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Data Collection Company Integrates Lean Philosophy










PORTLAND, OR (PRWEB) July 22, 2006

Research Data Design, Inc. (RDD), a leading market research company specializing in quantitative and qualitative data collection, has adopted a new management practice that has been used in decades past by manufacturing companies. The Japanese based philosophy known as ‘Lean’ is currently making the transition from manufacturing companies to service providers. RDD is the first company of its kind to adopt Lean into the common workplace.

First developed by Toyota manufacturing in the 1960s and defined by MIT in the 1980s, Lean philosophies have helped production companies streamline their business and product output by means of identifying and eliminating waste at the material level. Research Data Design has taken the same philosophy and implemented it into its customer service projects by means of identifying the company’s core values, defining key business metrics, outlining standard work and creating systems of visual communication. All of these things are designed to keep waste out of the business process and to help employees on opportunities for efficiency. RDD is one of the first companies in the country to engage the philosophy of Lean in a company outside of manufacturing.

“The fact is that any company can use Lean to their advantage. With these tools, we’ve been able to watch our company production rise on a daily basis. It’s really an exciting time for us,” said CEO John Stepleton.

The introduction to Lean started with the Portland chapter of Entrepreneur’s Organization (http://www.eonetwork.org), where CEO John Stepleton first learned about Lean. From there other participants of the EO have been working closely with RDD about his experience and success in turning businesses around using Lean philosophies.

During the implementation of Lean, RDD redefined the processes that brought direct value to the clients and have made many small changes that have produced big results. Some key points have been: identifying the company’s core values, defining key business metrics, outlining standard work and creating systems of visual communication. All of these things are designed to keep waste out of the business process and to help employees on opportunities for efficiency

After past growth that earned RDD a place on the 500 Fastest Growing Companies list in 1999, at #152, then 2000 at #252, and #462 in 2001, Stepleton has been looking for a means to keep the company running effectively.

“Since the slowing pace of the company, Lean is the next step in moving things forward again and giving RDD a goal that we’ve only dreamed of before,” said Stepleton.

RDD is taking the initiative to be a leader in the implementation of Lean outside the manufacturing arena, and is striving for the Shingo Prize in the future. Considered the Nobel Prize of manufacturing; the Shingo Prize establishes the standard for world-class manufacturing excellence. RDD will petition the NW Shingo Prize committee to enter as a new category and eventually become a case study for the Shingo Prize Organization.

ABOUT RDD – Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, RDD delivers data collection services for business, consumer, and multilingual studies to clients in a variety of industry segments, including high tech, food and beverage, finance, insurance, automotive, healthcare, utilities, media, and entertainment. Founded in 1994, the company earned a space on Inc Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies list three years running. RDD currently staffs more than 400 highly trained individuals, including interviewers, site and field managers, data analysts, and account managers. RDD owns and operates interviewing centers in Las Cruces, New Mexico; Portland, Oregon; Missoula, Montana; and a new facility in Fort Collins, Colorado.

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