September 18, 2018

Lean Office

Of all the companies that implement lean manufacturing, there are surprisingly few companies that implement lean practices in their office.  For manufacturers, more than 50% of product lead time and wastes occur in the office instead of the production floor.

Do you have lean practices in your office?  Do you know where your slowest point is in the process?

Do you even have established processes?  If not, improvements will start and then flop – established processes define a strong base to build your business success.

Training Workshops

  • 5S Workplace Organization to Eliminate Waste & Frustration
  • Lean Office Overview – 4 hour session for Chambers of Commerce & other organizations
  • Lean Office – Implementation focus
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Microsoft Office, General Computer, other Software Training.  See Computer Services for more workshops in this area.

Consulting Services

  • Formal Assessment with Improvement Recommendations
  • Waste Identification & Recommended Solutions
  • Office Process Design & Implementation
  • Corporate Structure Optimization for Throughput
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Improvement Implementation
  • Computer Technology Integration

Potential Benefits of Lean Office

Lean Office helps you identify the sources of all those headaches and frustrations that are so difficult to fix.  You may eliminate a problem you’ve had for years with a simple process change, policy change, or innovative use of technology.

Excuses vs Real World Improvements

Most Lean Consultants and Lean Trainers do not work on lean office projects.  Lean office projects require a good understanding of corporate practices, information technology, and how people like to work.

Most companies I have worked with were not avoiding lean office – they just didn’t know how beneficial and satisfying an optimized process can be to work in.  With a single day assessment, you can find out if you have opportunities that can be solved by Lean practices.  Here are some of the statements I have heard before huge lean successes in office implementation:

  • Lean is for manufacturing production floors.  We’re professionals.
    • A non-manufacturing professional services company went from highly repetitive paperwork checks and poor communications to a group of highly focused project teams with less stress, less quality problems, and faster project completion times.  Offices are usually LESS organized than production floors and often less efficient.  Professionals can be trained too.  When they find how much more enjoyable their job can be by focusing on value-added work, they typically get excited about the new way of working.
  • We  don’t need 5S – we have computer systems to store our data.
    • One company had tons of data on their server but no good way to locate it.  We formalized how files were stored (directory structure) and also installed Google Desktop to rapidly search for local files.  Bottom line, employees removed the frustration of playing “find-a-file” every day.
  • Value Stream Mapping won’t work for us – our processes are too complex.
    • If you cannot formalize your processes, how do you know they are effective?  How do you know people are doing work that the customer values?  We worked with a small company with a complex process configuration.  We figured out that work was duplicated unnecessarily and one genius understood the entire process, but was not listened to.  Once the map was figured out, major changes took places in weeks – things that needed to be fixed for years.
  • We have Microsoft Excel or other software experts to manage our complex data.  This is the only way to get things done.
    • A mid-sized  company used some complex tracking to improve customer service.  Their expert spent about 4 days every week manipulating multiple Excel workbooks to get the right output for executive decision making.  We put the main office through a custom Microsoft Excel class focused on fixing problems and improving processes.  The expert’s work load was reduced from 4 days a week to 4 hours per week.  They became bored and left the company and another expert added the 4 hour work to their existing job.

Example Project Work

  • 5S Implementation in Offices of Manufacturers,
  • Value Stream Mapping in Large Corporations for Major Processes
  • Process Optimization in Real Estate Offices
  • Information Technology Process Improvements to Reduce Uncertainty and Improve Work Quality

Companies We’ve Worked With

  • Parks Brothers Farm – the largest greenhouse grower in Arkansas
  • Sun City Solar Energy – multi-state solar energy system franchise
  • Jim White Realty – mid-sized real estate office in west Arkansas
  • Alma Chamber of Commerce
  • Van Buren Chamber of Commerce
  • Sassy Jones BBQ
  • R&R Truck & Trailer
  • Bost Manufacturing
  • Strong Manufacturing
  • Mandy’s Custom Windows
  • Arkansas Green Industry Association
  • Cavanaugh Free Will Baptist Church
  • Rick’s Ribhouse
  • Sigma 3 Survival School
  • Sweetique Premium Chocolate Specialties
  • Webster University Fort Smith


  • $75 for half hour consultation (PayPal) by phone, email, or in person

These prices are estimates and can vary based upon the complexity of your project, your available information, and how much time you can assist in the process.  If in doubt, or just curious, send an e-mail or give us a call to see what’s possible.