Essay on Manager: Lean Manufacturing and Gwenda Connell

Submitted By Arnel79
Words: 1621
Pages: 7


Going lean adds weight to customer service
“Combining Sense and Respond with Lean absolutely enables and increases our operational effectiveness and service value.”
Gwenda Connell – Head of the Sense and Respond Institute, Fujitsu Customer’s Challenge Fujitsu Services is a leading European information technology services company, with an annual turnover of £2.46 billion (€3.59 billion) and over 19,000 employees in 20 countries. Having studied the benefits of the Lean management techniques developed by manufacturing organisations, Fujitsu wanted to see if the same approach could be applied to the IT industry, by transferring the production line experience into a service environment. Gwenda Connell, Head of the Sense and Respond Institute, Fujitsu, says, “Lean is all about delivering what customers want and making work flow by eliminating waste or needless activities – it’s striving for perfection. We wanted to build on and expand our unique Sense and Respond approach, which is designed to meet customer expectations in terms of quality, cost and delivery time. By “adding Lean” we saw a way to make a step change that would create more capability and enable new thinking in order to deliver maximum service quality and value to our customers. In short, our goal is for everyone in Fujitsu to be involved in continuous improvement everyday, so that it becomes embedded into the fabric of our organisation.” Fujitsu Solution Fujitsu chose to work with Unipart, experts in Lean implementation with over 25 years experience and a leading exponent of the Lean methodology, to help it create ‘model lines’, which could be used to apply Lean tools and techniques to different service processes. In particular, Unipart was tasked with leading Fujitsu through the first 17 weeks of the process in order to help it gain a real understanding of how the Lean process worked and how it could be applied to the IT environment. Fujitsu decided to evaluate the new approach in two of its service desks, part of Fujitsu’s front-line Customer Services organisation. The Customer Services operation is unique within Fujitsu, because it handles in excess of 7.5 million individual customer interactions a year and the majority of employees are highly customer-focused. Gwenda Connell says, “We chose to start implementing Lean in the service desk and deskside environment where we were already using Sense and Respond, so that we could measure how much of a difference it made. In addition, we knew it would be culturally well received as it was already so focused on meeting customers’ needs.” Initially Fujitsu ran a pilot on one of its customer account teams, which had a service desk with 20 people, as well as desk-side support and service delivery management. “The very first time we applied the Lean techniques it was on a pilot basis,” continues Gwenda Connell. “Because Lean is about visual management, once you’ve set-up a Model Line in your own environment everything else becomes much easier.” Fujitsu initiated a ‘Diagnostic Phase’ by running a Scoping Workshop that was designed to help construct a high level Value Stream Map of the current state of the service delivery. This provides

Organisation Fujitsu Services – Customer Services Service/s delivered The application of Lean, Kaizen and Six Sigma principles, tools and techniques in order to create a culture of continuous improvement Key Metrics • Approx. 5,000 Customer Services employees • 7.5 million individual customer interactions Benefits • Enhanced customer service – enables faster and higher quality delivery of what matters to customers and their customers • Increased staff satisfaction – active involvement of staff in the change process has improved staff motivation • Improved resource usage – increases productivity by delivering built-in quality using standardised and efficient processes • Reduced costs – removes duplicate effort, waste and unnecessary processes •…