Becoming a lean service organisation
A Legal Services Commission case study

Page 1: Introduction

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The Legal Services Commission is a service organisation. It provides legal services through its Providers in the form of advice and legal help to a large number of people on low incomes. The Commission runs the legal aid scheme in England and Wales. Legal aid is a system of government funding to enable people who would otherwise not be able to afford legal services to obtain those services. The...
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Page 2: Lean production

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Lean production is an approach that aims to maximise the use of available resources, thereby reducing waste and inefficiency. Typical components of lean production include 'Just in Time' and Total Quality Management (TQM). Just-in-time is a model applied to production processes of all types. It aims to reduce the costs of holding excessive stocks and avoid duplicating effort. In a manufacturing...
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Page 3: The benefits of a lean service

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Lean production means all three parties involved in the Commission's processes benefit. Customers get a much quicker and personalised service. Providers work with a simpler and more sensible system. The Legal Services Commission is able to provide a more cost-effective and less wasteful service because less time and expense is taken up on unnecessary activities. This is important as the Legal...
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Page 4: Implementing a lean environment

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The starting point for developing a lean approach is to research and analyse what customers requirements are in order to identify the best ways of providing value. The Commission's market research mainly involved collecting primary data directly from Providers. Focus group discussions were held with Providers in which they discussed ways in which the system could be improved. In addition...
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Page 5: Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement

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Quality Assurance (QA) involves confirming that a service meets all requirements when measured against the purpose of and targets for providing that service. For example, those seeking legal advice should feel that they have received the advice they expected in a timely way. Advice Centres and Solicitors working with the Legal Services Commission should feel that they have been treated...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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The Legal Services Commission exists to provide support services such as Legal Aid to enable everyone to get appropriate legal advice and support when they need it. Its emphasis is on providing that support as efficiently as possible, in order to meet customer needs in the most efficient and effective way. Using lean production principles enables the Legal Services Commission to review its...
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