Introduction to Lean Operations Management

Lean Operations Management originated in Japan at Toyota and is a methodology that has been embraced by industries since the 1940s. Lean has transformed organizations from gaming and hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, technology and many more, while becoming the way of doing business. No matter the size of the organization or type of industry, Lean tackles any challenge businesses face. Leadership must empower and drive the organization from the top down to identify and eliminate obstacles facing daily activities. In turn, this will create a culture and environment of operational excellence throughout the enterprise.

The team from Lean Revisions has been training and supporting organizations and business entities for over 20 years. They are all certified by the globally recognized American Society of Quality (ASQ) and have a proven track record of helping companies succeed.

The Lean Methodology follows a simple step-by step process that, when implemented correctly, helps organizations realize results that hit the bottom line.

Identify: Firstly, we need to review the processes and procedures that we are planning to improve. This is done by walking the selected process from end-to-end and discovering the flow, labor, materials, and total needs of what makes that process function. Physically walking and documenting the process identifies where the areas of improvement opportunities exist within critical business operations. Where is the waste, loss of revenue, and negative impacts to the organization and, most importantly, the customer experience? All of these questions will be answered during this walkthrough and discover phase.

Real World Example: At one casino resort we worked with, they identified that the average response time to a hotel guest maintenance issue was 35 minutes. That was causing negative survey responses and dissatisfied guests. When asked, guests said that they are happy with maintenance issues being addressed within 20 minutes or less, which becomes our new goal.

Investigate: Once we have pinpointed the improvement opportunities, we now do some digging on where, how, and why those operational issues are arising. This investigation zeroes in and scopes the size of the improvement project that you are going to be running with us and your dedicated improvement teams. Baseline metrics, goals, timeline and financial benefits will also be established during this phase.

Real World Example: The casino then documented where and what issues were arising during maintenance requests and zeroed in on the high priority ones. This ensures that guests are heard and needs are meet with this improvement project.

Eliminate: Now that improvement opportunities and problem areas have been thoroughly investigated, it’s time to eliminate the nuisances, using the improvement tools and methods that we teach your internal project teams. The multiple tools collaboratively reduce and rid waste, constraints and costly businesses practices from your processes and procedures to create a better, efficient and improved operation. This is done by using Lean methods to train all the stakeholders who will be positively impacted by the project goals.

Real World Example: The project team then implemented the focused solutions to address response time constraints. Re-engineering communication protocols, staffing sufficiency and deployment, parts inventory and other processes eliminated many of the guest complaints and allowed the team to reach their goal of a 20-minute response time.

Stabilize: The selected process has now had obstructions cleaned up and is ready to be stabilized by new basic SOPs, policies and procedures. Essentially a new, better and stable way of operating your business. The output of your business process to the customer is now being reached in a collective, optimized manner. This step ensures long-term sustainment of the improvements and realization of financial benefits.

Real World Example: New guest surveys were captured to validate the improvements. Stabilizing the maintenance response processes freed up Lean-trained resources to execute other opportunities of improvement.

Standardize: That was just one business process, so together we must now identify other areas of improvement to change the culture of the organization. Running more improvement projects grows the effectiveness of optimizing your business and standardizes your total business performance. The internal needs of your business should be documented, understood and followed (e.g., standardized).

Real World Example: Realizing guests are happier, the casino team started internally fully standardizing the maintenance department to ensure that all maintenance-related processes are streamlined.

Optimized: When done correctly, committing to this journey of improvement sows and reaps expansive benefits. Multiple businesses, such as Boeing, Toyota, Microsoft, Capital One and Adidas, can attest to Lean improvement project success. With an internal team trained and Lean implemented as a business strategy, your organization can look forward to a future of growth, optimization and industry leadership.

Real World Example: The casino has accomplished many other improvement projects in food and beverage, security, door to floor, marketing, IT, HR, housekeeping and other business divisions, resulting in $3.7 million in initial savings and happier guests.

The Raving team, in partnership with Jeff Gray and Mason Gray from Lean Revisions, bring a proven approach to efficient and effective Tribal gaming and hospitality operations. For decades, many global industries have embraced and successfully executed Lean Operations Management techniques to improve internal processes and procedures to gain a strategic market advantage. The Tribal gaming and hospitality industry, along with all Tribal entities, is recognizing and incorporating the Lean methodology to reduce operating costs, increase revenue and drive customer value. 

Join Jeff Gray and Mason Gray from Lean Revisions, February 8-10, 2022, at the Raving NEXT: Indian Gaming Analytics and Marketing Virtual Conference. See how Lean Operations Management training increases gaming and hospitality business functions. Hotel operations, F&B, marketing, player experience, workforce and more benefit from an efficient and effective business perspective. 

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