reduce the lead time of processing a new application request from the commercial team. Products requiring an updated GAP took 55 days.  This is now estimated to take 15 days in future.  Nigel works in Estimation.  His project was to increase output by 44% and has reduced backlog by 46% to date.  Finally, Andy prepares the orders for printing.  He has reduced orders in his area by 38%.  As a result of Lean thinking, he has increased the value-add time of his process from 40% to over 50% – a 25% increase in capacity.

Group of Lean programme participants

We are very proud of the improvements that this group have achieved in 3 months. The programme carries certification and their work will be submitted for a QQI award.

You may be interested in applying Lean thinking to your business and putting these ideas into practice?

The Lean Business programme is running at various locations in Ireland.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the excellent results from our latest Lean Programme.  You may also be interested in reading about our insights on Dublin LEOs supporting Lean Business and Reaping the Benefits of Value Stream Mapping.  All our blogs are available to read here.  Please connect with us on Linkedin and Twitter.