Operational Excellence

Operations Management

What is Lean in Operational Management?

The core idea of Lean is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste.

A lean company understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. To accomplish this, lean thinking changes the focus of management. The principles of lean are to first identify what your customer calls Value. Then we set up a Value Stream to create what the customer wants. In doing so we eliminate waste so that the customer can pull our product or service. We continually strive to achieve perfection through a collaborative respectful process with all of our staff.

Eliminating waste along entire value streams, instead of at isolated points, creates processes that need less effort, less space, less capital, and less time to make products and services at far less costs and with much fewer defects, compared with traditional business systems. Companies are able to respond to changing customer desires with high variety, high quality, low cost, and with very fast throughput times. Also, information management becomes much simpler and more accurate.

Does Lean apply to my business?

A popular misconception is that lean is suited only for manufacturing. Not true. Lean applies in every business and every process. It is not a tactic or a cost reduction program, but a way of thinking and acting for an entire company. Those who are about to embark on a Lean journey should think about three fundamental business issues that should guide the transformation of the entire company:

  • Purpose: What customer problems will Lean solve as part of the journey? What are the benefits that will allow the company to grow? Are we listening to our customer in terms of what they need and are prepared to pay for?
  • Process: How do we do what it is we do? Are we wasteful in our Value stream? Do we analyse the 8 common wastes to ensure we are giving our customers what they want?
  • People: How can the company insure that every important process has someone responsible for continually evaluating that value stream in terms of business purpose and lean process? Are we ensuring that all of our people are fully trained to carry out the work that the process needs to deliver the outcome? How can everyone touching the value stream be actively engaged in operating it correctly and continually improving it?


Lean Programmes: LEAP are approved service providers for the Enterprise Ireland Lean Business Offer, which includes the following programmes:

Lean Start

LeanStart provides an introduction to Lean concepts and allows you to gain an understanding of what the tools and techniques can do for your company in a short, focused engagement. Companies can apply for grant support towards the cost of hiring a Lean consultant/trainer to undertake a short in-company assignment.

Typically the cost of a Lean Start programme is €6,300 for 7 days. The Enterprise Ireland grant for this programme is €5,000. The duration of the programme would be up to three months.

Lean Plus

Companies looking to undertake a Lean project over a medium-term period can apply to Enterprise Ireland for a Business Process Improvement Grant to support the costs of the LeanPlus Assignment. A LeanPlus assignment is a medium-term business process improvement project which will result in sustained use of Lean techniques and related methodologies by the company, and will achieve significant measurable gains in capabilities and competitiveness.

Assignments may vary in size and scope but will typically be completed within six months and will not exceed a total project cost of €70,000. Typically Lean Plus projects are 20 to 30 days at a cost of €20,000 to €30,000 with up to 50{aa1e4c34c9c0f46e0a1f04e30c2eb1b9efaea7a47ed6ca6f324476e114da37f4} funding from Enterprise Ireland.These figures are approximate until a more accurate project scoping can take place.

Talk to us today to learn more about Lean Programmes for your business. Contact John Raftery senior partner, or Mike Gaffney MD
Tel: 091 755736
E: info@leapleadership.ie

People Excellence

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