Modeling A Process Part I


First I’d like to say a model is never 100% accurate but it is a great way to help you get better with your processes. I was thinking the other day how do you apply lean across the board in any business and I came up with some interesting thoughts and please provide feedback. You can break up any process into inbound and outbound and it breaks down into these categories. Single means a single place of entry or destination and multiple means multiple places of entry or destinations.

Single customer through the whole process
  • Single inbound Single outbound (Custom boat building where you have to go to the store to order)
  • Single inbound Multiple outbounds (Most service industries like restaurants. They come in through the door but they all order different items)
  • Multiple inbounds Single outbound (Order products online or by phone but still get shipped to you)
  • Multiple inbounds Multiple outbounds (Most manufacturing businesses like computer manufacturers)
Multiple end Customers through the whole process
  • Single inbound Single outbound (Buying and selling a used car as a dealer)
  • Single inbound Multiple outbounds (Buying a car and selling it to the dealer, individual, or to an auction)
  • Multiple inbounds Single outbound (Buy old computers from multiple sources, fix them, and sell them back to the school district)
  • Multiple inbounds Multiple outbounds (Buy old computers from multiple sources, fix them, and sell them to brokers, schools, government agencies, individuals, etc.)
In the service industry we usually see either single customer single inbound multiple outbound (doctor’s office) or single customer multiple inbound and multiple outbound (consultants). With manufacturing we usually see single customers with multiple inbounds and multiple outbounds. With re-manufacturing (aka refurbishment process) we see multiple customers with multiple inbounds and multiple outbounds.
Where does your business lie in the spectrum? I look forward to your comments.