Wordless Wednesday: Go Green!

Posted by: meikah | 28 November 2007 | 8:16 pm

wordless wednesday

Filed under: General, Sustainable Business, Wordless Wednesday

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Congratulations ATMI, Inc., the Best Achievement Award of Design for Six Sigma and Innovation

Posted by: meikah | 27 November 2007 | 9:17 pm

ATMI, Inc. manufactures point-of-use environmental equipment, thin film materials and delivery systems, and thin film deposition services to the semiconductor industry.

atmi and DFSSIn the recently concluded The Global Six Sigma Summit and Industry Awards in Las Vegas, ATMI bagged the Best Achievement Award of Design for Six Sigma and Innovation.

This is their story:

“ATMI began Six Sigma knowledge-based management work in 2000, applying the techniques broadly in our operations, as well as in our new product development initiatives. While the ultimate validation is through success with customers and the growth of our business, we are very happy to have our innovative approach to Six Sigma deployment independently validated, as it is a key contributor to continued growth,” said Doug Neugold, Chief Executive Officer.

“This award is based upon our documenting how the tools and methodologies were used to design, develop, and commercialize our RegenSi(tm), AutoClean(tm), and Newmix(r) process efficiency solutions, each of which has the potential to save our customers many millions of dollars by bringing yield, cost, and throughput improvements to their processes,” said Tim Carlson, Chief Financial Officer. “Since inception, we’ve completed over 80 internal projects generating more than $20 million of savings for ATMI.” Continue reading…

Congratulations, ATMI!

Click here for the other winners.

For Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma upcoming events, check out GoingToMeet!

Filed under: Awards, DFSS, Events/Announcements, Manufacturing, Six Sigma

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A Six Sigma in Your Shopping Experience

Posted by: meikah | 26 November 2007 | 8:44 pm

It’s the time of year again of cheer and giving: Christmas. So what do people do? They either rush to the stores and shop or sit in their comfortable chairs, turn on their PC and click-shop away.

With the former, shoppers only need to survive traffic (especially for the last-minute shoppers), crowded shops, and long queues. When management see these, they can always create reroutes or detours to eas up traffic, open more counters. In other words, the action can be immediate.

six sigma online shopping It’s different though with online shopping experience. Shoppers will have to deal with downtime, erroneous checkouts, or order status is unavailable. The statistics of online shoppers is growing and perhaps it’s good to look at it with Six Sigma eyes.

Over at iSixSigma, I found two interesting articles on how Six Sigma can be applied to your online shopping experience. The first article touches on the growing figures of online shopping and how was it so far. The second article details the metrics and Six Sigma levels for online shopping. Check them out:

Online Holiday Shopping at 2 Sigma
Metrics and Sigma Levels for Online Shopping

Here’s wishing everyone a holiday shopping experience at 6 Sigma! :)

*Photo from Stock.Xchng

Filed under: Internet, iSixSigma, Sales, Services, Technology

1 Comment |

Six Sigma To Save Taxpayers’ Money in Erie County

Posted by: meikah | 25 November 2007 | 9:27 pm

I have written about Fort Wayne, the Six Sigma City, and Iowa, the Lean State. I’d like to believe these two places are doing good, serving their constituents and inspiring other cities and states to take the path they’ve taken.

six sigma and taxesInspiring they may have been because Erie County of Pennsylvania will be going Six Sigma to protect taxpayers’ money. Isn’t that cool?

wkbw.com reports:

Companies that use Six Sigma say it saves them money, and Erie County Executive-Elect Chris Collins is hoping he can use it to save Erie County taxpayers money.

Collins says a priority he hopes to accomplish by the end of his run as county executive is to turn Erie County into a model for other county governments to follow. “That we are recognized around the country as one of the most efficient county governments,” says Collins of his goal.

To get there he plans to implement Six Sigma principles. Six Sigma is a methodology like many other business theories in that it focuses on problem solving, but Six Sigma is different in its use of statistical methodology and the “Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control” process known as DMAIC.

“It’s all about process process process like real estate is location location location,” says Tim Leyh, Director of Business Development at the U.B. Center for Industrial Effectiveness where they train people in Six Sigma principles.

Continue reading…

Can “Six Sigma” Save Taxpayers Money? an iSixSigma featured link

*Photo from Stock.Xchng

Filed under: Public Sector, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations


Airworthy Aerospace Goes Lean Six Sigma – Good News for Thanksgiving Day

Posted by: meikah | 22 November 2007 | 9:38 pm

First up, Happy Thanksgiving Day to all my American friends! :)

I know at this time, everyone flies to where home is, and gets reacquainted with family and friends. You can just imagine the air and land traffic at this time; not to mention the gas emissions.

If we were to apply the Six Sigma rating for all these activities, we should expect that 99.9997% of the planes fly on time, 99.9997% of the trains move as scheduled, and 99.9997% of the population reach their destination in time for Thanksgiving reunions. Gianna Clark of iSixSigma blogs has some interesting Six Sigma Thanksgiving figures, too. Check it out here!

Airworthy and Lean Six SigmaFlying is probably the most convenient way to travel, and so everyone wishes for air travel to be smooth and hassle free. And if we were to take Airworthy’s word for it, air travellers might just have that.

Airworthy Aerospace is going Lean Six Sigma to improve efficiency, reduce cost and improve customer relations. The company is engaged in providing products and services for the aviation/aerospace industry. Airworthy Aerospace serves its customers through two operating segments: Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul and Aviation Supply Chain.

The company claims to understand the importance of keeping the aircraft in the air. It aims to provide world class support and solutions for the aviation industry, excelling in quality aircraft part sales and service, exceeding customer expectations.

With its Lean Six Sigma efforts, I don’t see why they can’t achieve their mission.

Click here for an update on Thanksgiving Day travel.

Filed under: Airworthy Aerospace, Aviation, Lean Six Sigma, Travel

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Six Sigma and TQM

Posted by: meikah | 21 November 2007 | 11:41 pm

Long before Six Sigma, there was Total Quality Management or TQM that was the panacea for ailing companies.

The TQM approach started in the 1950′s and became popular in the 1980′s. TQM is a philosophy that makes quality the driving force behind leadership, design, planning, and improvement initiatives. This philosophy is governed by eight elements: ethics, integrity, trust, training, teamwork, leadership, recognition, communication. Read more…

Six Sigma on the other hand, is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects (driving towards six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit) in any process — from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service. Read more…

How do they differ then?

BusinessKnowledgeSource.com puts the two side by side and highlights the following differences:

  1. TQM helps improve quality but it often reaches a stage where no further quality improvements can be made. Six sigma focuses on taking quality improvement processes to the next level.
  2. TQM views quality as conformance to internal requirements. Six Sigma focuses on improving quality by reducing the number of defects.
  3. Six Sigma helps numerous organizations because it reduces the operational costs by focusing on reducing the number of defects that are produced, reducing the cycle time, and cost savings.
  4. Six Sigma focuses on cost cutting measures that can reduce the value and quality and getting rid of costs that have no value to the customer.
  5. TQM focuses on improving individual operations within unrelated business processes, which means it has a broad view compared to Six Sigma’s narrow view, which focuses on improving all operations in a single business process.

What’s your take on this?

A Comparison of TQM Versus Six Sigma

Filed under: Processes, Quality, Six Sigma, TQM

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Six Sigma Reference Feature: Improving Six Sigma Program ROI with Deployment Management

Posted by: meikah | 19 November 2007 | 11:21 pm

PowerSteering Software released this white paper. The paper gives emphasis on the value of being able to manage Six Sigma deployment and achieve the ROI the company envisions.

Regardless of the size of the organization, when a Six Sigma program reaches a certain maturity it runs the risk of losing momentum. Once the low hanging fruit has been plucked and the obvious high?reward endeavors tackled, subsequent projects typically generate less financial benefit. At the same time, administrative burden increases as the number of Belts and projects grows and the use of Six Sigma expands throughout the organization. Belts require more time to uncover and scope projects, while aggregating and validating program data becomes more of a chore. If not addressed, this pattern can sap program ROI, Belt morale, and ultimately leadership support for Six Sigma.

Click here to read the whitepaper.

Filed under: Deployment, PowerSteering, Six Sigma References

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Six Sigma Not the Be-all and End-all at 3M

Posted by: meikah | 19 November 2007 | 12:31 am

A few months back, there was some controversy over innovation and Six Sigma, and that some say never the twain shall meet. Some quarters say, Six Sigma stifle creativity or innovation, others say Six Sigma improves innovation.

six sigma and innovation at 3MPerhaps the company that is most associated with innovation and creativity is 3M. For years, too, we know that 3M has been an advocate of Six Sigma, until a new leadership says otherwise.

In my previoous post, I even hinted that 3M should not abandon Six Sigma at all in favor of innovation. Now, an article on Design News says that 3M will not be using Six Sigma on its R&D efforts, and probably for good measure.

The new chief at 3M, George Buckley is not an anti-Six Sigma guy. In fact, he’s a strong proponent of lean Six Sigma in manufacturing and supply chain. However, for 3M, he believes that Six Sigma will find better use for transactional activities rather than for research and development.

Further, 3M will still be using Six Sigma DOE routinely in basic research and 3M researchers still use elements of DMAIC toolset. In fact, 58,000 projects at 3M have used some element of DMAIC and more than 55,000 3M employees have achieved the minimum level “Green Belt” training since the year 2000.

Click here for the features and podcasts that tell the story of 3M’s journey with innovation and Six Sigma.

Design News, a Six Sigma Zone featured link

*Photo from Stock.Xchng

Filed under: 3M, DMAIC, Innovation, Lean Six Sigma, Manufacturing, R&D, Six Sigma Organizations


Innovation of the Week: Trapped Rainbow Effect for Computers

Posted by: meikah | 16 November 2007 | 12:44 am

sixsig innovation of the weekThis innovation will use a rainbow-like effect to produce ultra-fast computing. Possible? Here’s the story:

The technique, called ‘trapped rainbow’, would help optical data storage, with light replacing electrons to store information, according to their paper published today in the journal Nature.

Controlling light would also help engineers control major nodes where billions of optical data packets arrive at the same time.

By slowing some packets to let others through, rather like a traffic congestion scheme, the flow of data can be boosted.

Continue reading…

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Corporate Communications

Filed under: ABC, Innovation Update, Software/Technology

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Lean Six Sigma Culture and Knowledge Transfer

Posted by: meikah | 15 November 2007 | 1:31 am

I just got off from management meeting, and this line in this iSixSigma Finance article struck me because that’s what we actually need.

knowledge transfer and Lean Six SigmaThe line goes: Like any organizational change, a company must have a plan in place and communicate the plan in order to evolve from a company simply having expert resources using Lean Six Sigma approaches to actually having a Lean Six Sigma-based culture.

We are not yet into Lean or Six Sigma, but the bold words above ring true. I believe that knowledge transfer or communicating the mission or vision of the company to everyone else in the organization is key to any improvement initiative.

What good is your goal if your employees do not understand it or worse don’t know how to go about achieving that goal?

From the same article, you will learn the basic elements to achieve Lean Six Sigma culture. How to transfer that knowledge goes:

  • Determine Knowledge to Transfer: The knowledge to transfer is part of the initial deployment design and must take into account previously existing key skills and knowledge elements. Look for specific analysis tools or project management practices and examples to better fit the environment.
  • Building the Integrated Toolbox: If a significant need for integration has been identified, rapidly deploy a team of experts to accomplish the integration.
  • Transfer Knowledge: Interactive workshops and coaching sessions designed with many hands-on practice sessions, “teach backs” and real project applications are effective adult learning tools and ensure retention.

Read more…

*Photo from Stock.Xchng

Filed under: iSixSigma, Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma References, Team Dynamics

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