A freight brokerage built through acquisition has numerous non-standard manual processes that complicated the already complex highly transactional business. The growth of the business volume and transition to a new IT system was the catalyst for the organization to focus on streamlining their business processes. Due to the cross functional nature of the business, we leveraged a Kaizen Event to identify process improvements throughout the entire Brokerage process from order through invoice.
- Prior to the Kaizen event we developed a Value Stream map across the entire process and SIPOC (supplier-input-process-customer) for each function.
- We started the Kaizen event with a Lean education session.
- In the Kaizen event mapped the current state in detail. We used different color post it notes by function, so we could visually see how the functions interacted through the processes.
- The team identified 65 different non-value-added steps that should be removed or improved. For each step, we brainstormed improvement opportunities.
- The team prioritized the opportunities into 15 projects for immediate action (6 quick wins, 4 high impact, 5 medium / low impact projects) and another 17 projects to be included in the roadmap. The roadmap projects required more in-depth technology investment.
- Post Kaizen, we supported the implementation of the 15 immediate actions.
- The team identified and implemented 15 projects that streamlined daily activities. The results led to increased capacity of the operations team, reduced strain and less after-hours work.
- The organization built an internal continuous improvement team and is now using this are part of their value proposition to clients
Learn more about Lean Process Improvement in Service Businesses