Strategic Lean Service is a highly readable case study of the groundbreaking use of Lean – conceived and shaped in the manufacturing sector – to transform a global IT service delivery organization. It surveys the course traveled by Baan Customer Service & Support (CS&S) in the early years of the new millennium, at a point when it faced a number of serious problems.Led by Senior Vice-President Ardi...
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Publication Date: January 30, 2017
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Strategic Lean Service describes the journey of a 650 people, global ERP support organization, towards 'excellency' in customer service. Coming from a deplorable state in 2000, the team embarked on a tour using lean manufacturing tools and techniques...
n CS&S analyzed its position with stark honesty and embarked on a campaign of deep, across-the-board transformation in order to establish unprecedented new levels of customer satisfaction. In doing so it also transformed employee engagement levels and work satisfaction, forged improved relationships with its suppliers, and provided a powerful, lifechanging experience for its leaders. Lean was the platform used to drive this transformation.Robert Oh, Vice-President of Baan CS&S Asia-Pacific-Japan (APJ), led CS&S’s global strategic improvement project Operation Breeze utilizing Lean.Sunit Prakash, Director of Operations Baan CS&S APJ, was responsible for implementing the benefits of Lean in the APJ region.Together they guide us through the journey CS&S undertook between 2000 and 2003, uncovering for us the major aspects of its transformation. At the end of each chapter they summarize key elements.After showing us their vision of the power and scope of Lean, the authors describe the CS&S organization’s situation at the end of 2000. They then introduce us to its new Lean-based strategy, Up To Excellence, devised to turn around the organization’s identified problems. Each of the strategy’s five supporting ‘pillars’ (Planning, Tracking and Reporting; Human Capital Development; Process and Performance Improvement; Supplier Management; and Support Infrastructure, Innovation and Technology) is described in some detail, and we discover how each plays its part in the organization’s transformation.The book’s last few chapters show us in a variety of ways the remarkable results of the transformation project, headlined by the revolution achieved in customer satisfaction levels.Bottom-up change and new business opportunities opened up by changes the transformation generated are each the subject of a chapter, followed by chapters on the function of leadership and the essential need to transmit vision, inspiration and a strong sense of shared identity if this kind of change process is to succeed.Scattered throughout the book are comments from other members of CS&S’s management teams. These add weight to the authors’ accounts and observations, and reinforce the commitment of the whole organization to the transformation strategy.Both authors knew nothing about Lean at the beginning of their CS&S transformation journey. But the lessons they learned and the distance they traveled over the ensuing three to four years have profoundly affected the direction of their professional lives. Robert Oh went on to found Eagles Wings, a Lean Six Sigma consulting and training firm based in Singapore, and speaks at conferences and contributes to publications as a Lean Thought Leader (http://www.eagles-wings.info).Sunit Prakash, now based in New Zealand, has taken the insights and dynamic of Lean with him into a wide range of management and consulting roles with global and specialist niche ICT organizations (http://www.sunit.co.nz).Strategic Lean Service is not a dry textbook. The passion with which this story is told demonstrates what a profound and longlasting impact CS&S’s Lean transformation journey made on those involved – in Ardin Vlot’s words “a fascinating roller coaster ride with a group of people who clearly achieved more than they had ever imagined they could”.This book will inspire and equip anyone planning for or involved in the transformation of an organization, especially those with an interest in finding out more about Lean strategies and practices.