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HR Business Processes

In this new short Whitepaper, Nick Laird, Chief Commercial Officer, looks at Just In Time thinking and how this can be applied to, and help HR.


Nick Laird, Ceridian

The concept of Just in Time manufacturing has been around for decades. Originally pioneered by Japanese manufacturing companies, it centres on the fact that inventory and mismatches between process quality levels and capacities are inherently wasteful. These mismatches often result from poor information flow along an end-to-end process and also because poor quality processes require substantial excess work done “just in case” the output is short of expectations. As the level of inventory is lowered, the poor processes become more highly visible; forcing companies to sort each one out.

HR processes have never been viewed in this way or with the rigour often applied to mission critical production environments. Neither has the concept of Just in Time been applied in high value-adding professional service environments, as the commercial imperative is hidden among the larger margins available in these settings.

Ceridian has seen environments where there are mismatches in capacities along a process, where there are poor quality processes, where “re-work” (as it would be called in manufacturing) is commonplace. This results in inefficiencies, where time is wasted and is hidden within the organisation. Often, the administration burden to sort these out is shared between many, leaving it difficult to identify as a job marked “back office admin”, and to reduce or eliminate. In one study alone we found that headcount processing HR transactions could be improved by over 25 per cent if the quality of instruction was improved before the instruction was issued to the department.

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