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How Lean Manufacturing Practices Can Get Your IT Processes in Top Shape

How Lean Manufacturing Practices Can Get Your IT Processes in Top Shape

by Stephanie Faris on Monday, April 11 6:00

It started in manufacturing, allowing businesses to save significant sums of money bringing products to market by making just a few small changes. Soon, other industries were noting the savings and applying lean manufacturing practices to their own business models. From retailers to law firms, leaders in all industries can boost cash flow by reviewing each step of every process and finding ways to streamline operations.

Whether you head up an IT team or run a business with tech staff, you ve likely realized that there are things you can do to save money. When you re running on a day-by-day basis, you may not take time to reflect, which means you re losing money. To save time, here are a few areas you should focus on in your quest for lean IT practices.

Help Desk Ticketing

One of the easiest areas to reform is your help desk ticketing. Most solutions come with built-in reporting tools, allowing leaders to extract information on ticket turnaround times, resolution numbers, escalation rates, and more. Identify your least productive team members and research whether additional training might increase their ticket resolution numbers. There are several ways you can help your IT teams be more productive, including having them use remote desktop connections to resolve issues rather than physically going to the user s workstation. This will increase the number of tickets each employee can work each day, keeping customer service levels high without forcing you to add more workers.


Often IT workers are required to be on site during business hours in case something happens. This could be the technicians waiting for tickets to roll in or your server team, who keep the network safe and troubleshoot issues. If you haven t already, compare the cost of a cloud-based solution to the overall price tag that comes with supporting your own on-site servers and software. Over time, you may be able to outsource some of your tech work to a third-party company that charges only when help is needed. This can help you save significant money each year.

Project Teams

Many businesses are shifting their IT resources from help desk support to IT project support. Business analysts, project managers, and software developers help companies grow and thrive. However, as valuable as these teams are to your organization s bottom line, they can also suffer from the same waste seen with other business teams. In their case, though, the waste can directly impact the service you provide to customers or clients. One systems administrator described how he helped streamline a business s IT process through the use of white boards and better request handling to keep team members on track and avoid derailing projects.

By reviewing each area of your business s operations, you can identify areas where you can be more productive. You ll be able to cut waste and save money, providing more income for your business. As a byproduct of these cost-saving measures, you ll be able to provide better service to your employees and customers, which will help grow your business and possibly even reduce employee turnover.

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