Lean CRM




A UK Campaign response handling organisation was suffering with delays in its process whereby Charitable donations were not being banked in a timely manner. This was resulting in a number of different issues, including delays in banking donations that had a direct effect on both the Charity concerned and the donor.

The organisation looked to resolve these issues by the introduction of a Lean CRM programme.

The Target was that the Lean CRM Initiative would not only resolve the immediate issues, but would also instill a pro-active and dynamic culture.


Like many examples in the service sector, the operation differed from a traditional manufacturing operation. Normally in a Lean manufacturing environment, customers order finished goods from a plant, which in turn pulls raw materials from suppliers. In this example, the donors are suppliers, and push the ‘raw material’ into the process.

This meant that every morning the receiving department ‘The Post Room’, saw huge volume swings and struggled to process the incoming donations ready for the up stream processes to start. Secondly this meant that the whole system did not flow and large batches developed.

Following an assessment of the situation, a series of improvement activities were conducted, aimed at Improving flexibility, creating flow, reducing batch sizes and making the process more visual.

Alongside the physical changes to make the process Lean, a training and mentoring programme was put in place.


Within 3 months, the following was achieved:

Productivity lift of 35%

On time processing up from 45% to 95%

Lead time to issue a thank you letter to donor reduced from 4 days to 24 hours

Card processing errors reduced by 75%

Daily performance monitoring in place

CRM Lean Training and Cultural Development programme in place