Smoothing Workflow in FBOD

Cheryl Schmit

Cheryl Schmit is a Senior Accountant-Lead in the Accounts Payable section of FBOD. In August 2013, Cheryl participated in a week long Lean event to improve the process for submitting invoices to AP.

How was the AP process hard on you?

Hundreds of invoices come into AP every day – so many have terms of “pay immediately.” It overloads the volume of priority work that we can handle.

What were your feelings going into the AP Lean event?

I was skeptical at first. I had attended a report out before, and saw how upbeat the participants were, how much stuff was on the walls, and how they had decided on a better process which they agreed to follow. But I had a hard time imagining that happening in my work area.

What was your experience like in the Lean event?

I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone worked well together to look at the problem and come up with solutions. There was never finger pointing.

I felt exhausted by the end of the week, but because we accomplished so much. We were very productive. We got to go see in departments and ask questions. We created process maps so everyone could see opportunities for improvement. And we created new templates for internal invoices, standard forms, and standard work processes.

How do you feel about the potential for success?

I am very encouraged that the work we did in the Lean event will help to more effectively prioritize the workload, reduce errors, ensure quality, and that more invoices will be paid on time.

We have a way to measure, and review the data. I feel there is support from both departments and management that we will continue to review and work on it. I really think the commitment is there and we will continue to improve.

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