One of the important elements of lean and continuous improvement that it isn’t only about cutting expenses through waste reduction and elimination.
Yes, lower costs is certainly a by-product of reducing wasteful activities. It stands to reason that streamlined activities will reduce the necessary time, money, and resources to complete processes as needed by the customer. Lean is helping you meet the customer expectations, with either equivalent or lower resources necessary to do it. That’s great.
Lean can also open up capacity. Instead of serving 500 patrons at your ticket windows in an hour you can now serve 600. You can get “butts in seats” faster and open up their exposure to stadium advertising quicker and longer. You can complete one additional offseason maintenance project per week than before, so the stadium provides a better experience.
But now think about all those processes that were lower priorities before, the ones that may not have been directly impacting the customer, that were never being completed.
“Oh, I’ll get to that, I have to finish this other stuff first.”
“Well that’s not as high of a priority, but we want to get it done some day.”
Maybe you’ve found a way to save one operator out of this concession stand, and two from that concession stand. Good! You have three extra operators you were already counting on using in your budget. What should you do?
USE THEM SOMEWHERE ELSE!
Take those extra operators and have them help with stadium maintenance. Instead of plopping an “out of order” sign on a bathroom faucet, find the operator with the best technical skills to repair the problem.
Have them help out with parking lot management. Let them collect money and hand out passes, or help direct traffic.
Sweep the concourse more frequently, or collect trash on the outside of the gates.
Opening up your capacity can add so much to the customer experience, so don’t be afraid to do so.