One of the 7 deadly wastes is that of rework or over-processing. You may want to look at processes in your company to see if rework waste is hampering your efficiency.
However, be sure you analyze not just your internal steps but also those imposed on your customers.
On a recent trip to my bank’s ATM I had to deposit some checks. I had pre-made my deposit envelope for both my business and personal deposits.
As I started using the ATM, I noticed they had changed their machine. They no longer wanted deposit envelopes. They wanted me to submit my checks one-by-one into the machine.
The ATM then scanned the check, read the amount, and processed the deposit. This is a great gain for tellers. No longer would a bank employee have to open the envelope and manually process the checks. Surely this reduces errors and frees up the tellers for other work.
However, this causes a serious crunch on customer throughput.
It took me four times my normal transaction time to make my deposits. During this time, the line of cars behind me steadily grew.
The bank’s efficiency gain came by shifting the burden to the customer.
When you change your process, think about how it will change customer behavior. Just because you are more efficient doesn’t mean that your customers will be.
If one customer is less efficient because of your change, odds are others’ experience will also be adversely impacted.