Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Making a go from batch to flow

Imagine my amazement to see a great example of Lean from our state government!! 
It happened last week when the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles mailed out the renewal notice for our automobile registration.  As long as I can remember, we've renewed our plates in April; last name begins with "E", so you renew in April.  And, the BMV has been notorious, also for years, about being THE place to avoid on the last day of any month, as people from the same section of the phone book all thunder in at once to get their renewal, just in the nick of time. 
No more.  And there is a lesson here.
Beginning this year, the BMV spread out their deadline dates, to typically be on the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th.  And, in one policy decision, the move from the monthly "batch" to a much more even flow.  Given the workarounds for certain holidays, they went from 15 to 49 due dates.  They estimate the maximum number of vehicles coming due on any one date will drop from 625,000 to 398,000.  Lower stress for employees, shorter waits at the BMV, lower likelihood of errors, much more even volume, easier scheduling of employees; all flowing from the move to cut the batch size radically.
Look around you...what was happening monthly which can happen weekly?  Cut the batch size!! Surely you can do as well!


Andy Wagner said...

In Michigan, the expiration date for years has been your birthday. Much lower batch sizes, and the additional benefit of being very easy to remember your expiration date!
I moved 7 years ago and still have trouble remember when to renew my Mass driver's license and registration. It's the month I bought my car and the month that I moved to the state.

Venkatesh Srambikal said...

Excellent post! Manufacturers have been struggling with this concept due to the archaic way of accounting.

David Truijen said...

About 15 years ago, all motor vehicle registrations expired on the last day of February. Yikes.

They now expire 4 months, to the day, after your birthday.

Two years ago, the change was made that you driver's license expires with the same formula.

We can now renew both the MV registrations and our driver's license with one visit to the office.