Connecticut Town Uses Lean Six Sigma to Cut Waste, Improve Customer Service

Connecticut Town Uses Lean Six Sigma to Cut Waste, Improve Customer Service

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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A small town in Connecticut has found that the principles of Lean Six Sigma can work just as well for a small organization as they can for large corporations or military operations.

In a July 2019 report about changes made to his town’s government, Greenwich, Conn., first selectman Peter J. Tesei wrote about the positive changes the local government has made in the past decade. They include an emphasis on improved customer service and training of all the town’s leaders and supervisory staff in Lean Six Sigma to support process improvement efforts.

The result, Tesei wrote, is that “the town is accomplishing more, with less.”

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma provides the tools and techniques organizations (and individuals) can use to cut waste and make processes more effective and error-free. Success requires buy-in and support from leaders as well as empowerment of “front-line” workers to provide feedback on how best to improve operations in their area.

A common process methodology in Lean Six Sigma is DMAIC, which stands for define, measure, analyze, improve and control. This is what happens in each phase.

  • Define – The team defines the challenges, the goal, the improvement process and the customers the improvements benefit
  • Measure – Data is collected on the current processes
  • Analyze – Data is analyzed to determine what is causing defects or waste
  • Improve – Based on this data findings, the team develops and implements an improved process
  • Control – The team takes steps to ensure the process improvements are continued

This process then repeats. Process improvement that works is continuous, not something done once and then forgotten.

A Trend in Government

Local and state governments turning to Lean Six Sigma is nothing new. It’s been happening more frequently since the Great Recession, when some governments found themselves facing less funding but increased demand for services. The population continued to grow even as the economy (and therefore the tax base) did not.

For example, governments in Houston, Miami-Dade County, King County in Washington and Kern County in California all implemented Lean Six Sigma training for employees and a culture of process improvement.

Kern County even launched a website to calculate how much the government had saved through process improvement in a program called Launch Kern. They currently report that the county has saved $18.8 million and more than 73,000 man hours through 154 projects.

Brevard County in South Florida also used Lean Six Sigma training to reduce permit application scanning deficiencies and incorrect application entries. The training also helped bolster emergency management shelter readiness before Hurricane Irma. The county also has reduced costs by going paperless.

Customer Service and Process Improvement

In Greenwich, the idea was to improve customer service. About 12 years ago, the town had no formal customer service training for its employees. That training was implemented and the town also created a Resident Satisfaction Survey.

The most recent survey found that residents are more satisfied with town services, a trend that started six years ago and has continued ever since.

The town also has seen the following improvements since implementing customer service training and Lean Six Sigma training for town leaders. Getting feedback from town residents led to creation of a new website and an app that allows residents to directly message town officials with issues they need to address.

The city also is spending less. In his report, Tesei wrote, “When adjusted for inflation, the Town is spending less on services like general government, public works, parks and recreation, and public.”

The post Connecticut Town Uses Lean Six Sigma to Cut Waste, Improve Customer Service appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.




Original: https://www.sixsigmadaily.com/connecticut-town-lean-six-sigma/
By: admin
Posted: August 20, 2019, 2:20 pm

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