Time Consulting helps letting agency with Lean implementation

15 June 2021 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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Using Lean principles, Time Consulting has helped to deliver more than £500,000 in savings to a letting agency in the UK. The firm performed a Lean Diagnostic Assessment for the client, helping identify opportunities for it to streamline its administrative process, and boost employee engagement.

Founded in 2014, Time Consulting Group has since recruited more than 50 Senior Consultants with deep sector experience and helped over 100 customers implement solutions to complex growth restricting problems relating to people, processes and technology. The firm operates around five key levers: intelligent process automation; data science; systems integration; organisational capability; and Lean principles. Recently, the firm applied this Lean expertise in order to help a client in the letting agency business to streamline its services to clients and landlords.

According to Time Consulting, the property letting agency in question has over 100 branches in the UK, and a total of 164 administration staff across all sites. The complexity of dealing with applicants to collect information and process deposits from all these sites was meaning the firm was not as efficient as it might have been, so the company decided to centralise all its branch based administration activities to two locations, known as HUBs.

Time Consulting helps letting agency with Lean implementation

The company’s project team had designed a Target Operating Model (TOM) based on having 60 administrators across these HUBs, however, before it could proceed with the implementation, the agency’s private equity partner intervened. To ensure there would not be complications relating to the changes, the investor requested the agency seek out a Lean consultant specialist, and validate the assumptions made in the design of the TOM.

Time Consulting was subsequently tasked with performing a Lean Diagnostic Assessment. The core aims of the project were to identify and measure the full spectrum of current state processing activities, as well as the impact of current state non-value adding activities. On top of this the assessment needed to use its findings to determine the productivity gap from current state to optimised future state design, and recommend the future state TOM design for Management consideration.

The current state analysis took place over a period of weeks, during which time number of Lean tools were applied including demand analysis and value stream mapping, as well as an analysis of cycle times. In the end, the study highlighted a number of significant improvements to the proposed TOM. This included the simplification of forms and removal of duplicates from application forms, alongside the addition of a shared drive for documents, reducing delays and labour time, allowing for more value-adding work elsewhere. Meanwhile, the research also helped address staff retention concerns, recommending the upskilling staff and rotation of activities to keep their work interesting – boosting job satisfaction and retention rates.

Along with these results, the findings helped increase tenant and landlord satisfaction, and save the agency £590,000. Corresponding to this, a statement on Time Consulting’s website on the project concluded that “by taking a step back to assess the current state of the proposed TOM, a number of opportunities for process improvement were revealed. Implementing these changes resulted in significant benefits for the company.”