A financial management unit, part of a major bank’s credit operation, had the purpose of recovering outstanding debt by liaising with 3rd party ‘advice bodies’ who represented the bank’s customers.
There were 30 FTE (Full Time Equivalents) and additional recruitment planned. However there was a backlog of some 10,000 items stretching back 24 days, compared with a 5 day Service Level Agreement (SLA).
There was a high variability in standards between staff and poor levels of quality, caused by poor process control and a lack of effective operations management.
A 12-week Lean transformation approach was used, the key details of which were:
- Analysis of the current backlog revealed high levels of failure demand (multiple work re-entry) caused by poor turnaround times. The team was re-organised to focus primarily on cases received that same day. The remaining staff worked on the backlog and soon found that their pieces of work were already completed. This slashed the date of the oldest work items.
- Local staff were facilitated in process mapping sessions to initially understand and then remove all process variances in existence. Waste was identified and removed ensuring increased efficiency. Once implemented, adherence to the new ‘one best way’ of processing was monitored.
- A shot interval control board was implemented to allow the team to track progress against the plan and adherence to productivity measures. Other key operational measures covering quality, cost and delivery were also displayed and tracked allowing further improvements to be identified.
- Capacity creation of 9 FTE, equating to annualised savings of £180K
- Age of Work in Progress (WIP) reduced from 24 days to within 5 day SLA
- Volume of WIP reduced from more than 10,000 to 500
- 100% increase in staff productivity
- Improved quality