Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy: Get on that Lean-thinking Hat

Posted by: meikah | 20 January 2010 | 8:53 pm

During the NRF 99th Annual Convention & Expo, Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy shared 10 essential management lessons.

On Number 6, Leahy talked about connecting together people, process, and system. This is what organizations often fail to do.

And on Number 7, he encourages everyone to employ Lean thinking to address bottlenecks and fix the disconnects in productivity.

Read the 10 lessons here.

Filed under: Lean, Productivity, Six Sigma, Tesco

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Lean Six Sigma and Productivity Management

Posted by: meikah | 6 January 2010 | 9:45 pm

Do you like to know how Lean Six Sigma is evolving to productivity management?

Click here to view the .ppt presentation.

Filed under: Lean Six Sigma, Productivity, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Zone


The SixSig Roundup

Posted by: meikah | 8 November 2009 | 8:54 pm

SixSig Roundup

It’s time again for some link-loving and see what other blogs are saying about Six Sigma, Lean, Lean Six Sigma and other quality improvement processes.

NC State of Business shares tips for integrating Lean and Six Sigma to optimize your organization’s performance.

Newshoggers shares a good discussion on the difference between service operations like hospitals and manufacturing operations such as General Motors or Ford. The conclusion is that U.S. hospitals can improve.

ReliablePlant Blogs asks if your continuous improvement list is long, which projects should you pursue first?

Gallup Management Journal interviews Jim Clifton and talks about the kind of leadership companies go through to achieve sustainability and continuous improvement. Clifton goes on to describe the next generation leadership.

i360Insight has a very interesting take on increasing productivity as inspired by Peter Drucker.

Filed under: Leadership, Processes, Productivity, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Advantage

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Pittsburgh Glass Works Turns One Year Old and Grateful To Lean/Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 13 October 2009 | 8:04 pm

Lean/Six Sigma at Pittsburgh Glass Works

Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW), the former automotive glass and services division of PPG Industries, turned one year this month. PGW has been running the business as a stand-alone company since last October, yet it has remained the leading supplier of automotive glass and services.

According to Jim Wiggins, Chairman and CEO, Pittsburgh Glass Works, LLC:

“PGW improved its cost structure and enhanced its flexibility to serve customers through a streamlined organization based on Lean value streams, transformation of our manufacturing footprint from nine plants to six, and through aggressive implementation of lean/six sigma throughout operations,” said Wiggins. “Operational performance capabilities have been further enhanced through the rebuild of a float line at Meadville, and investments in our fabrication cold end and bending processes.”

Read more…

Filed under: Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Processes, Productivity, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations

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8 Workable Strategies for Creating Lean Government

Posted by: meikah | 1 October 2009 | 9:03 pm

Governments have the reputation of being bureaucratic and a slowpoke. Many attribute it to the system by which they do business. There are just too many steps, and too many signatories!

An article on iSixSigma shares eight workable strategies to create a lean government. According to the article:

The idealized goal of Lean is “one-piece flow,” also known as continuous flow. One-piece flow is achieved when all waste is eliminated from the value stream and all that remains is value-added work from the perspective of customers.

The interesting thing about Lean in government is this that one-piece flow operation is almost achievable here because there is really no requirement for in-process inventories. There is really no such thing as a partially finished job that is not the result of a customer order within government processes.

  1. Synchronization to customer demands. This is basic really. You cater to the requirements of your customer.
  2. Understand variations in customer demand. Time and motion study will also apply here, I think. Consider that each customer has a different need, and so the flow should be flexible
  3. Create work cells. Good idea! Instead of putting each function in different departments and in different locations, why not create a work cell where all the necessary value-adding processing steps and personnel are located together?
  4. Eliminate batching work and multi-tasking.
  5. Enforce first in, first out.
  6. Implement standardized work and load leveling
  7. Do today’s work today.
  8. Make the value stream visible.

Read more…

Filed under: Lean, Processes, Productivity, Public Sector

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Lean Six Sigma Improves Productivity

Posted by: meikah | 12 August 2009 | 8:02 pm

An article on Democrat and Chronicle says that employee productivity in the U.S. increased in the second quarter of 2009. And according to the U.S. Labor Department, the increase has never been this high since Autumn of 2003.

A lot of reasons are viewed as contributing to this increased productivity. One of them is that many workers had been laid off, so those who were left behind  had to work doubly hard. Another reason is that it can be a sign that the economy is improving and recession is drawing to a close.

In any case, employee productivity during good or bad economic days should be consistently high. There’s a way to do it. Some companies use Lean Six Sigma.

Xerox Corp. for example attests to the value of Lean Six Sigma for their employee productivity.

At Xerox Corp., the company employs a productivity technique called Lean Six Sigma, which removes waste and variations from its projects.

In the first quarter of 2009, Xerox expanded the process to a particular supply chain supporting its business in the Western Hemisphere, and the company expects to save $2.5 million on an annualized basis.

Douglas E. Burgess, senior vice president of Lean Six Sigma, cited the supply-chain efficiency as just one example of how Xerox has raised productivity.

Read more…

Filed under: Human Resource, Lean Six Sigma, Productivity

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MPS, a Step to Lean Six Sigma Journey

Posted by: meikah | 19 April 2009 | 8:09 pm

MPS or Managed Print Services according to Ken Steward of Change Forge is a management technique that involves three steps:

  1. Consolidation – consolidate resources to be able to manage them easily
  2. Standardization – look for that common ground to create a unified procedure across the enterprise
  3. Governance – hold people accountable for their actions and ensure results

Read more…

After taking these three steps, you are now ready to embark on your Lean Six Sigma journey. These prepare you for the task of streamlining platform support and production techniques. As Steward said, these are not new concepts and people in management have probably known this, but they just needed to be educated about it more.

Steward was able to roll out Lean Six Sigma after he underwent the three steps of MPS.

Have you tried it?

Filed under: Lean Six Sigma, Manufacturing, Processes, Productivity, Services

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Lean Six Sigma to Product Development

Posted by: meikah | 15 December 2008 | 6:16 pm

An article on IndustryWeek mentions that by first optimizing the product with the company’s Design For Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) software, the subsequent lean/Six Sigma initiatives can proceed from a more refined level.

With Lean Six Sigma and DFMA, product development will:

  • simplify a wide variety of other manufacturing steps
  • reduce assembly time
  • have potentially fewer suppliers
  • reduce production floor space requirements
  • enable a first pass part count reduction as high as 50%

Read more…

Reduced, fewer steps could mean bigger savings. So Lean Six Sigma can be good to your product development, too. :)

Filed under: Benefits and Savings, Lean Six Sigma, Productivity

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Rhode Island Government Goes Into Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 14 September 2008 | 9:29 pm

It started when government employees started leaving ahead of the changes in the health insurance coverage for retirees. With the leaving also comes a cut in budget.

Left with fewer employees and a budget cut, government agencies cannot afford to make its operations suffer. So what Gov. Donald L. Carcieri did was to try out Six Sigma.

Providence Business News reports:

Last month, top administrators from a dozen of the state’s largest agencies attended Six Sigma training sessions at Providence-based global conglomerate Textron Inc…

In full-day sessions… 75 state administrators picked through state government functions and processes, locating inefficiencies, prioritizing services, determining where job openings need to be filled and what needed to be streamlined…
The idea: Give department directors and their underlings some methods for dealing with the reduction in the state’s payroll, which has shrunk by more than 1,000 jobs in the last year.

Read more…

Now, even governments turn to Six Sigma for improved processes, and the list is growing.

Filed under: Processes, Productivity, Public Sector, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, Textron, Training

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Six Sigma Reference Feature: Six Sigma and S88 Unite for Batch Automation Productivity Improvement

Posted by: meikah | 31 August 2008 | 8:58 pm

Bruce Jensen, Systems Marketing and Sales Support Manager of Yokogawa Corporation of America, presented this paper at World Batch Forum, North American Conference 2001.

It’s rather an old paper, but the lessons are still applicable till today.

Six Sigma is a quality improvement methodology applied to improving any type of process. It is a methodology endorsed by and heavily integrated into several major chemical companies. This paper outlines how the program works with regard to performing process studies for the purpose of improving batch productivity through automation within a manufacturing environment.

Download the whitepaper here.

Six Sigma Zone News Feature

Filed under: Manufacturing, Productivity, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, Six Sigma References

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