In recent years, I have become fascinated with the concept of "Lean" and "Continuous Improvement" methodologies, partly thanks to a previous employer.
Lean is normally referred to in a manufacturing sense, but it can be applied anywhere, anytime...
In a business sense, it means getting rid of any system, process or busy work that doesn't add value to your customer or end user.
If a system, process or busy work doesn't add value to your customer or end user, it is deemed a "waste" and should be removed or reduced from your business.
If you are new to this concept and want an entertaining and easy introduction, Paul Akers, self-confessed "Lean Maniac" has written a range of entertaining books on the topic.
Why do I bring this up..?
I have been working with ERP programmes for many years and the thing I find most exciting about that, is working with businesses to change their systems and processes to make them more efficient, and in doing so, reducing the waste that is adding no value to their customers.
Installing a new ERP programme is an awesome way to take a step back and ask....
"Does that process really need to run like that?"
"Are we running that process in that way, because that's the way we have always run it?"
Definition of insanity...right?
Finally... to start thinking outside the box (or outside of manufacturing), here is one of my favorite TED talks on the topic.... Click here!