Volcano Eruption Tests Europe’s Lean Organizations

Posted by: meikah | 21 June 2010 | 10:07 pm

Do you still remember the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in Iceland last April? It canceled flights and affected the Lean supply-chain structures of the continent and across the globe, even to this day.

From the reports of BBC and Bloomberg News, the following are the companies that were affected by their inability to handle their JIT supply-chain lapses:

  • BMW reported a reduction in output at three of its car manufacturing plants in Germany and one in Spartanburg, N.C., USA.
  • Nissan had to shut down production lines in Japan for its Cube, Murano, and Rogue vehicles because air-pressure sensors from Ireland could not be shipped.
  • Dell experienced delays in sending notebook computers to European customers.
  • South Korean electronics firms Samsung and LG said that exports of their products fell by 20 percent during the flight ban.

Read more…

Filed under: Lean, Six Sigma, Supply Chain

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Learnings from the CSCMP Atlanta Roundtable and the Georgia Tech Supply Chain Executive Forum

Posted by: meikah | 25 April 2010 | 8:11 pm

I am lucky to have stumbled upon Dan Gilmore’s post where he shares what he learned from the CSCMP Atlanta Roundtable and the Georgia Tech Supply Chain Executive Forum. Dan Gilmore, Editor-in-Chief of Supply Chain Digest, summarizes what transpired during the two events, and how we all can learn from it.

Featured companies are Coke, Whirlpool, Intel among other companies. Companies that deal with supply chain on a daily basis are more bullish than ever as they get real orders in recent months.

So, how does supply chain companies deal with a renewed confidence in the economy?

Read Dan Gilmore’s Trip Report.

Filed under: Processes, Six Sigma, Supply Chain

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Six Sigma for Hardware Inventory at IBM

Posted by: meikah | 1 February 2010 | 8:46 pm

Six Sigma in IBM's Inventory Management

Technology is in a roll these days. A newly launched product today is obsolete the next day. So manufacturing companies of technology products often deal with inventory.

IBM serves a global market and thus you can imagine how they manage the supply chain and inventory. Due to fast depreciation in technology products, machines go to the inventory are not worth as much as they age. So, IBM conducted a Six Sigma project to reduce their hardware inventory.

The steps:

  • determine the issue
  • perform a root cause analysis
  • find the solution
  • establishing the results of the project
  • learn from the whole process

Read more in detail here.

Filed under: IBM, Inventory, Six Sigma, Supply Chain, Technology

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SixSig Reference Feature: Ways to Use ERP to Lean the Manufacturing Supply Chain

Posted by: meikah | 15 October 2009 | 7:16 pm

Toolbox for IT gives us this whitepaper.

Learn four tips for lean supply chain improvements in your manufacturing operation, including no-nonsense tips for treating the supply chain holistically enough to drive enterprise improvements that reduce inventory levels while increasing responsiveness. Plus six technology tools within an ERP application that help manufacturing executives implement and automate best practices.

View the whitepaper now!

Filed under: Lean, Manufacturing, Supply Chain

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HP’s Christian Verstraete: Do Six Sigma Across the Supply Chain

Posted by: meikah | 18 June 2009 | 12:59 am

Industry Week features Christian Verstraete who started with HP as systems engineer.

The interview goes:

Verstraete is now pushing for lean to see “how it can be incorporated into the wider view of the complete ecosystem.” That view must extend beyond the boundaries of the enterprise and reach across the whole supply chain.

For example, he warns, “Today companies must have a handle on risk management and mitigation across the supply chain while simultaneously reducing the variants. Rather than do Six Sigma within the company, do Six Sigma across the supply chain.”

Continue reading…

Filed under: HP, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, Supply Chain

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Six Sigma and RFID

Posted by: meikah | 2 June 2009 | 10:04 pm

Six Sigma works well with data. So in cases where data is not easy to get or gather, you need to have a system that will do it.

In an article on RFID Journal, the example given where customer data is not easy to gather and measure, is the retail business. When a customer gets in the store, for example, the store employees won’t always know if the customer is able or fails to locate, on shelves, the products they want to buy. Or for their supply chain there is a discrepancy in the supply and demand.

For these cases, radio frequency identification (RFID), can help.

By capturing data regarding the movement of goods at every point in the supply chain, RFID can provide information that indicates only 95 were shipped. And by taking daily inventory counts, the retailer knows that units are being stolen, and can therefore inform suppliers to replenish more quickly, thereby ensuring that fewer sales are lost. Moreover, companies can analyze data to see where problems occur in the supply chain and in the store, so that corrective actions can be taken.

If all items had been tracked with RFID and the data had been analyzed properly, the retailer would have had a clearer picture of demand, based on more accurate in-store inventory counts. And armed with that information, the company would have then been able to provide more accurate data to its partners, thus enabling them to replenish more effectively.

Read more…

According to the article this is one of the ways to achieve Six Sigma retailing.

Related posts:
Six Sigma and TAGSYS 
Subjecting RFID Tags to Six Sigma

Filed under: Retail, RFID, Six Sigma, Supply Chain

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Lean Six Sigma at ExxonMobil

Posted by: meikah | 19 May 2009 | 9:07 pm

Lean Six Sigma at ExxonMobil

I got this e-newsletter from The AIT Group announcing their Lean Six Sigma and supply chain solutions programs with ExxonMobil.

The e-newsletter goes:

Value Chain Transformation Keeps Energy Flowing and Saves Millions – A large Gas Project Team at ExxonMobil has been working with The AIT Group to develop continuous improvement programs.  The AIT Group has been deploying Value Chain Transformation methodology across the organization to reduce waste, increase production and decrease cycle time.

Value Chain Transformation overcomes process and technical challenges inherent in complex processes.  The end result of this work with ExxonMobil Production will be to positively impact the energy security of the United States.  It will result in a clean, domestic energy source for over 50 million American homes.

The collaboration has also resulted in a shared vision for continuous improvement.  The AIT Group has done black belt training with ExxonMobil for a half decade.  Now beyond black belt training we see growth and interest in continuous process improvement, Lean and Six Sigma throughout many divisions of ExxonMobil.  In addition to the production project, we have also embarked on work in Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul process areas with Procurement.

Our methodology helps prioritize projects across many options to identify and deliver the most valuable results first.  We also quickly build rapport across functional teams to get them working together to a common goal.

We would like to thank ExxonMobil for their continued support of continuous improvement, Kaizen and Value Chain Transformation by The AIT Group in strategic areas for operations in the United States and beyond.

- Work side-by-side to get value chain results
- Use proven process, tools and methodologies
- Deliver quick and long-term business benefits
- Train or consult, whatever it takes
- Have a proven team that can “Create the Future”

Check out trainings at The AIT Group!

*Photo credit

Filed under: ExxonMobil, Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, Supply Chain, The AIT Group, Training

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SixSig Reference Feature: Adaptive Manufacturing, Enabling the Lean Six Sigma Enterprise

Posted by: meikah | 8 February 2009 | 5:28 pm

As manufacturing continues to become a commodity within the value chain, manufacturers are constantly challenged to create efficiencies that drive down product costs. This makes lean manufacturing more important than ever before – because lean manufacturing eliminates waste and minimizes process costs.

Only the SAP® Manufacturing solution gives you the adaptability you need to successfully combine lean manufacturing principles with those of Six Sigma.

Read the white paper.

Filed under: Lean Six Sigma, Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Supply Chain

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Lightning Six Sigma at DHL Exel Supply Chain

Posted by: meikah | 10 November 2008 | 7:29 pm

Lightning Six Sigma at DHL Exel Supply ChainFrom its name alone, Lightning Six Sigma means speedy resolutions to Six Sigma initiatives. DHL Exel Supply Chain began its Six Sigma about four years ago.

Lightning Six Sigma followed. It is implemented in targeted areas, processes on particular sites and customers within the company’s contract logistics operations. The initiative is viewed as a way of getting quicker results than one would expect with a Six Sigma traditional deployment.

So what is Lightning Six Sigma? Why Lightning Six Sigma? When is Lightning Sigma best deployed? Where to Run Lightning Sigma Events? Who needs to be engaged in Lighting Six Sigma events? How to deploy Lightning Six Sigma?

Get your answers HERE.

Filed under: Deployment, DHL, Lightning Six Sigma, Services, Six Sigma, Supply Chain

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Auto Suppliers Benefit fron Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 16 October 2008 | 12:18 am

The Birmingham Post reports:

Eight automotive suppliers from the West Midlands have retained or won more than £37 million of business with the help of an industry supply chain network initiative.

… In addition to the contracts secured, the innovative project has also helped firms save nearly £800,000 and safeguarded close on 500 jobs, not to mention improving 43 processes, ranging from invoicing and stock control to quality and product design.

Continue reading…

This is yet another proof that Six Sigma not only improve proceses beyond the shop floor, but also allow companies to enjoy a lot of savings.

Filed under: Automotive, Benefits and Savings, Six Sigma, Supply Chain

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