Lean project enables the culture of continuous improvement and improves efficiency Case Study

Project Background

Germar Electrical and Security is a long established company based in Waterford City, which serves the entire South-East of the country offering a vast range of services to a variety of customers and sectors, including industrial, commercial, domestic, government buildings and charitable organisations. Germar are wholly committed to ensuring customer satisfaction and along with the vast array of electrical services, are fully licensed in providing security services including intruder alarms, CCTV, access control, gate automation & barriers, gas detection, fire alarms and monitoring services.

Company’s excellent reputation for delivering projects within schedule and budget has made Germar the contractor of choice for more than 25 years. The company employs a highly skilled workforce, trained to the highest standards in all aspects of electrical, security and technical roles. Health and safety is of utmost importance to Germar and is managed pro-­actively throughout the organisation. The company understands the importance of flexibility, adaptability and responsibility towards each of their customers and can provide technical expertise and advice necessary for efficient, reliable and cost-­effective use and maintenance of all electrical & security systems. Germar offers business and domestic clients a reliable maintenance and repair service including a 24-hour callout service.

Lean Project Objectives 

  • Sales to Cash Optimisation – The elimination of waste in this core process. The management of the company were spending considerable amounts of their valuable time manually supporting legacy back office processes.
  • Any wasted time resources recovered were to be spent on enhancing customer and potential customer relationships and growing the business.

Key Challenges

  • Customer engagement and the flow of work through from initial lead, through service deliver to invoicing was achieved using mainly manual processes. These needed to be mapped and the improvement opportunities identified.
  • Finding feasible countermeasures that might be compatible with the existing finance solution and the independent time recording system would require innovative solutions.

Key Changes

  • Introduced scanning solution for material purchases to eliminate manual data entry in to finance systems and spreadsheets .Invoices could be received by e-mail and automatically be uploaded for processing eliminating paper.
  • A consolidated report that brought together the relevant time and materials data for each job digitally replacing legacy paper solutions was initiated.

Results / Outcomes

  • Waste Reduction – identified efficiencies in back office processes that resulted in the adoption of office automation tools. Estimated savings of 15% will be achieved through the automation of data processing on materials purchases.
  • The saving will be invested in continuous improvement projects including ISO 9001 Certification and an increased focus on customer acquisition & retention.
  • The adoption of a Continuous Improvement culture is now the norm in the business with two follow on projects immediately identified. The team are now comfortable mapping and analysing processes and seeking improvements.


“The Lean project has not just allowed us to make savings on the time spent on back office tasks; it has also opened our eyes to the benefits of adopting a Continuous Improvement culture. We are looking forward to using the skills we have acquired in our day-to-day operations and in future CI projects.”

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