Services | How we work with clients

How Lean Scheduling work with Clients

Each and every relationship we have with a client is built around a simple question and that is “what can we do together that will give you, the client, a strategic advantage in your day to day operations”?

 The premise is that systematically reacting faster and smarter to change will have a cumulative impact on your ability to provide a level of service that your competition cannot hope to match and that this single improvement will enable you to attract new customers, grow your revenues and increase your profits.

Being able to do this consistently has proven to be a challenge but over the years one thing became very clear, we found that those who worked with us and followed our process were able to achieve predictable results. For those who are interested, our process is outlined below.

  • Discovery
  • The Assessment/Design Workshop
  • The Proposal
  • The Agile Design
  • The Full Client CRP

Discovery

One of our senior consultants will be assigned to get a basic understanding of what it is you are looking for. This will allow you to ask questions and give the opportunity to find out more about your concerns, your issues and your objectives so that we can quickly determine if there is anything we can do for you. If there appears to be mutual interest then we would typically talk to your scheduler(s), your operations people and your executive to get a better understanding of some of the more complex issues facing your company. If it appears that we can help you then we will recommend an Assessment.

The Assessment/Design Workshop

The Assessment will require an investment of time and money from you but it will provide you with a clear understanding of where you are on the APS Pyramid compared to other companies and other insights that will be useful even if you decide not to proceed with LSI.

The Assessment also gives us an opportunity to listen to your objectives so that we can help you understand what is achievable depending on your budgetary and time constraints. Typically we will recommend a Phase 1 project that is capable of delivering significant results while laying the foundation upon which additional functionality can be added in the future. Once we have a clear understanding of what we want to achieve, we move to the proposal.

The Proposal

The proposal for Phase 1 allows us to document our findings from the Assessment and typically it would include the following:

  • a firm price
  • a timeline
  • a clear description what will and won’t be included in Phase 1 and the benefits
  • an overview of the long term plan if it differs from Phase 1
  • an understanding of what will be expected from your employees

The Agile Design

This step is the most critical and the most difficult part of the process. Based on years of experience we have found that the quicker we can build a preliminary Preactor model and the quicker we can populate it with real data, the quicker you can start understanding some of the more subtle issues. It is important to note that this would normally bring to the surface a number of issues that were not identified in the initial process. We would like to think there was a way of avoiding this up front but we have come to recognize that this is not usually possible. Because we build in some time for this process up front, most of the time it does not change the overall scope of the project. However if it is decided that new functionality is required that will change the cost then a change of scope document is prepared and agreed upon by both parties.

This step also allows a significant amount of time for validating the data coming from other systems such as your ERP system.

The Full Client CRP

Once all of the pieces have been unit tested we move to the CRP (Conference Room Pilot). The CRP involves getting everyone together who will be impacted by the new scheduling system and creating scripts to test all the possible transactions. This provides the opportunity to involve other departments (such as sales, engineering, shop floor and purchasing) so that they can understand how the new system will impact their jobs and what is expected from them.

Depending on the results, there may be a need for more than one CRP but once it has been completed successfully, you will be ready to go live with a level of confidence

For a detailed explanation about each of these processes please see The Little Blue Book on Scheduling.

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