James Beckwith
Tuesday, January 24, 2023

How do you implement Kaizen in Service Delivery?

Mensura have sought to deconstruct the service offering and provide only the elements of the QS service that our target market (SME Developers and Contractors) need.  We have done this by a process of analysis.  We have looked to understand what elements of the QS service do clients need and how can we offer them a service that responds to this need.
We provide the full range of services and can operate as a QS on a project in a ‘traditional’ way but our uniqueness comes from the fact that a client can take back control of their spend, understand what they need and only buy what they therefore need to complete their project with the knowledge they have support of a chartered surveyor providing them with the advice that they need to finish the job.  It is in this manner that we have sought to element the waste in the process for the client.
We have done this by applying lean principles or   Kaizen principles.  Kaizen is a Japanese business philosophy that is concerned with the process that continuously improves.  Key aspects include quality control, standardization of work, efficient use of equipment and elimination of waste.[1]

[1] What is Kaizen, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/k/kaizen.asp#:~:text=Alex%20Dos%20Diaz-,What%20Is%20Kaizen%3F,operations%20and%20involve%20all%20employees., Accessed Jan 2023

How do we make the Invisible visible and eliminate waste?

Services are invisible.  That is there is no physical product that is being bought by our clients.  So how can we make the invisible visible to allow us to analyse the process and therefore cut out the waste. 

In a production process this is more straightforward.  There is an area where there is the movement of a product, a quantity of raw materials, work in process, finished goods and scraps to clear.  In production systems you can actually see what is happening with the product, whether it is being processed or currently in movement and after a short observation one can define where the wastes are.  But services products cannot do this so we have spent time to document the process.  We have written everything down.  This is so that we can see the process, making the invisible visible and once this has been done we can identify and eliminate the waste.

Example:  We have taken a cost plan, identified the information requirements based on NRM best practice, understand the transactional process for provision and receipt of information, understood the steps in advice provision, closing with identification of how information is imported to our clients.  We have documented this.  We have reviewed this in workshop arrangements in our team and then refined what we feel is the most efficient manner in provision of advice or documentation. 

How do we Continuously Improve service provision?

We continue to improve the process discussed above via regular reviews of our service product procedures.  WE take feedback from our clients on the client experience and improve how we go about providing our services and amend our documented procedures once feedback is received.  WE also ensure our service provision remains current by utilising the latest best practice documentation to inform our service product provision procedures.

How do we ensure Quality?

These procedures ensure that the quality of our advice is stable and consistent.  In service provision if we cannot observe people undertaken the processes of advice we cannot tell what exactly they are doing, our service procedures allow us to ensure our team is performing int eh same way to the high standards expected by our clients and that expected of an RICS regulated firm.

How are We Different?

If we do what was always done Mensura’s service will be the same as every other surveyor.  We don’t do that.  It is because we have taken the time to stop, identify what clients need, review how the work is done, refine the process that new possibilities have been generated.  The new possibility here are the benefits we bring to our clients through a lower price point for a service that is provided by Chartered Surveyors, from a Company that hold the relevant PI and that is regulated by RICS.  Quality and consistency is maintained by the process, control by the directors.
It is exactly this observe, deconstruct, analyse and reconstruct structure underpins all the service products provide by Mensura.  It is not in our culture to allow surveyors to sit behind a desk clicking, it is in our culture to find a proper method which enables us to observe and develop processes and pass these efficiencies onto our clients.  This makes us different and good people to know!


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