Last time (in Part 1) I recounted a question I was asked not long ago about HOW A LEAN COMPANY CAN ELIMINATE THE ACCOUNTS PAYABLE 3-WAY MATCHING PROCESS. In case you missed that blog, here is the link: https://maskell.com/?p=867
I thought: instead of giving the standard humble consultant’s answer, I would use the lean A3 approach. I asked you, Readers, to send me lists of the various kinds of mismatches you were finding in your the AP processes. I started the ball rolling by filling in some kinds of mismatches I’ve come across.
I am truly amazed by how large and detailed this list has become. This indicates that the PO / AP processes out there among you all provide many opportunities for errors, and, of course, they also present many opportunities for improvement.
Now, let’s all get to work on a crowd sourced solution to the problem
The question for today is “How would a truly lean company eliminate most of these issues?” As you think about the best Lean solution you want to propose, here are some of guidelines:
1. Firstly, we are looking to eliminate about 80% of potential mismatches by eliminating the possibility of their occurring. We should be addressing the primary, routine things we buy to support the business of our company. There will always be purchases of items that are not regular items or not from regular suppliers (some cats and dogs), and these will need to go through the AP 3-way match. But if we can find the 80% solution, we can improve what’s most important and most frequent … Let’s not get ourselves bogged down trying to solve everything.
2. Secondly, we should use LEAN THINKING to eliminate the mismatches; this means we will change the processes of requisitioning, purchasing and receiving and how we interact with our suppliers. We will not just automate the waste, we will eliminate it by removing the need for it. Remember, we have to get to the root causes of the problems and eliminate those root causes.
3. Lastly, this is a not a quick fix. It will likely require substantial change in the company’s way of looking at purchasing.
So, once again, here is the question: “How would a truly lean company eliminate most of these issues?” The “issues” you submitted are shown in the table below. Please give your answers as “Comments” after this posting. I will be tabulating and posting the best, most lean solutions, that meet my guidelines.
These are the causes of AP mismatches that you sent in: