Anyone who has dealing with Japanese people would have come across the term Hansei. The literal meaning of the term is self-reflection but this term has a far greater connotation. It denotes a pledge to improve oneself after acknowledging ones mistake and reflecting upon it. This term is far more powerful than the English term ‘sorry’ which is what some people erroneously believe it to mean.
Hansei is a very important part of the Japanese style of management and it has undeniably helped large manufacturing companies achieve success. It can be used in various industries because it is a very powerful tool. It helps companies in the following ways:
– The emphasis of this tool is to find out exactly what went wrong so that accountability can be fixed. However, it is necessary for more than just blaming someone. Its purpose is to come up with a set of plans that ensure that the problem does not occur again.
– Even if the problem has been caused due to external factors, the process of Hansei will try to understand whether any internal factors could have contributed to it. Further, internal factors should have been altered in order to accommodate external changes.
– The objective is to ensure that the process of identifying mistakes is done in a consistent manner. This helps keep quality at a consistently high level.
– This tool is used to find various opportunities for improvement. There is such great emphasis on looking for improvement that the absence of problems is not something to be celebrated because it actually indicates that the particular department has not exerted itself to exceed targets. In addition, employees are encouraged to regard success in a modest manner so that they realize that improvement is possible.
– Teams within the organization engage in acknowledging mistakes and accepting responsibility as a group. This is a very open exercise and is conducted without any secrecy. Since this exercise is done in a positive manner, people are very forthcoming with their suggestions for improvement.
Focusing on the negatives of any work process actually is a positive activity when it is done in the correct manner. Many companies use the process of Hansei at the end of every project even if nothing has ostensibly gone wrong. This enables them to maintain consistently high standards of performance, resulting in increased profitability and customer satisfaction.
Bottom Line: Hansei is completely different from the Western style of saying sorry. Find out how it can be used to improve a company’s performance.
There are many reasons why hospitals and healthcare facilities all over the world have begun to implement Lean management principles. Lean healthcare is the latest buzzword in the medical industry and it has been adopted wholeheartedly by hospitals and clinics. Some of its benefits include:
– Reducing wastage of resources such as time and materials: Improved systems in the hospital ensure that only necessary tests are ordered, doctors do not have to spend a lot of time walking around the wards, patients do not have to wait for extended periods before they get treatment or even fill out lots of forms. These are just some of the examples of how the right systems can ensure that resources are spent in the correct manner. In most cases, the savings are dramatic since many processes tend to be inordinately wasteful
– Better patient care: Patients in a Lean healthcare facility have to ensure fewer tests and they are also able to get treatment done without waiting around the medical facility. Also, the improved systems ensure that they get better treatment at a reduced cost. Medical errors are also reduced by a large extent since systems are smoother and duplicate processes are eliminated. Needless to say, patients prefer to come back to this hospital whenever they need medical care.
– Improved employee satisfaction: Physicians, technicians and nurses are generally very pleased to be working at a Lean healthcare facility. They are able to provide high quality healthcare to their patients and this gives them immense satisfaction. At the same time, they are able to achieve this without undergoing a great deal of pressure on their personal or professional fronts.
– Increased profitability: A hospital that makes a lot of profits is able to plough a great deal of money into its infrastructure. This ensures that it is able to invest in the latest equipment and also in employee training. The Lean management process also identifies various processes that are extremely good for business.
It is clear to see that the objective of a Lean hospital is to provide high quality care to as many patients as possible with the least amount of cost and minimum wastage. Therefore, it is no surprise that hospitals, both large and small, are making the transition to this style of management. In fact, the process of changing to Lean management can involve a lot of upheaval in the organization, however the results are always worth it.
Bottom Line: Read about the various benefits that accrue from a Lean healthcare facility. Hospitals all over the world are going Lean because this is clearly the best way to manage them.
A place to store goods is what people’s general perception about warehouses is. If you are someone from the warehousing industry though, you will know that wish things were that simple. The processes involved in the warehouse storage industry are much more complex. For one maintaining an inventory of the various goods that are placed in a warehouse, could be a mind-boggling task. Then to keep track of the logistics is another headache. All this could be simplified, thanks to the advent of lean warehousing concept.
Winds of change have been blowing across the warehousing sector in recent times. A warehousing manager can now keep tab on literally each and every thing that is happening in the warehouse, thanks to lean warehousing concepts. The very concept of lean holds that you need to eliminate processes that encourage wastage. In management terms “just in time stocking” is the name of the game today among warehousing managers. They are able to eliminate wastage using this method.
While using lean methods may help a warehousing manager to help reduce storage area, there are some other points involved. For one, the entire workforce needs to understand the concepts well. There should be total coordinated efforts. If not for teamwork, the entire concept may just go down the drain. It therefore pays to invest in a good lean training program for the team members. You can always enroll the team members in an online lean warehousing training program. Alternatively if you are hiring the services of a lean consulting firm, then you can always ask them to train your people.
Unlike the case till now, the lean method requires the elimination of unnecessary processes. A lean consultant will do a thorough study of your warehousing methods and come out with suggestions. They will for instance offer you suggestions on what is to be done next when a product comes into your warehouse. The method using which it has to be sorted for example is important. Similarly the consultant will also tell you about which are the racks that are to be used for different products and so on and so forth. Once all these things are systemized, then there is no need to waste time looking for a particular product when the need arises. This results in reduction of wastage to a great extent.
Lean warehousing is closely connected to how you organize your logistics. The concept will ensure that you are able to move goods faster without unnecessary wastage of time. The products need to be organized in such a manner that they are easy to find and ship. Everything, right from the placing of different crates in the warehouse to where you position your shipping department, will be taken care off once you implement lean methodologies.
Warehousing is considered among the fastest growing fields in the world. With increasing globalization there has been a massive increase in warehousing facilities. Aiding their smooth functioning have been lean methods in various parts of the world.