Client Stories

From Production, Operations and Quality to wider business areas such as HR,
Finance and Customer Service, our consulting and training process improvement
solutions are tailored to fit the individual needs of each organization.

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Process: Operations
Sector: Food and Drink
Requirement: Redesign the client’s operations model to stem short and medium-term operating losses.
Solution: Performed a full evaluation on the business to determine what was driving value, cost and complexity. Several workshops were initiated with staff and a business model canvas was designed to drive the business. A diagnostic was then used to identify business improvement opportunities.
Outcome:

The project resulted in annualized savings of €10m with savings concentrated on yield optimization; quality improvements; OEE improvement; plant optimization and outsourcing of non-core activities to third parties.

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Process: Customer Service
Sector: Utilities
Requirement: Deploy a Lean accredited training program across the business to support continuous improvement activities.
Solution: Six in-house Green Belt cohorts have been delivered in Dubai spanning four years. Over 75+ students have been trained to Green Belt level receiving accreditation from the University of Ontario.
Outcome:

Green Belt improvement project benefits included:

  • Reduction in lead times for processing refunds from 19 days to 3 days
  • Reduction in turn-around time for processing No Due Clearance for employees leaving the organization from 43 days to 10 days
  • Reduction in reporting error rate from 15% to 1.2%
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Process: Design
Sector: Construction
Requirement: Deliver consistent and standardised design processes resulting in increased productivity.
Solution: 6S was established in the Cork facility, resulting in a clear transition in terms of clutter reduction and professional appearance. It was subsequently rolled out to the London and Dublin offices. Current and future state process mapping was used to identify the key design process steps and highlight improvements.
Outcome:

There were 57 separate tasks for electrical, modelling and mechanical designers spread over 8 different phases. The key design processes were identified and documented, delivering consistent and standardized workflows. The client is working towards a 10% increase in productivity as a result.

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Process: Care Delivery
Sector: Pharmaceuticals
Requirement: Build and test a Hepatitis C Virus care delivery quality improvement framework to increase patient throughput.
Solution: Several Lean tools were utilized to develop the toolkit including a prioritization matrix for improvement projects; value stream mapping and failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA). The care delivery improvement resource toolkit was piloted across two hospitals in Ireland.
Outcome:

Hepatitis C patient throughput increased from 14 to 28 per day. The pilots also increased new patient intake capacity by 55%, from an average of 4.5 per month, to 10 per month.

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Process: Customer Service
Sector: Health Insurer
Requirement: Re-engineer the company re-imbursement processes that is customer centric and easy to use.
Solution: We analyzed the administration processes and identified the essential information required from customers to process their request and reimburse them. After a series of value stream mapping events, a modified system specification was implemented, making it easier for customers to supply the correct information, in the correct format.
Outcome:

The project improved turnaround time by approximately 50%, and reduced rework in the administration area by 30%. It also highlighted similarities between some customers (60% in terms of volume), revealing areas that could be automated and subsequently removed from the manual process.

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Process: Operations
Sector: Dairy Processor
Requirement: Implement a Lean Transformation framework for the business with culture change at its centre.
Solution: We developed and supported the implementation of a continuous improvement framework and governance structure. Staff capability and succession planning was improved by delivering an integrated training program to over 400 staff in Lean and core soft skills such as change and project management. We facilitated six major Lean enterprise projects. Value stream maps were completed for all core processes and these were used to identify and select improvement opportunities.
Outcome:

Over €1m was saved in the first year on powder, cheese and cheddar projects. The organization also achieved improved capability and succession planning, as well as enhancing communication, change management and leadership in its facilities. The company continues to be a benchmark for Lean transformation in the food sector.

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Process: Sales and Marketing
Sector: Packaging
Requirement: Develop a Lean based Marketing framework program to target new customers.
Solution: A scientific Lean marketing approach was used to help the client understand its customers; understand its own business model; and understand how to access new markets in a structured manner. Using the business model canvas, we enabled the trial of a targeted marketing e-shot campaign to access new clients.
Outcome:

The success of this campaign gave the client confidence to use more structured marketing campaigns such as LinkedIn articles, site videos, e-shots and site visits, to access other markets. The trial highlighted the size and shape of the market, allowing the leadership team to identify viable markets.

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Process: Manufacturing
Sector: Packaging
Requirement: Improve productivity by optimizing material flows and flexible balanced workloads.
Solution: Utilizing a “U” shaped continuous flow and flexible balanced work load, standard work playbooks were devised and trialed to run the cell to meet customer demand with 25% less resources.
Outcome:

A productivity improvement of 25% was achieved, meaning customer demand can now be met with 3 staff members, compared to 4 previously.

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Process: Manufacturing
Sector: Engineering
Requirement: Create additional capacity to generate significant cash savings.
Solution: Value stream mapping was used to identify that the process pacemaker was at the start of the flow i.e. saw cutting. We established daily stand-up meetings and created an Excel-based planning tool to prioritize jobs based on material stock availability. Processes for two production steps were linked using First-In First-Out job queues and employees were involved in the process of work loading and job sequencing.
Outcome:

Additional capacity was created, which allowed outsourced work to be brought back in-house, generating significant cash savings. Visual management and daily stand up meetings increased employee engagement and improved the ability of supervisors to plan, schedule, and prioritize jobs.

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Process: Sales and Marketing
Sector: Diode Manufacturer
Requirement: Re-design and automate the enquiry to sales process.
Solution: Both business process mapping and traditional Makigami (big paper roll) mapping were used to visualize and streamline the process. Next, business process management software was used to ensure that service levels were maintained.
Outcome:

Automating the order fulfilment process saved time and resources. This time will be used to grow the potential of the company and consequently company revenues. Better analytical measures will support relationships with academic and research partners, leading to further recognition in Ireland as a photonics specialist.

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Process: Packaging
Sector: Pharmaceuticals
Requirement: Develop and pilot an overall OEE packaging line methodology that can be standardized across the business.
Solution: Agreed a charter, including a milestone plan, supported by OEE training for various stakeholders. We also mentored the development of OEE parameters; loss categorizations; pilot model development; and testing support.
Outcome:

We piloted a manual process for a 2-month period with highly accurate output data representative of a typical pharmaceutical packaging line profile. We developed an automated roll out plan and drove improvements in existing lines, as identified in the manual process. An extended OEE policy was also developed including calculations, categories and definitions to standardize this approach.

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Process: Technical Support
Sector: Pneumatics and Automation
Requirement: Create a business case for the development of a center of excellence for process automation tech support.
Solution: After gaining a deep understanding of the business and background to the project, we mapped out the existing process for technical support for process automation in Ireland and the UK; how it was delivered; and what problems were encountered. We also reviewed customer and quality metrics, identified how to measure benefits, and completed a cost/benefit analysis.
Outcome:

The Irish division successfully developed a center of excellence with two extra staff employed, backed by hard data and clear and validated assumptions.

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Process: Manufacturing
Sector: Food and Drink
Requirement: Increase production capacity within a three month timeframe by significantly reducing average CIP time.
Solution: A multidisciplinary team was formed including staff from the production areas affected. We facilitated the preparation of current and future state value stream maps and an improvement roadmap was agreed with timelines and accountabilities. Implementation was instigated using a suite of Lean tools across multiple phases. Each shift involved in the CIP turnaround completed work activities as per the standard work sheet.
Outcome:

Primary measurables were VATs per day and CIP turnaround, which were graphed daily and reviewed at each meeting. A countermeasure document was designed to highlight issues that interfered with or caused roadblocks to the daily targets. The CIP average length was reduced significantly through correct sequencing and arrangement of washes.

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Process: Material Flow
Sector: Pharmaceuticals
Requirement: Re-design plant layouts and optimize material flows.
Solution: We undertook a full review of all material flows; developed plant layout options; and identified potential constraints and improvements in current practices.
Outcome:

Decoupling tableting and packaging from each other, while maintaining an appropriate tablet inventory buffer, created greater stability in the schedule. We also implemented a set of metrics to drive material flow and offered design options in relation to expanding packaging.

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Process: Supply Chain
Sector: Engineering
Requirement: Implement a 3 loop pull system with Kanban controls.
Solution: We replaced the company’s old ‘push’ system with a ‘pull’ system, implementing a 3 loop pull system with Kanban controls.
Outcome:

Immediate benefits accrued over a 3-month period including: a 40% reduction in lead-time and 35% in WIP. Further improvements included increased visibility on material status and constraints, and improved equipment efficiency, all leading to enhanced customer service.

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Process: Material Flow
Sector: Industrial and Aerospace
Requirement: Implement a cellularization plan and new layouts to support current and future product flows.
Solution: A ‘cellularization plan’ was implemented so that all steps were completed in sequence, in the same area. A central aisle was created through the plant, which allowed for visual management. An overall plant layout plan was also established to support future development of a streamlined product flow.
Outcome:

Implementation of a central aisle improved visual management; a bottleneck management process was deployed to improve on-time delivery; an overall plant layout was designed and created resulting in reduced lead times in the evaluation stage of the repair process.
Total travel time was reduced by 45% as a result.

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Process: Manufacturing
Sector: Medical Devices
Requirement: Identify bottlenecks in the cell and improve safety and process flows by instilling a change in behaviours and work practices.
Solution: The key objective was to highlight the value and benefits that Lean could bring to the organization and to address the specific issues affecting the cell. We delivered this through value stream mapping the process identifying bottlenecks and recommending a series of improvements in association with the cell team.
Outcome:

Process outputs included improved process flows; improved ergonomics; improved safety; an increase in available space; and the development of a culture of team work and collaboration which sustained the improvements.

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Process: Operations
Sector: Pulp and Paper
Requirement: Establish a continuous improvement framework to improve margins through better teamwork and change in culture.
Solution: Our approach was to establish a continuous improvement framework, incorporating a series of communication and strategy workshops, followed by a tiered Lean training program targeted at all staff at White, Yellow and Green Belt levels.
Outcome:

The program supported the development of standards of competence through the formation of an integrated governance structure; encouraging individual recognition; coordinating project-based activity and development of a maturity model that strengthened and accelerated the Lean deployment. Operational benefits included doubling unit production, improving operating margins and reducing order development time from 15 to 2 days.

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Process: Customer Service
Sector: Electronics
Requirement: Improve and standardize sales processes in contact centres.
Solution: Processes were mapped, and root causes analyzed. Unnecessary call categories were taking up over 20% of call center staff time, thus impeding sales calls from customers, which generate sales revenue.
Outcome:

By identifying and eliminating the root causes of the various types of unnecessary calls, the organization was able to re-focus and re-direct resources to value-add activities, generating increased revenues of up to 25%.

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Process: Quality
Sector: Call Center
Requirement: Increase capacity to handle more customer calls.
Solution: A four-week pilot project was set up using a representative team from affected departments. The pilot team received an awareness training session on Lean, plus regular coaching in identifying wasteful activities. The existing call coaching scorecard was improved to integrate Lean waste identification and, in combination with listening back to calls, positive change behaviors ensued.
Outcome:

Waste was reduced, with an improving trend over a 4-week period. Key analysis highlighted significant opportunity to reduce non-value-added activities, resulting in increased capacity to handle more calls. This led to increased sales volumes and improved revenues. Improvements included an 11% AHT reduction within the period and a Per Person Per Week (PPPW) increase of 17%.

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Process: Manufacturing
Sector: Distribution and Services
Requirement: Automate processing of mail by introducing new equipment and redesigning material flows.
Solution: The approach adopted included mapping of current processes and material/information flows and designing new layouts.
Outcome:

We developed interim processing solutions where machines were removed and installed, with manual processes being relocated to accommodate machine installation. New layouts were designed and implemented to increase overall efficiency and effectiveness. Final state CAD layout drawings were produced and subsequently implemented. This resulted in efficiency gains of 30% and a re-allocation of resources.

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Process: Software Duplication
Sector: Healthcare
Requirement: Develop a Lean road map aligned with company strategy and facilitate the roll out of Lean.
Solution: We supported the senior management team in the development and initial execution phases. The program was designed to develop a Lean strategy and facilitate an initial roll out of Lean. It involved initial scoping meetings with management to agree objectives, approach and timelines; strategy development workshops with senior management; organization-wide Lean awareness training; value stream mapping of core process areas and ongoing training, support and mentoring.
Outcome:

An immediate return on investment was delivered by staff; with a lead time reduction of 60%; work content reduction of 40%; and right first-time improvements of 50%.

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Process: Logistics
Sector: Electronics
Requirement: Develop and implement a service logistics model for Europe.
Solution: We assisted our multinational client in the development and implementation of a services logistics model across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Model development and implementation were conducted using a phased methodology. The individual phases comprised of scope definition and supplier selection; detailed business process development; business requirements document generation; business system development and UAT; system link testing and go-live and rollout.
Outcome:

The new model was rolled out across the EMEA region over an 18-month period. Roll out included a full in-country transition team involved in changing the network to support country-specific requirements. European service hubs were consolidated into Central and Northern Europe using an external service provider. The result was substantially increased customer service levels and significant reduction in logistics costs.

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Process: Rheumatology
Sector: Healthcare
Requirement: Analyze the current Outpatient Department Services (OPD) from GP letter to diagnosis and treatment cycle to reduce treatment times and increase capacity.
Solution: Mapped the process with internal stakeholders and collected and analysed associated data. This helped us to identify gaps in the current service that could be improved with potential solutions. Quick wins were identified to provide the unit with the capacity to develop an implementation plan for continuous improvement initiatives.
Outcome:

Introduced Triage on receipt of referral letter so that pre-OPD diagnostics were performed / ordered prior to scheduled OPD visit. OPD visit treatment times were reduced by 58%.

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Process: Oncology
Sector: Healthcare
Requirement: Compare and contrast Intravenous and Subcutaneous (SC) treatment in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.
Solution: Our economists researched and compared both treatment pathways in two large Irish University teaching hospitals and assessed which route of administration was more cost-effective resulting in greater active healthcare provider (HCP) time savings.
Outcome:

On average, the total HCP time saved per SC treatment cycle relative to IV treatment cycle was 59.21 minutes. Time savings in favour of SC resulted from quicker drug reconstitution, no IV catheter installation and removal, and less HCP monitoring. Over a full treatment course of 17 cycles, average HCP time saved accumulates to 16.78 hours. Loss of productivity for patients receiving IV (2.15 days) was greater than that of SC (0.60 days) for a full treatment course.

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Process: Operations
Sector: Municipality
Requirement: Enhance a culture of continuous improvement (CI) across the organization.
Solution: Leading Edge Group led the City through an initial planning phase to identify where the municipality was on its Lean journey and to determine a precise, tailored plan to successfully achieve its objectives. We provided relevant training and coaching to staff members, management and union executives to introduce CI thinking and practices and help build the necessary capacity and expertise. A strategic vision for CI and a roadmap for deployment was developed to leverage newly developed knowledge and skills and embed a culture of continuous improvement.
Outcome:

In less than one year, the organization has built a CI framework and grown internal capacity to lead projects and train staff in CI. Over 100 management and staff members have been trained and key improvement projects have been completed across areas that include fire inspections; permits; accounts payable and office services. Project results include:

  • 32% reduction in the maintenance work order life cycle
  • Significant improvement of 30% in queuing time and overall turn-around-time at a Residential Drop Off facility
  • Improvement in the process for facility bookings by eliminating 30% of rework
  • The wait time for permit application processing decreased from 3 days to 1 day and the incidents of rework on permit applications has been reduced from 80% to 20%
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Process: Care Delivery
Sector: Healthcare
Requirement: Improve the Hepatitis C care delivery process from screening to diagnosis to treatment of patients with the intention of improving community awareness and engagement.
Solution: Primary healthcare facility with 14 physicians on site was catering to a population of 20,000. The data indicated that a minority (238) of patients were tested for HCV and only 5 out of those 238 patients were treated. Furthermore, the majority (74%) of people estimated to be living with HCV did not engage into care. The project consisted of a four-step process. Opportunities for improvement were prioritized, quick wins identified and a future state process developed. The main techniques used to assess and improve the existing process were value stream mapping (to understand the current state process), critical to quality analysis (determine key parts of process) and work balancing (to reduce bottlenecks and improve efficiency).
Outcome:

An increase in the number of patients receiving treatment from 5 to 31. Specialist clinic daily productivity increased from 14 to 28 clients. A significant decrease in patient no show rates from 35% to 17%. Patient attrition from diagnosis to specialist appointment also decreased from 74% to 55%.

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Process: Operations
Sector: Food and Drink
Requirement: Implement a system to manage and track all continuous improvement activities.
Solution: The cloud-based application CItric Cube was implemented across the entire business and has become a central focal point for all internal projects. We have delivered several in-house Yellow and Green Belt cohorts, and all these have delivered substantial savings for the business and all managed and measured through CItric Cube.
Outcome:

Over 100 improvement projects were managed and controlled through CItric Cube and over 95 staff actively used the system. As a result, there was greatly enhanced communications on site resulting is a positive change in behaviors and the system proved to be easy and simple to use. Green Belt project savings included:

  • Generate savings in milk sampling and testing. Savings achieved of €152,107
  • Reduce the level of solids being lost to the waste water treatment plant. Savings from preventing loss of product: €33,000. 50% saving on chemical and solids loss
  • Review the Factory Air Handling unit with a view to making improvements on its control and delivering on electricity savings. Savings on energy bills: €10,000. 30% reduction in energy use
  • Generate effluent plant biological process improvement. 20% reduction in sludge volumes. 50% reduction in chemical usage
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Process: Supply Chain
Sector: Food and Drink
Requirement: Evaluate the clients supply chain to determine if it was performing well, was structured properly and meeting current and business requirements.
Solution: Performed a full supply chain review using our proprietary Supply Chain Healthcheck. The Healthcheck interrogates and audits the supply chain across 13 different activities. Information was gathered through interviews and data analysis provided by the Supply Chain, Finance and Business Unit managers. One-on-One interviews were conducted with key managers/staff in the supply chain and supporting functions.
Outcome:

The client was in a transition period from a traditional production driven company to a customer led supply chain organisation. The supply chain vision was translated into a cohesive set of objectives and supply chain measurements that supported the transformation. Agreement was reached to set up a centralised procurement division for the Group which resulted in significant savings on annual expenditure.

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Process: Supply Chain
Sector: Pharmaceuticals
Requirement: Evaluate the clients supply chain to determine if it was fit for purpose. There was too much reliance on single suppliers for critical components, no price leverage with some key suppliers and the supply chain was not commercially aware i.e. suppliers were protected from market fluctuations.
Solution: Performed a full supply chain review using our proprietary Supply Chain Healthcheck and subsequently developed a supply chain strategy for the Group. Information was gathered through a series of workshops and data analytics.
Outcome:

An overall supply chain strategy was agreed and an appropriate supply chain organisational structure put in place to align with the strategy. Regular senior management contact with key suppliers was formalised, there was a considerable ramp up of new suppliers and skillsets were enhanced through practical hands on training in supply chain best practices.

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Process: Capital Projects
Sector: Municipality
Requirement: The City wanted to update and improve its capital project process by reducing the time taken to update work in progress (WIP) from 12 weeks to 6 weeks and, as a result, create more time to provide value-added advice and information such as improving project visibility and documenting the process to eliminate knowledge related risk. The City had been using multiple systems and spreadsheets which led to a large number of knowledge management and knowledge transfer issue and data errors. The goal was to eliminate the use of spreadsheets and empower project managers to update their project status as easily and as practical as possible.
Solution: Value stream mapping (VSM); Gemba walking and process mapping were three key Lean tools used to review and analyze the process; measure the current state inefficiencies; identify and embed improvements and measure/sustain the end results. The Gemba walk; VSM; Pareto analysis were key tools to bring teams together; communicate and agree on a common goal. Embedding pull principles and ongoing continuous improvement cycles has ensured that success and efficiencies will be sustained and become the new standard.
Outcome:

Processing time for WIP was reduced from 12 weeks to 6 weeks. Project resubmissions have decreased from 32 projects to zero and the processing time per project has also decreased from 25 minutes to 9 minutes per project. The initiative achieved an increased annual capacity of 378 hours, which is equivalent to an annual cost avoidance of $23,800. The additional capacity enabled finance analysts to provide more value-added services.

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Process: Pet Licensing Process
Sector: Municipality
Requirement: This Town wanted to improve its pet licensing process by decreasing the lead time between initiation of the purchase of a license to entry of the correct information into the system - from 40 business days to 20 business days.
Solution: Data collection findings were gathered and Gemba walks were undertaken to understand the current process. A series of Kaizen events were facilitated to understand the current state and establish an improved future state. The team applied tools such as voice of the customer; SIPOC; A3; root cause analysis and FMEA to establish current state inefficiencies and identify/implement future state improvements.
Outcome:

Lead time was reduced from 40 business days to 6 business days. The Town introduced a new online licensing process application form, thereby improving customer experience and reducing errors in data entry. The use of an online form means less travel time for customers.

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Process: Inventory Management
Sector: Engineering
Requirement: The company employed 30 people manufacturing 5 standard offerings. Inventory management was poor with up to 10% variation in stock count accuracy This led to stockouts/shortages, unscheduled overtime and increased material spend in order to fast track orders to complete scheduled units on time.
Solution: We mapped the current state processes relating to incoming/outgoing stock movements and this highlighted a series of problem/improvement areas. We used “5-Whys” to identify the root causes and developed a future state map for optimized material control incorporating revised training procedures and plans for material scanning and tracking.
Outcome:

The organizational structure was re-designed with the promotion of two chargehands with responsibility for dealing with day to day issues arising on the production floor and roll out of new training procedures. New stock tracking procedures and templates were created on the system to identify problems early in the process so that countermeasures could be applied. The reduction in re-work, improved stock accuracy and greater empowerment of the workforce generated annualized savings of €10k.

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Process: Inventory Management
Sector: Municipality
Requirement: It was discovered that data inputted into the roadway inventory asset management software was out of date. This error required manual updates to 11% of the assets, work that took two months to complete. The process was inefficient, manual and error-prone.
Solution: A DMAIC framework was used to conduct this process improvement project. During the Define stage, a 5W2H and SIPOC were used as a starting point, along with the Voice of the Customer. This information helped form the project charter. The Measure phase was completed through extensive analysis to form the data collection plan. A Lean improvement event with the project team focused on the Analyze phase and the commencement of the Improve phase. Process walks were undertaken both before and during the event. In doing so, the team developed a complete current state value stream process map. At a high level, value-add, non-value-add and wait times were outlined on the map. This allowed the team to identify issues/opportunities and determine an improved future state. Having the right people available during the event allowed the team to focus on the largest system constraint. The Theory of Constraints was used to focus on the key bottleneck and recommend ways to improve process flow. Kaizen bursts were also added to the value stream map and brainstorming sessions were held to explore and agree proposed solutions.
Outcome:

Roadway data errors were reduced by 97%. Overall lead time decreased by 99%. The team implemented and scheduled notifications and error reporting that identifies when changes to roadways are required; when errors exist in asset data and when key attribute data requires modification. The team achieved a cost avoidance of $30,463.

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Process: Transformation
Sector: Utilities
Requirement: A utilities organization was facing the challenge of providing competitive services while the sales of its core products were declining. The organization decided that it needed a complete shift in its culture through the adoption of the Lean philosophy, continuous improvement and associated practices. This new and improved culture will support the organization to provide the best level of service to its customers and carry out its day-to-day work easier, better, faster and safer.
Solution: The organization sought a program that would change the culture and have all employees aligned to strategic objectives, while becoming engaged in “reducing waste from a customer’s perspective”. Lean Yellow Belt training for all staff members became a catalyst for a culture shift that embraced Lean, and Leading Edge Group was engaged to assess the current Lean environment and develop a Lean strategy and roadmap. Through this assessment and findings, a framework was developed with the overriding principle that each and every employee can see the flow of value to the customer and can fix that flow as it breaks down. This facilitated a standardized and flexible approach to: Seeing, Improving and Sustaining. A framework was required to ensure that everybody in the organization was working on the right thing and was involved in making the business better. The creation of the framework requires a step-by-step process that evolves over time. The framework was developed to support each individual journey in Lean and consists of six core pillars: governance; capability; make it happen; tools; measure and results. Leading Edge Group led a number of major improvement initiatives focused on safety, governance, supply chain management and project management and new development processes, while relevant employees received further training at Yellow, Green and Black Belt levels. Annual CEO strategic objectives were developed and cascaded across all work teams through the use of Hoshin Kanri. Key performance indicators (KPIs) were developed that are linked from the CEO scorecard to the front line. These KPIs are reviewed weekly through the use of visual management boards, weekly operational team huddles and problem solving.
Outcome:

The organization has certified 95 percent of its employees with some level of Lean training (Yellow, Green and Black Belt); adopted the Lean strategy planning and deployment process (Hoshin Kanri); established visual management boards across all facilities and work teams and has realized cost savings of $980,000 to date through the key initiatives led by Leading Edge Group and Green and Black Belt projects led by employees.

The following are some of the key results achieved through the Leading Edge Group led initiatives:

  • Increase in safety audit scores from 89% to 96%
  • Increase in safety culture survey results from 3/5 to 4/5, with greatly reduced variability in the individual rankings
  • Annual savings of $105,000 achieved through a supply chain management improvement project
  • Increase in visual management and accountability in safety processes resulting in a sustained reduction in lost time and recordable injuries
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Process: Clinic Process Flow
Sector: Public Health
Requirement: This health unit is made up of a number of different clinics all housed in the same building. The clinics operate as separate entities with regard to staffing; hours of operation; methods of operation and the inventory control of medical supplies. The health unit will be relocating to a new location and, although the new premises will be more modern, it is slightly smaller in size, hence the need to ensure that clinical processes are as efficient and as possible, while maintaining the highest standards of quality. The health unit would also like to consolidate all clinical practices under one umbrella to achieve a more cohesive process and enhance the client experience.
Solution: Leading Edge Group led a value stream mapping (VSM) exercise across four key clinics – Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STI), Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD), oral health and TB. In so doing, cross functional staff received appropriate Lean training so that they could play an active role in supporting the Leading Edge Group consultant. Through the VSM exercise, the team developed a current state value stream map of each process; conducted a Lean analysis of each and established an action list of improvement opportunities.
Outcome:

The VSM workshops enabled a common language and standard for process improvement while participants gained new perspectives and a deeper appreciation of flow issues across functions and functional areas. The workshops helped to build new and strengthened existing relationships that helped foster integrated Lean process improvements that are sustainable.  A priority list of tasks was developed to address all of the noted shortcomings identified through the VSM exercise.

The relocation to a new facility will enable changes such as flow, traffic, storage and common services to be permanent, as they will be incorporated clinic’s future design and functional program. As the current system deals with a lot of paper (files) management, a key improvement opportunity is to evolve to a paperless system, where all patient information is available “on the system”. Based on realizing the identified opportunities for improvement and incorporating in the new clinic design and functionality, the percentage improvements in cycle times for the four clinics ranges from 22.4% to 45%. Similarly, lead time improvements range from 6.1% to 50%.

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Process: Data Protection and Compliance
Sector: Higher Education
Requirement: Assist a University towards GDPR compliance across their various schools, departments and administrative units.
Solution: The following methodology was used when working with each college department: distribute and collect a data protection survey, meet with individual departments, analyse data gathered, feedback and report.
Outcome:

At the end of the process the following was produced for each department:

  • Data asset capture document including Article 30 processing records
  • Legal basis for holding data per data asset
  • Data protection gap analysis per unit
  • Data protection action plan per unit
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    Process: ICT/Digital Strategy
    Sector: Local Government Authority
    Requirement: Local Authority required ICT strategy, including a comprehensive review and production of recommendations around GDPR.
    Solution: Before the IT review took place, gaining a solid understanding of the organisation and its drivers was essential. We then did a review of their current systems (The ‘As Is’), developed the ICT/Digital Strategy (The ‘To Be’) and finally, completed the ICT/Digital Strategy Report.
    Outcome:

    ICT/Digital Strategy report that has provided in-depth, structured analysis which supports a clear path for the future. The organisation now has a comprehensive list of IT systems required to support strategy including ball park estimates for time, costs and resources over a 3 year period, a high level Gantt chart for IT strategy plan, and a visionary roadmap for longer-term strategic directions with regard to infrastructure, support and access & mobility.

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    process improvement within your organization.​
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    Process: Parks Tree Reporting
    Sector: Municipality
    Requirement: When parks trees become hazardous or die, this municipality has a process to remove and replant on a one for one basis. In the current process, the existing parks tree reporting process resulted in 17% of tree cases having duplicated reporting; 93% of tree cases having missing or inaccurate information and 22% of tree cases did not result in replanting due to an incorrect location. Therefore, the existing parks tree reporting system and process faced a number of challenges. Required information was either misinterpreted or missing; additional/repeat site visits were required when only one was necessary; required tree inspections were not completed in a timely fashion or at all; tree replacements were delayed or did not take place and resident complaints about missing trees were increasing.
    Solution: After utilizing a number of Lean tools to define, measure and analyze the current state, a future value stream map was created to improve the process and an implementation plan to realize the future state was developed. A Kaizen event was initiated to address key improvements with a Control phase implemented, incorporating standard work, a visual control board and weekly team huddles to sustain the improvements.
    Outcome:

     

    • 63% improvement in the length of time the process takes from start to finish – from 4-6 weeks to 2 weeks.
    • Wasted staff time was saved and reinvested into other activities: 361 hours per year, which equates to $19,300.
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    Process: Operations
    Sector: Municipality
    Requirement: A City needed to develop Lean knowledge and skills to embed Lean as a way of working and support staff in delivering breakthrough and large scale improvement projects.
    Solution: Leading Edge Group provided training for management and staff across the organization at Yellow, Green and Black Belt levels. The City undertook mini improvement initiatives and improvement projects.
    Outcome:

    Green and Black Belt improvement projects focused on areas that include parks seasonal hiring; building permit applications; recreation; transportation and infrastructure; works and technical services demand maintenance.

    • Each individual improvement initiative undertaken by a staff member who has completed Yellow Belt yields an average of $1,400 in cost savings or $20,000 in cost avoidance and/or an average capacity increase of 362 freed hours.
    • Individual Green Belt projects yield an average of $11,500 in cost savings or $30,000 in cost avoidance and/or an average capacity increase of 600 freed hours.
    • Benefits achieved through the Black Belt projects include: Return on Investment in terms of significant improvement to quality, cost savings, significant reduction in lead time, significant improvements to safety and improvement in staff morale. The combined return on investment to the organization from these improvements exceeded $100,000 in both hard and soft savings.
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    process improvement within your organization.​
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    Process: Diabetes
    Sector: Healthcare
    Requirement: Utilize Lean principles to restructure a diabetes clinic as a pilot Lean project at Galway Roscommon University Hospital Group, Ireland, in an effort to improve patient flow through the clinic, quantified by patient journey throughput times.
    Solution: Established a cross functional team made up of consultant endocrinologists, administrative manager of the Diabetes day center, clinical nurse practitioner in diabetes, a non-consultant hospital doctor and two hospital employees. Induction training on Lean was conducted with the team followed by current and future state value stream mapping of the core processes. The total time spent in clinic and time spent waiting to see a physician were major factors influencing patient satisfaction and were chosen as the key variables in this study.
    Outcome:

    Restructuring of the of diabetes outpatient clinic was successful in reducing patient journey time from 118 to 58 minutes. Patients were given the appropriate level of care by scheduling return visits based on clinical need rather than default hospital timelines thereby freeing up appointment slots. Patients were given scheduled appointment times that matched the availability of staff in the clinic. This reduced patient waiting times by 30%.

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    process improvement within your organization.​
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