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 improvement within your organization.​
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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 improvement within your organization.​
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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 improvement within your organization.​
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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 improvement within your organization.​
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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%
Lets discuss how to drive change through sustainable
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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%.

Lets discuss how to drive change through sustainable
process improvement within your organization.​
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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
Lets discuss how to drive change through sustainable
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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