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How We Discovered and Implemented LEAN

How We Discovered and Implemented LEAN

We implement LEAN processes throughout the organization to ensure that we are continuously focused on what our clients value. This approach has revolutionized our firm, making us more effective and efficient at every level to the benefit of our clients.

It’s amazing how a simple trip to the dentist introduced us to the power of LEAN.

The Story:

Several years ago, I visited a new dentist for routine cleaning. The normal process would be to sign in, and then sit in a waiting area until called back for treatment. However, upon entering this new office, I signed in, walked toward the seating area and was immediately called back by the receptionist and told that there was no need to wait. The receptionist directed me to work station #4 where a dental hygienist was waiting for me. She greeted me by name, sat me in the dentist chair and explained the procedures related to my treatment for that day. I knew immediately that this was a different experience.

Since I was a new patient, I had to have x-rays, which were taken in the dentist chair. The images appeared immediately on a nearby screen. Once my teeth were cleaned, the dentist immediately arrived and reviewed the x-rays while asking me a few questions. On this day, unlike my previous experiences elsewhere, the transition from process to process, hygienist to dentist, was seamless and very efficient.

At the end of my treatment (while I was still seated) I was asked how I would like to pay for my treatment.   This same hygienist took my credit card, swiped it right next to my chair, and handed me a receipt. A follow up appointment was made, and I was on my way back to work. Instead of waiting to pay the front desk, etc. I was able to get out of the dentist chair and leave.

What an experience! A dentist who understood what his customer’s truly value: quality treatment with little to no wait time. It was also clear that this office had an unusual and effective system for delivering value in a very efficient manner, increasing office productivity and morale simultaneously.

On a subsequent visit, I asked the owner how he did it. He then introduced me to the principles of Lean.   I knew then that I had to incorporate this approach to our law firm. One of our managers and I immediately immersed ourselves in learning more, and after several more visits to the dentist, we implemented Lean at Hiday & Ricke. It has been a huge success in every way.

As a LEAN law firm, we are now motivated to look beyond traditional approaches to work processes, to think outside-the-box in order to enhance the flow of work, eliminate waste and deliver methods for continuous improvement all in an effort to provide true value to you, the client.   This is an everyday task that empowers employees and improves our performance across the board, virtually daily.

Robert D. Hiday

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