Process Excellence

Improving Processes, Increasing Efficiencies, & Reducing Costs

Process Excellence (PE)

Whether you are running an organization that sells products or provides services, the loaded cost of inefficient and ineffective business and production processes can equate to 5-25% of your sales.

Typically, initial Process Excellence (PE) implementation projects identify 30% of this figure, which proves to be an excellent starting point to generate a significant rate of return.

More importantly, our approach allows for all members of your organization to continuously apply PE concepts long after we have departed.

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Process excellence gets more accomplished while using the minimum resources necessary. This approach applies to an organization’s business processes as much as its production processes.

  • Understanding Process Thinking
  • What Is Needed To Begin
  • The Importance Of Alignment
  • Defining Process Excellence
  • Two Kinds Of Processes
  • A Possible Barrier To Success
  • Adopt A New Organizational Philosophy
  • Selecting Your Organization’s Tenets
  • There are Two Types Of Process Excellence – What Works Where?

Since 1976, our Associates have lead cost savings and quality improvement initiatives in multiple industries. In 1992, we collaborated with other groups across the US to formalize our approach. Together, we developed a proven process encompassing Total Quality Management (TQM) and Continuous Improvement (CI) principles that meet the following six criteria:

  1. It is specific to the current organizational climate.
  2. It presents the teachings of four recognized quality experts - Deming, Juran, Crosby, and Carlzon - so the client can define their own set of quality principles.
  3. It is tied directly to the strategic objectives and goals of the organization.
  4. It addresses "system" issues consistent with PE practices:
  • >Prevention rather than detection
  • >Simplicity rather than complexity
  • >Decisions are based on measurement rather than gut feel
  • >Statistical Process Control where applicable
  • >The Internal Customer
  1. It addresses the "people" issues necessary in a quality organization. Experience has shown that when this element of the implementation process is neglected, the results can be disastrous. Attempting "employee involvement" without addressing leadership and management development results in no effective change being made in the culture of the organization. PE becomes the scapegoat.
  2. It is results driven. Variation (elimination of defects) and Lean Thinking (building a competitive advantage through speed) projects are identified early on so that employees learn the underpinnings of total quality while achieving tangible results.

Competence and Change

By focusing people on key result areas through the use of project improvement teams, the company as a whole begins to move toward the objective of being a total quality organization.

To foster this, projects are selected that address challenges facing the organization and capitalize on opportunities defined in the company's strategic plan. The organization's Quality Council, consisting of key managers, manages these projects.


To aid in the process and to insure its continuance, facilitators from within the organization are trained in the details of TQM and become the in-house resource to insure that the organization is equipped to continue this process. At the end of this period, an evaluation is conducted to define the future steps necessary for continuance.

Specifics of the PE Implementation Process

Implementation of PE includes the following components.


During the analysis phase, interviews are conducted with senior management to determine the following:

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  • The current level of "quality thinking" within the organization.
  • The current strategic direction, i.e., the status of the corporate strategic plan and the business plans within the company.
  • The key issues that are being dealt with by management.
  • The overall culture of the company.

Additionally, an Organizational Climate Survey can be conducted in order to ascertain the environment within the company. This survey is tailored so as to be consistent with the organization's level of quality implementation if the organization has already begun such an implementation.

Comprehension and Commitment

Senior managers spend approximately a day learning the concepts of PE as viewed by various Quality experts. Management then chooses those principles that apply to their organization and this becomes the foundation of their quality culture. They articulate quality principles, a quality statement, a vision, values, and a mission.

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At this point, management is able to make the commitment to attain these objectives.

A company roll-out meeting is held, at which time management presents its quality focus and establishes expectations so that the quality management style can be implemented. This serves as the foundation for employees to see their new roles and the new relationships that will exist.

Senior managers, middle managers (department heads) and supervisors are afforded leadership development training to assist them in making the managerial transitions necessary.

Improving Business and Production Processes Through Cycle Time Reduction (CTR)

Cycle Time Reduction is a very quick way to re-engineer business and production processes for speed and maximum company performance and it is critical to your bottom line. It provides specific, proven techniques that are guaranteed to cut costs and dramatically improve the overall efficiency of your facility.

Did you know that right now your organization, regardless of its size, is almost guaranteed to be wasting thousands of dollars on unnecessary procedures and processes that add no value to your operations or your customer and in fact slow your response time?

Did you know that even in a manufacturing environment, business processes account for almost half of an organization's processes so it is not just a production or manufacturing firm concern? It affects every organization.

Did you know that customers are five times more likely to switch to another provider of your services or supplier of your product because of poor service than because of poor quality or lower price?

Waste Elimination – Cycle Time Reduction

Eliminating all forms of waste within a process delivers speed while eliminating sources of excess friction and time used. For many organizations, it can be like turning on their own money-making machine. 

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  • What CTR Is and Is Not
  • The Roles Within A CTR Process
  • Process Mapping – Here Is What You Are Building
  • Analyze Your As-Is Process
  • The Next Step – Mapping Your Ideal Process
  • Bridging The Gap
  • Identifying Bottlenecks and Barriers to Your Ideal State
  • The Final Step – Your Can-Be Map

Organizational Effectiveness – Root Cause Analysis / Variation

Understanding what causes variation in process outcomes and when you can do something about them is incredibly valuable.

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  • What Is Root Cause Analysis (RCA)?
  • Implementation Steps For RCA
  • Two Types Of Variation
  • What Causes Variation?
  • Eliminate Variation Through DMAIC
  • Measurement Can Be Misleading
  • Six Sigma – What Is It And How To Use It?

Reducing Costs and Increasing Productivity

Cycle Time Reduction techniques identify the core processes in your organization, define "value-added" versus "non-value-added" processes, break through the barriers to speed, and design the "ideal" process that allows your organization to work at maximum productivity, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Some important facts:

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  • Statistics consistently show at least a 40-to-1 return on every dollar invested in cycle time reduction.
  • Cycle time reduction can reduce overhead by as much as 50%.
  • As many as 75% of the steps in each business process are non-value-added.
  • New product development can be reduced from over two years to under one year (and sometimes much less) with significantly fewer resources.
  • Response to special customer requests can be reduced from a 3-month turn-around to a mere 3 weeks or less.

Process Excellence Action Plan Outline

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  • Introduction
  • Process Excellence Questionnaire
  • Defining Process Excellence
  • Creating Or Capturing The Organization’s Tenets
  • Creating Or Capturing The Team Charter
  • The Selected Processes
  • Code of Conduct


  • Creating Your As-Is Map
  • Creating Your Product/Service Map
  • Analyzing Your As-Is Process
  • Creating Your Product/Service Map Summary
  • Calculating Entitlement
  • Creating Your Ideal Map
  • Evaluating The Current Barriers To Your Ideal Process
  • Identifying Bottlenecks
  • Creating Your Can Be Map
  • Achieving Speed
  • >Goal Categories
  • >Setting Goals and Establishing Priorities
  • >Setting And Planning Goals


  • Process Definitions – Production and Business
  • Universal Sources Of Variation
  • Implementing The Tools of DMAIC
  • Selecting The Best DMAIC Tools
  • The Value Of Six Sigma
  • Achieving Predictability
  • >Goal Categories
  • >Setting Goals and Establishing Priorities
  • >Setting And Planning Goals

Support Systems

To make any change permanent and part of the culture fabric, certain support systems are critical.

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  • Reward and Recognition - Change represents risk. In order to encourage everyone in the organization to accept risk, it is important to establish a series of safety nets in the form of incentives. Reward and recognition should be based upon the attainment of quality goals. Since we get the behavior that is rewarded, it is important to reward such behavior.
  • Performance Evaluation - Performance evaluations, if used, should be reflective of the PE process, customer identification and satisfaction, and supportive of the individual's business and personal development goals.
  • Data Development - "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." Proper measurement becomes the strength of PE. Data Driven Decisions should become everyday language and every effort should be made to expand the inter-departmental databases. These databases serve as indices of improvement achieved and are indicators reflecting additional needed improvements.
  • Training and Development - It is important that a consistent ongoing program for training new employees and attending to the needs of existing employees be initiated and its results measured.
  • Communication - It is essential to develop a method of communicating the organization's quality system and accomplishments to both customers and suppliers. Management will be able to document their PE process to attain and maintain supplier certification as necessary. Communication of team and individual accomplishments and new ideas or approaches needs a forum for all to see and understand. A viable format can accomplish several objectives from reward and recognition to promoting new approaches. Open and honest information is a great strength of a PE approach.

Components Available to Achieve Results

  • Written Materials - to ensure everyone starts with the same level of knowledge.
  • Audio Materials - to help knowledge become internalized through reinforcement and spaced repetition.
  • Action Planning Workbook - to help distill thought processes and challenges.
  • Participant Interaction - to develop a high level of consensus and commitment.
  • Professional Facilitator - to maximize the beneficial outcome.

Contact Us, and let's discuss how we can help you.

Discover for yourself how powerful "Breakthrough Thinking for Your Real World" can be.

In our never-ending quest to serve you to the fullest, please do not hesitate to call, write, or email us with any of your pressing issues or concerns. Your thoughts and suggestions enable you to make us the absolute best in professional services!

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