Streamlining for Customer Satisfaction

A tale of removing bottlenecks to save millions and make people happy!

Once upon a time…

a company ran a network of close to 300 private schools. Each of the schools employed a director, an assistant director, and many teachers.  Reporting attendance was one of the more essential tasks; The employeees had to record when children arrived, where they were at all times of the day, when they ate meals, and when they were picked up or placed on a bus.

Every day…

thousands of parents would drop off their children at the schools.  The parents would wait in line to make sure their child was checked-in and acknowledged.

One day…

the company realized that many of the schools had significant bottlenecks during the time most children arrived.  Sometimes the process was so time-consuming that the parents would ignore the check-in process, drop off their child, and leave.  The stranded children created an attendance nightmare for the directors who had to wander around and manually take attendance.  Moreover, the bottlenecks created a  customer satisfaction problem.

Because of that…

we suggested a Lean Six-Sigma approach to study behavior, streamline the process, and eliminate the waste from attendance and tracking.  We could work with a cohort of directors and measure workflows. We could help the company understand where problems were occurring, and efficiencies were possible.

And because of that…

we created a Guiding Coalition of a select group of directors and assistant directors that knew process and procedure.  Then we visited and observed behavior at 30 diverse schools.  We statistically measured the actions of the parents when they dropped off and picked up their children.  And we documented the employees’ activities with a focus on the records they needed to keep for government compliance.

Until finally…

…we worked with the Guiding Coalition to make the processes at all of the schools more efficient.  We produced a detailed report and move-ahead plan that would reduce costs by millions of dollars per year and vastly improve customer satisfaction.