A Real Business Example
Example: Company: Becton Dickinson (BD). According to their definition on the website, “BD is a leading global medical technology company that develops, manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents. We are focused on improving drug delivery, enhancing the quality and speed of diagnosing infectious diseases and cancers, and advancing research, discovery and production of new drugs and vaccines. BD consists of three segments: BD Medical, BD Diagnostics and BD Biosciences."
A BD 2008 project (and ongoing)
Scope: Three core business activities within consumer services:
1. Call Center Operations
2. Consumer Fulfillment: satisfying the product needs of consumers
3. Healthcare Professional Fulfillment: satisfying the product needs of the healthcare professionals and staff
Reports: For each of the three process areas:
- Processes were documented
- Issues and opportunities identified
- Metrics established to better understand and manage the future
Work Completed: For each of the process areas, top down flowcharts, cross-functional flowcharts, system maps and system issues were defined and drawn out. After analyzing these diagrams, operational problems were discovered including the root causes, and recommendations were developed to reduce or eliminate performance gaps. The company had originally received good feedback on customer services, but after documenting the business practices and procedures, issues between different staff members were noticed.
After looking at business metrics—measurements used to gauge some quantifiable component of the company's performance, such as return on investment (ROI), employee and customer churn rates, revenues and so on—along with doing a business expectation analysis, a new positive effect was achieved.
Remember, the basic steps required for continuous improvement activities are measure, monitor, manage and maximize.