Applying Lean and Six Sigma Principles to Drive Digital Transformation
Is "information chaos" in your core business process processes slowing your organization down? Making you less competitive? Frustrating your employees, suppliers, and customers?
Lean and Six Sigma Principles and Process Transformation
Many organizations use Lean and Six Sigma principles to drive process transformation.
"Lean” Principles include standardizing processes, eliminating waste, reducing variants in products and services, and delivering higher qualities, and I think these concepts are relevant to how we manage information.
This journey almost inevitably leads manufacturers to question all the “unstructured” information that clogs these processes.
Manufacturers must distribute, track, and archive countless documents, such as invoices, receipts, planning documents and engineering change order (ECOs) generated throughout the development and manufacturing process for every piece of equipment, part, and assembly. All of these must be integrated with multiple core manufacturing systems (e.g., MRP/ERP Software, Product Lifecycle Management Software, Supply Chain Management Software, Manufacturing Execution Systems, and Production Scheduling and Control Systems).
A lot of this work is currently done manually and with hybrid digital/paper systems, creating extra work, opportunities for errors, and process interruptions – and creating a major potential barrier on the journey to apply Lean principles to core business processes.
A high degree of manual and ad hoc processes are used to manage the unstructured information that surrounds key manufacturing processes. Making things even more complex is the fact that the macro business processes in Manufacturing are actually clusters of multiple document intensive processes, managing a wide variety of often incompatible document types in each process. Each process typically has its own information management needs and requirements, and often rests upon with a dedicated process platform (e.g., MRP/ERP Software, Product Lifecycle Management Software, Supply Chain Management Software, Manufacturing Execution Systems, and Production Scheduling and Control Systems).
Clearly there is room for improvement and many opportunities for automation and standardization in how unstructured information is managed in a manufacturing organization.
In order to more deeply understand the overlapping document and information requirements faced by a typical manufacturer, we need to look at six very specific processes typical of any manufacturing operation:
1) Product planning and design;
4) Sales and order processing;
5) Distribution and logistics; and
6) Customer service
Then, look at a key concern that encompasses all of them, Compliance.
For more on how to apply lean principles to your core processes, get your free copy of AIIM's ebook 7 Ways to Apply Lean Principles to Core Processes.
About John Mancini
John Mancini is the President of Content Results, LLC and the Past President of AIIM. He is a well-known author, speaker, and advisor on information management, digital transformation and intelligent automation. John is a frequent keynote speaker and author of more than 30 eBooks on a variety of topics. He can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77. Recent keynote topics include: The Stairway to Digital Transformation Navigating Disruptive Waters — 4 Things You Need to Know to Build Your Digital Transformation Strategy Getting Ahead of the Digital Transformation Curve Viewing Information Management Through a New Lens Digital Disruption: 6 Strategies to Avoid Being “Blockbustered” Specialties: Keynote speaker and writer on AI, RPA, intelligent Information Management, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation. Consensus-building with Boards to create strategic focus, action, and accountability. Extensive public speaking and public relations work Conversant and experienced in major technology issues and trends. Expert on inbound and content marketing, particularly in an association environment and on the Hubspot platform. John is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary, and holds an M.A. in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.