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IMIG project report about a Business Excellence Program on Administration Area at a Manufacturing Company in China

Lean Administration has become the model of future administration management as lean thinking becomes the global mainstream management philosophy. Create a client-oriented and defect-free process by eliminating waste in processes and finally build up the work environment that stimulates employee creativity and vitality. As the global business environment is accelerating, therefore it forces corporations and organizations to evaluate their concepts and technologies in response to business challenges from time to time. With Lean Administration implemented, corporations and organizations can adapt their highly differentiated business processes to enhance their core competencies by increasing the sensitivity, controllability and transparency of business processes.

What is Lean Administration?

Lean Administration is based on the principle of "flow" to improve the speed and accuracy of information exchange in the value stream. It is more complex to implement Lean in Lean Admiration than in manufacturing areas. The key is to visualize the information flow, identify wastes which can be eliminated from the current processes, and eventually move towards the targets in the end. 

Lean Administration is designed to change corporations and organizations by optimizing processes through TPS (Toyota Production System) concepts & principles and lean tools such as visual management, continuous flow and rapid development of employee in admin areas. Lean Administration can greatly improve business process efficiency, improve service quality, reduce costs, and improve response speed and customer satisfaction (including internal customers and external customers) 

To comprehensively improve the current situation of Administration area, we focus on the area of process optimization and the overall efficiency of the company, the improvement implementation projects include:

Introduction and implementation of process mapping

Processes can be understood on a high level by the method called “SIPOC” which helps us to define a business process as a collection of activities that has one or more inputs and generates one or more results that represent added value for the customer. Though the detailed analysis of SIPOC and then carefully map out the current processes, the value added ones are able to figure out easily. In the meantime, with the help of RACI chart which clearly shows the sequence of tasks/activities in processes with explicit responsibilities. These all let employees intuitively understand the wastes and unreasonable activities/process, define the key improvement potentials in processes, and finally lead to the optimized simple workflow.

Standardized work and continuous improvement

Standardized work is work in which the sequence of job elements has been efficiently organized, and is repeatedly followed by a team member. Even if the implementation of standard work is the basic principles of Lean, it gradually forms the standard rules of administration work, it is also the basis of continuous improvement and contributes a lot.

The benefits of the implementation are:

  • Maintain standard results & Predictability of results
  • Ensure effective and transparent working procedures
  • Display differences
  • Establish improvement benchmarks
  • Predictability of results
  • Increase processing capacity
  • Development of employee qualifications

Formula and automatic database implementation

Tease out the logistics back of different activities/tasks of the indirect areas, try to find out the relationship between them, eliminate the obstruction and make all the processes flow. IMIG have applied the formula and automatic database implementation to reduce the manual input/efforts, both workload and efficiency had been enhanced a lot, the results of most reports optimized are quite satisfied, and resulted in simple procedures and standard reports which enhances the efficiency, communication and effectiveness.

Introduction of KATA

Coaching Kata is a standard practice in all the Toyota plants. It is a brilliantly simple management system that enables an organization to achieve two equally important objectives:

  1. Master challenges that are currently beyond a person’s or a team's ability
  2. Developing managers, supervisors, and experts as coaches for creating a culture of continuous improvement, adaption, and innovation.

This is done through simple, easy-to-learn/use, time-efficient, daily routines. The introduction of KATA provides a deep dive into two fundamental behaviour patterns at the core of the Improvement Kata methodology: the 5-Question coaching dialogue & rapid improvement cycles. It is important for the management to run KATA which demonstrates the core routines of Improvement though cycled questions and compares to current way to working, which finally, and then the management is enabled to set challenges for the co-workers to achieve enterprise goals.

Lean Administration is a continuous improvement system that boosts work efficiency, shortens response time, and maintains a competitive advantage in operations. In addition, we often find that in the early stages of implementing lean practices, companies can take the lead in lean implementation in front-line admin processes, effectively leveraging the entire enterprise and achieving performance results such as employee morale and financial performance. 

In a word, the differences between lean administration and admin are huge. We estimate that the benefits of lean implementation in admin areas especially for business processes, such as response speed, effectiveness and financial performance, are much more than the ones without lean implementation. This is because Lean Administration is based on the value streams, which emphasizes the overall efficiency of end-to-end processes, not just the optimization of individual ones. This requires that the admin processes should be adjusted according to the value-added processes which we may say are the products of the customer's needs. 

The feedback from the clients are satisfying and even we have heard that the payback from the clients can be reached as two or three times of investment in the improvement of Administration area.

Edward Liu
Edward Liu
Managing Director I IMIG China

For further information please contact us either by mail: or by phone: +49 7152 928 460.

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