7-Eleven Awarded for Lean Six Sigma Efforts in Legal Department

7-Eleven Awarded for Lean Six Sigma Efforts in Legal Department

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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One of the most famous of all convenience store chains recently won an award for work in streamlining the corporate’s legal department functions, applying Lean Six Sigma methodology to create both savings and a more efficient operation.

The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) awarded 7-Eleven Inc. as a 2018 Value Champion for process improvements made in its legal department. In all, a dozen law department and law firm/law department collaborations led to the award.

Each hit upon many of the major goals in Lean Six Sigma: client satisfaction, better value from spending, reduced turnaround times and costs and improved overall results.

The ACC granted the award after a judging by an in-house panel of lawyers. The ACC is a global legal association with more than 43,000 members in 85 countries.

Catherine J. Moynihan, associate vice president of legal management services at ACC, said to win the award a law department must “move at the speed of the business client, optimizing every process, controlling every cost, taking advantage of every available piece of data.”

“These Champions use leading management practices — writing applications, leveraging AI, and applying sophisticated sourcing and staffing models — to help the businesses they serve succeed.”

7-Eleven and Lean Six Sigma

In using Lean and Six Sigma to improve operations, 7-Eleven offered other law firms and in-house legal departments a blueprint in how to apply process improvement.

In an effort to better support management of the company’s legal portfolio – more than 10,000 properties – 7-Eleven streamlined its law department. Using a value-based sourcing and staffing model, the company realigned its workforce by subject matter, enabling a better workflow.

They also applied Lean Six Sigma methodologies to financial issues. The saw their costs for outside legal counsel on real estate matters drop by 19%, partly from moving some functions in-house. They also lowered new store deal fall-through rates from 25% to almost 1%.

The company has created a website allowing for better communication for those in the legal department, with daily tracking on legal issues, budget spending and other legal issues.

Process Maps

7-Eleven also put process mapping to use, creating a 15-page process map on negotiating leases and making purchases. They found areas where improvements could be made, including assigning tasks people best-suited for the job and cutting unnecessary tasks – one of the areas of waste identified through Lean Six Sigma.

The resulting process allowed for much faster and efficient negotiations on leases and purchases, lowering overall legal costs.

The company also put training into place for the 7-Eleven real estate field teams. These training sessions, held six times per year, have resulted in consistencies with real estate transactions. It’s also continued to reduce costs and led to fewer legal disputes.

They haven’t kept it just to the legal team, either. 7-Eleven has contracted with consultants Simarn Solutions, who have used Six Sigma Black Belts to help the company find improvements in the use of digital marketing and digital innovation.

Legal Firms and Six Sigma

Legal firms have increasingly turned to Six Sigma, Lean and Lean Six Sigma, as have businesses in many other industries.

In an overview of the issue, Thomson Reuters noted that law firms should take an interest in process improvement because it can create better transparency in processes and predictability in pricing.

Legal firms have many processes where Lean Six Sigma could lead to improvements, including document review and improving interactions with clients.

The post 7-Eleven Awarded for Lean Six Sigma Efforts in Legal Department appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

Original: http://www.sixsigmadaily.com/seven-eleven-awarded-lean-six-sigma-legal-department/
By: James LoPresti
Posted: June 26, 2018, 11:00 am

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