"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 is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. His latest book has been released as an "in-progress" book, titled Measures of Success.

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