Use Six Sigma, Lean And Other Continuous Improvement Methods – 10 Services Procurement Secrets (No. 10)

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Walk into just about any large-scale manufacturing organization today and the spirit of Demming, the Toyota Production System and a focus on continuous improvement generally echoes from the shop floor throughout the supply chain. Focusing on measurement, management and continuous improvement has transformed thousands of companies in recent decades. But so far, such efforts are little more than novelty in most services-oriented procurement efforts.

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Yet effectively utilizing continuous improvement methods (e.g., Six Sigma, Lean) is all but a guaranteed recipe for identifying savings opportunities, reducing risk and eliminating waste. 
Spend Matters research suggests that continuous improvement is generally lacking in the services supply chain in contrast to manufacturing.

Companies should start (either by themselves or with an MSP partner) to build value stream maps and RACI models and explore how well any related programs are working – or aren't. Learning from the manufacturing
 side of the business is critical here, as are the skills. Having services procurement professionals go through lean and green or black belt training is a useful place to forge a path toward the right skills.

Yet as anyone who has gone through lean training knows, building hands-on examples and experience is key – continuous improvement is learned, not studied.

This analysis is based on the Spend Matters research study, Applying Supply Chain Rigor to Contingent Workforce Management, which is available for limited period of time for free download in the Spend Matters research library.

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