Taking the Same Tour

WERC TourHave you ever taken a tour of a manufacturing plant or corporate office? Most of you probably have. But have you ever been behind the scenes in planning a tour? A tour is a complex set of processes that are derived to give the customer a specific experience. The question then becomes, how do we offer customers the best experience on every office tour? This year, we started to experience an uptick in tours through our Operations Center in Florence, KY. The increased traffic required more resources spending more time away from their normal job responsibilities, inconsistencies in tour content, and a lack of team member expectations. It was only fitting that we practiced what we preach and create a standard process. I was tasked with this job.

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First, we needed to examine the purpose of having a standard process:

  • Training and cross training potential
  • Increased stability and reproducibility
  • Clarity in scope of work
  • Easy transfer of knowledge
  • Documented current condition
  • Measurability of process
  • Ability to improve

Without a standard process, variables will change with each cycle. Setting expectations and having a clear process will allow an organization to have a baseline upon which to improve.IMG_7943

So, how do we create a standard tour? The starting point was easy: start with the people. We collaborated to identify the best practices for each component of the tour. These included a general agenda, tour stopping points, team members who were subject matter experts, messaging, and key talking points. We documented the process in a SOP-like PDF with a tour checklist for the owner to complete. The checklist included pre-tour activities such as arranging travel for the visitor, debriefing the team members giving the tour, material gathering, and post-tour activities such as thanking the visitor, PDCA, and office clean-up.

We communicated the plan to the team and have started to hold people accountable for following it. We now hold monthly reviews to discuss future improvements.

Simple steps to create a standard process:

  • Talk with the people who perform the work - go to the Gemba!
  • Create a plan.
  • Set expectations.
  • Communicate the plan.
  • Conduct regular PDCA for ongoing improvement.

The answer to consistently offering an exceptional tour experience was already ingrained in LeanCors’ DNA - create standard processes.

What are some processes you have created that ensure the best experience for customers? What processes need improvement?

If you are in the Cincinnati, OH or Northern Kentucky Area and would like to tour our Logistics Operations Center or Lean Fulfillment Center warehouse, please contact us to schedule a visit!

Written by Nick Nelson, Sales Specialist at LeanCor

Posted by LeanCor Supply Chain Group

LeanCor Supply Chain Group is a trusted supply chain partner that specializes in lean principles to deliver operational improvement. LeanCor’s three integrated divisions – LeanCor Training and Education, LeanCor Consulting, and LeanCor Logistics – help organizations eliminate waste, drive down costs, and build a culture of continuous improvement.

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