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Process Improvement Operations Essay

1124 words - 5 pages

Process Improvement Plan
University of Phoenix
OPS 571
February 10, 2012
Christine Thigpen
Process Improvement Plan
An inherent part of the service experience is that customers dislike waiting and this waiting influences the customer evaluation of service (Taylor, 1994). Kaiser Permanente’s business office is working on improving their customer service process time for financial aid applications. Currently the average completion time that a customer spends in the office is about 23 – 38 minutes from start to finish. The business office team made minor changes in their process flow to decrease bottlenecks ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, managing the wait time coupled with managing the customers’ perception of the wait time is important to produce different customer reactions. Instead of customers sitting and waiting for service, a stand was placed in the waiting area with blank financial assistance applications in the stand. As customers come into the lobby area, they are filling out the application during their wait time. This helps manage the wait time perception as the time spent waiting does not appear to be wasted.
After changing the process flow another set of observations are completed for comparison. To be sure that the data sample is similar to the previous data set the same times, days, and number of observations are made. This helps to not skew the sample set. The post implementation process showed a 60% decrease in service time. These results are dramatic and this new process saved on average 12 minutes on the patients total service time. This new process also fills the wait time with what is perceived as service by having the patients’ time occupied by completing the application.
When determining if a process improvement was successful and sustainable it is important to look that the pre and post statistical analytics of the process. In addition, new control limits are set for the new process. Below is a graph of the 25 sample sets and the pre and post service times.

There are also key statistical indicators that are compared. Refer to the data below displaying the mean, median, mode, and the confidence intervals of the pre and post process changes:
  | Prior Avg Time | Post Avg Time |
count | 25 | 25 |
mean | 31.28 | 18.12 |
sample variance | 17.46 | 5.61 |
sample standard deviation | 4.18 | 2.37 |
minimum | 24 | 15 |
maximum | 39 | 22 |
range | 15 | 7 |
standard error of the mean | 0.84 | 0.47 |
| | |
median | 31.00 | 18.00 |
mode | 36.00 | 18.00 |
Upper control Limit | 43.82 | 25.23 |
Lower Control Limit | -12.54 | -7.11 |

| |
Now all the data is displayed the important thing is how it is interpreted. The mean, or average time spent on each customer dropped from 31 to 18. This is a 60% decrease in time it takes to service a customer. The mode is the time that was spent most frequently in each data. For example, in the 25 cases done prior to the process change 36 minutes was the most frequent time that was spend on the 25 cases. In fact it took 36 minutes on four different patients. The...

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