My car was written off a few weeks ago. The insurance claim made an ironic conterpoint to a Lean course I went on the same week.
“Lean” isn’t an acronym, though it sounds like one. It’s a description of how Toyota make their cars. They don’t waste a thing: not time, not effort, and certainly not materials. No fat: it’s all lean. Lean is about a lot of things, but ultimately it’s about cutting out waste and making sure that each step in a process explicitly adds value for the customer.
There’s a lot that I really like about Lean, for instance it assumes that the people who operate a process know more about it than anyone else. Who’d have thunk?
I don’t want to turn this into a whinge-fest about my insurance claim. You’ve been there, you know what a nightmare it is if your car is totalled by three unknown lads in a stolen transit.
However it seems entirely ludicrous that I ended up with the notes from 15 phone calls made to four different companies on my pad, and those were only the calls when there was something worth noting down. And why four companies? Why was I the one co-ordinating the insurance claim itself, the legal claim for uninsured losses, the loss-adjustor’s valuation, the purported hire car while the claim was settled and the other purported hire car while the claim was settled? Actually, that’s five companies, isn’t it?
Breathe in, two, three
Breathe out, two, three
Think of Calm Blue Light
It made an interesting case-study on the Lean Course, and I wonder if there is money to be made creating a “Lean and Mean” accreditation for organisations. If an insurer could prove they had a Lean Claims Department, it would make me choose to use them.
Just one phone call to sort out a claim? Who wouldn’t go for that?
More on Lean:
- The Machine that Changed the World – the original book on Lean published in the 1990s
- Wikipedia on Lean Manufacturing
- Wikipedia on Lean Software Production