Lean management embraces a collection of approaches that can help an organization to detect and eradicate elements that are not useful. For startups and established businesses, eliminating waste and unnecessary complexities helps in reducing the cost and time of production ( Blank 5-6). This paper discusses the application of the lean management principle in The Kuwaiti Service Company (KSC).
KSC has a number of fast-food restaurants around the city. Since the establishment of the company, there has been an increase in the number of customers. The restaurants offer pizzas, hamburgers, doughnuts, French fries, and different types of juices, such as a bowl, smoothies, green smoothies, and detox diet. The company is operating in a market dominated by a number of organizations, such as KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks, Domino’s Pizza, and Dunkin’s Donuts.
Due to increased size, the activities of the firm have become disorganized and chaotic. The company has no secure area for keeping records. In addition, there is an overlap of duties, especially among lower-level employees. The issue has become expensive to the company and stressful for the staff. The company’s activities did not start this way, but the changes have been taking place slowly. Some of the problems being faced by the company are attributed to employee turnover. Long-serving employees who leave the organization usually leave the company at crossroads, as filling their skill level usually takes along time. These problems are interfering with the output of quality services and products.
Lean management principle
All the above-mentioned problems facing the company can be resolved using the lean management principle (Staats and Upton 3-4). This management principle has the aim of ensuring that the customers get more value from the limited resources through utilizing the workflow. The management of the Kuwaiti Services Company should adopt the lean management principle. Adoption of this principle by the company will ensure the following:
- Organized activities within the company, especially in the restaurants,
- Delivery of delightful services and quality foodstuff to the customers,
- The company will save more cash,
- The smooth flow of work and delivery of the required services. Certainly, this will help the company meet its goal, which is making profits.
The following are some of the lean management principles that can help improve the activities of the company:
Focus on customers
This part is concerned with determining the customers and specifying values. All customers are concerned with value ( Bloom, Sadun, and Reenen 5-7). Only a small portion of the company’s activities adds value. Value can be seen from the customers’ perspective only when the products and services are of good quality compared to the cost of products ( Upton and Staats 4). The restaurants should ensure that the food being sold is unique compared to those of competitors, and the services are above the normal limit. The customers within the restaurants are after good quality food and juices, fairly charged products, and better services, i.e. services should be fast. If activities that add value are clearly determined, it will be easier to spot the non-value activities.
Figuring out ways of getting the work done
As earlier mentioned, the company is experiencing elements of disorganization, duplication of duties, and inconsistency in the procedures. These activities will hinder the proper execution of the duties and production of quality food and juice in the restaurants (Upton and Staats 1-4). However, figuring out ways of making things done will ensure there will be an organization within the company. Organizations within the company will bring consistency and division of labor.
Remove inefficiency and waste
Inefficiencies and waste can be removed through the creation of a workflow. Since not all services and activities add value to the company, it is important to evaluate all the activities one by one in order to determine the activities that do not add value to the company. Examples of non-value activities are wasted time, wasted movement, and wasted inventory due to overproduction, and customer delays ( Upton and Staats 10-12). Other non-value activities are delayed approvals and increased bureaucracies. The management of Kuwaiti should spot and eliminate these wasteful activities. Elimination will ensure smooth operations in the activities of the company, where the customers will get better products and services without delay, interruption, or detour.
Follow up numbers through managing them with evidence
The management needs to carry out an analysis of the activities of the company. The company can achieve this through visiting the restaurants and observing how the products are being prepared together with service delivery ( Bloom, Sadun and Reenen 3-4). The analysis should look at the following areas:
- Testing preparation of food and service delivery to the customers.
- Data collection on the test carried out on both food production and service delivery.
- Spotting any error in the company’s activities.
- Ensuring improvement in value.
It is difficult to correct error or wasteful activity that is not known. This stage will help track errors in the product and service delivery.
Empowering the employee
The best person to improve the company’s process is a person who carries out the process ( Blank 7 ). This principle is concerned with utilizing the skills of the employees. It is the employees who understand the customers well than the management since there is constant interaction between the employees and customers. Since the employees understand the needs of customers, it is easier for them to come up with processes that will respond to the needs of the customers. The undertaking will ensure customers get only what they want and at the appropriate time.
Developing a systematic way
The restaurants are after perfection in serving customers. Operations are normally smooth and perfect when companies are formed, but things start changing along the way (Staats and Upton 5). Given that changes will take place, and a lot of changes will be required, the company will be able to achieve its goals by replicating the process improvements. Linking all the lean management principles together will ensure the company a significant gain in its process and product delivery (Staats and Upton 7). Pursue of perfection in serving the customers will make the company achieve its aim of offering valuable services and products.
Making profits is the main goal of every company. A company that is not making profit automatically means it is making a loss. Kuwaiti Service Company can achieve this goal by having a large number of returning customers. The market where the company is operating in is filled with many aggressive competitors who compete for the same customers with KSC. The management of the company should sit down and adopt the lean management principle. Since the company is facing some issue in its operations, such as disorganization, high turnover, and duplication of work, all these can be eliminated through incorporation of the principle. Elimination of these issues will ensure the customers receive valuable services and quality products, which make stay with the company.
Blank, Steve. Why the Lean Start Up Changes Everything. New York, NY: Harvard Business Review, 2013. Print.
Bloom, Nicholas , Raffaella Sadun and John Reenen. Does Management Really Work? Washngton, DC: Harvard Business Review, 2012. Print.
Upton, David and Bradley Staats. Lean Principles, Learning, and Software Production: Evidence from Indian Software Services. New York, NY: Harvard Press, 2009. Print.
Staats , Bradley and David Upton. Lean Knowledge Work. New York, NY: Harvard Business Review, 2011. Print.