War On Paper with Lean Six Sigma

My Declaration of War On Paper

Yes, I have declared the War on Paper! I’m serious.

This is what happened the other day: I started a project with one of my private clients to improve information exchange for new customers between Sales and Production departments. To make it flow easier. They need to have it standardized because of the different facilities and locations of the company. They each have their own way of working that differs from one another.

When I asked them what information exchange they were talking about, they told me about the different reports they both use when a new customer is being entered in their systems.

Then they showed me the reports they use. And that shocked me!

Unbelievable. I just could not believe my eyes!

75 pages of reports these 2 departments have to fill in just because they got a new customer!

75 pages just to start! I would rather have no customers 😉

But there was another BIG thing that stroke me even more.

1. Was it that they make so many reports?

That was certainly a big issue. Of course there is essential information about the customer and their requirements in the reports. You do not want to make a mistake during production, so you want to capture all the important parameters.

2. Was it that they have multiple reports with similar info?

When the Sales department was entering some of the data, Production was entering similar data in another report. What a waste!

That is one of the 8 wastes of Lean Methodology. Entering the same information more than once is a waste of time and a waste of your intellect. In my opinion, it should be avoided at all times! But even that was not the main reason that stoke me and made me worry.

3. Was it that they had been working like this for years?

75 pages of reporting every time you get a new customer costs you a lot of money. Year in year out. You are very busy with meaningless paperwork and you have no time left for other more important tasks. No wonder you feel like that.

The real thing that hit me like a hammer was…

What do you think it was?

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Make greater work.

Warm regards,


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