Purchase Orders Eliminated by Kaizen Tools
I once worked for a company with a seven-part purchase-order form, and every single purchase order had to be approved by the vice president of finance. People were so disheartened by the abysmal speed of the system that maverick ways of purchasing were rampant.
A small purchasing Kaizen team completed seven As Is process maps for each method. It was a very disheartening process fraught with delays and contradictions.
Instead of trying to make the existing processes better, we decided to start from scratch on the To Be process. Fortunately we had plenty of best practices and their process maps available for purchase orders.
We initially went to a two-part short-order form for everything under $500, and eventually to purchase cards. We eliminated ten file cabinets of forms. People soon had the confidence in the systems, and they were much more truthful in expressing their needs. The vice president of finance had more time to get IPO funding and improve our financial viability rather than spending his time deciding who should be purchasing pens and pencils.
Some tools of the Kaizen process eliminated very bureaucratic methods.