"The Queue is Quite Long"

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That's the story I get from my corporate travel office, trying to get a copy of an invoice for a flight. “The queue for accounting is quite long, that's why it takes up to 48 hours to get. Once they process it, it's out immediately, but there's a long wait.” So about 10 seconds of “Value Added” time and a 48 hour queue. A typical value stream map metric, I suppose. That's about 0.3% VA.

In the lingo of “Lean Solutions”, I'm having to request this copy because my laptop crashed (thank you Windows 2000) — the laptop provider did not “solve my problem completely,” meaning me having a working laptop. There is quite a value stream of the laptop service company, the laptop brand marketer, the company that actually built the laptop, and Microsoft.

The travel company didn't provide value “when I want it” with that 48 hour queue. Ah, the frustrations of viewing the world through a lean lens. The travel company, of course, thinks it's perfectly acceptable to have a 48 hour queue. “You get what you tolerate,” I think a Toyota person says that quite often. To the service providers out there – you can do better!

Update: It took more than a WEEK to get the document via email

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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