Posted by: meikah | 28 February 2008 | 9:24 pm
Xerox Corporation, the leader in document management, is helping its clients save costs and streamline processes through its Lean Six Sigma-based document management system.
Among the ones most benefitted by this assessment methodology are the healthcare providers. Healthcare processes battle every day with paperwork, thus document management is really crucial. But by streamlining document-driven business processes, healthcare providers are achieving cost savings, ensuring regulatory compliance and realizing productivity gains.
According to Valerie Mason Cunningham, VP for Healthcare Industry, Xerox Global Services, “Patient records, healthcare forms, insurance regulations…all those documents can be hard to manage, whether they are in paper or electronic form. Healthcare executives who have a sound document management strategy will be the leaders in the industry to combat the barrage of economic and regulatory challenges. Xerox is poised to help them succeed.”
Three big healthcare providers that claim to have been benefitted by Xerox’s Lean Six Sigma-based document management system are:
Baptist St. Anthony’s Health System through Lean Six Sigma-based Xerox Office Productivity Assessment – achieving brand consistency throughout its 16 healthcare locations. Documents and forms are standardized for ordering and are now printed on-demand, eliminating waste and reducing costs.
Foote Health System through Xerox Document Advisors and Xerox ReqDirect™ Plus – enhanced worker productivity, eliminated warehousing of obsolete and out-of-date forms and helped address the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations’ document standards.
Physicians Endoscopy, L.L.C. through Xerox DocuShare™ and Xerox DocuShare CPX 6.0 – said good-bye to file cabinets and hello to improved productivity, bringing us closer to reaching our corporate paperless initiative.
Check out also the other SixSig posts on Xerox.
Six Sigma Zone News
Filed under: Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, Technology, Xerox Corporation
Posted by: meikah | 27 February 2008 | 11:35 pm
Lydall, Inc. is a leading producer of specialty engineered products for demanding thermal/acoustical and filtration/separation markets.
To be able to carry out the company’s strategy, one of which is to be global company known for its excellent service, high quality, and unique technologies, Lydall embarked on its Lean Six Sigma journey. That was in 2005.
A couple of years later, Lydall can already boast of significant benefits and savings brought about by its Lean Six Sigma initiatives.
According to Dale Barnhart, President and Chief Executive Officer:
“We closed the year with a solid fourth quarter as sales and operating income increased significantly when compared to last year’s fourth quarter. For the year, excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, sales increased by 1 percent and operating income by 4 percent, as compared to 2006. Contributing factors were: the strong performance of our air and liquid filtration businesses; continuing improvements by the vital fluids operation; a stable automotive business, despite current market conditions; and the ongoing benefits of our Lean Six Sigma efforts.
I can’t stress enough the importance of the Lean Six Sigma program to Lydall, especially in light of the current economic climate. Since we first began implementing Lean Six Sigma at the beginning of 2005, gross margins as a percent of net sales have increased by 290 basis points and we look forward to continued progress as Lean becomes inherent in the culture of Lydall.”
Filed under: Benefits and Savings, Deployment, Inc., Lean Six Sigma, Lydall, Manufacturing
Posted by: meikah | 26 February 2008 | 9:59 pm
Aside from strong harmonious teamwork, Tony Jacowski also suggests that the Lean Six Sigma implementation team should do the following:
- Identify the common problems and challenges and focus only on those that are critical to the main process – make use of time-tested Six Sigma tools and techniques such as “Process Charts” that highlight each and every event, functionality, and sub-processes of the given process selected for improvement.
- Seek input from people such as floor managers, supervisors, process managers, and others who might be having workable knowledge about the given business process. If required, middle and top management can also be requested to provide their valuable input and suggestions.
- Utilize Six Sigma simulation tools.
- Encourage creativity and innovation because sometimes only these skills can save a project from certain failure. Constant motivation, guidance, and recognition are good ways of promoting creativity and innovation among the Lean Six Sigma implementation team members.
- (and if I may add)Sustain the improvement initiative by constantly reviewing data and processes.
Free Business Articles
*Photo from Stock.Xchng
Filed under: Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma, Team Dynamics, Training
Posted by: meikah | 26 February 2008 | 9:21 pm
These two leading Malaysian companies—the former an engineering corporation, the latter a services company —have claimed at the Six Sigma Asia Pacific Conference 2008 in KL to have made significant savings through Six Sigma.
Filed under: Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, Six Sigma Zone
Posted by: meikah | 26 February 2008 | 8:41 pm
Thanks to Troy Worman again for including SixSig on his new O! Blog List!
I’m especially happy because the blogs on my blogroll made it to the list, too, through SixSig.
Here’s a blog, I’d like to add to this new O! Blog list: Lean Healthcare Exchange.
Check it out!
Filed under: Healthcare, Lean
Posted by: meikah | 24 February 2008 | 8:52 pm
I stumbled upon this interesting post. Check it out: Quality Founders vs Six Sigma
Six Sigma doesn’t promise the sun and moon. However, what it shows to companies is that they can work toward making their processes efficient, may it be toward a 3.4 DPMO or toward zero defect. In other words, it provides the tools by which companies can use to improve processes and sustain the improvement.
Filed under: Six Sigma, Six Sigma Advantage
Posted by: meikah | 24 February 2008 | 8:26 pm
I had written about how Six Sigma can be integrated with other methodologies and technologies. But there were not very detailed discussions as to how Six Sigma can be incorporated with each.
InformIT shares a good discussion, taken from CMMI and Six Sigma: Partners in Process Improvement, on how Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) in particular can be integrated with Six Sigma:
Strategy 1: Implement CMMI-based processes (or, more simply put, CMMI process areas) as Six Sigma projects.
Strategy 2: Apply Six Sigma to improve process performance and serve as the tactical engine to achieve high capability and/or high maturity.
Strategy 3: Apply Six Sigma, specifically DFSS, as a tactical contributor to achieve highly capable engineering processes.
Strategy 4: Apply Six Sigma to improve or optimize an organization’s improvement strategy and processes.
Strategy 5: Institutionalize Six Sigma project results, and culture, via the CMMI’s institutionalization practices.
Six Sigma Zone featured link
Filed under: CMMI, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, Six Sigma Zone
Posted by: meikah | 21 February 2008 | 8:40 pm
Have you been to a hospital where CT scans for stroke patients, turnaround of radiology reports, and even meal deliveries are done well, quick, and fast?
Maybe yes, maybe not. But for patients at Saint Vincent Health Center in Erie, northwestern Pennsylvania’s largest health care network, those are exactly what they’re getting. For those benefits, they have Lean Six Sigma to be thankful for.
In 2005, the management team of Saint Vincent Health Center partnered with The Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE) at UB to launch a Lean Six Sigma initiative.
According to Steve Osborn, vice president for quality compliance at Saint Vincent Health Center, “It’s pretty remarkable: In two years, we went from having no systematic Lean Six Sigma program to having implemented 50 projects in which we have either reached our goal or surpassed the halfway mark. Our organization is reaping financial benefits and our customers also feel it.”
Saint Vincent Health Center estimates that overall, the UB program helped it achieve savings to date of approximately $540,000 in areas that include the catheter lab, billing office, central store inventory, radiology department, meal-delivery service and the CT scanning and testing lab.
University at Buffalo Reporter
Filed under: Deployment, Healthcare, Lean Six Sigma, Saint Vincent Health Center, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, Training
Posted by: meikah | 19 February 2008 | 11:47 pm
Monsanto Soda Springs‘s plant in Soda Springs, Idaho, produces elemental phosphorus, or P4, most of which is sent to other Monsanto facilities to make PCL3, the primary ingredient for Roundup herbicide.
The process of manufacturing elemental phosphorus begins with mining the phosphate ore. Mining involves working with a furnace, the right temperature, thus it requires sophisticated controls. Monsanto was using Fishers’ PRoVOX distributed control system (DCS) in the early 1980s, and then DeltaV control system by 1996.
The control system was kept to a minimum because it was costly then. When digital control systems alarms became easy and cheap, Monsanto found itself overusing the system. It caused as many problems as it solved.
That was when Monsanto began turning to Six Sigma, with emphasis on alarm management. The alarm problems came down to too many alarms and alarming practices can cause incidents.
The company’s Six Sigma team used cause-and-effect fishbone diagram to investigate the possible causes of alarm problems. They applied the Six Sigma DMAIC system to the problem:
- Developed an alarm management philosophy and selected alarm metrics (the Define phase).
- Assessed the present alarm system (Measure/Analyze phases).
- Reduced the number of nuisance alarms (Analyze /Improve phases).
- Rationalized alarms by need and priority (Improve phase).
- Developed an alarm configuration database (Improve – Control phases).
Filed under: Alarm Management, DFSS, Manufacturing, Mining, Monsanto Soda Springs, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations
GMJ Talks with John H. Fleming and Jim Asplund, authors of Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter
Posted by: meikah | 18 February 2008 | 9:56 pm
Jennifer Robison of Gallup Management Journal (GMJ) talked with John H. Fleming and Jim Asplund, the authors of Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter.
The premise of the study, which led to the book, is: the equation of “engaged employees + engaged customers” produced results far exceeding what the researchers expected.
Here are some of the insights from the talk:
- Fleming: HumanSigma was developed as a response to the lack of effectiveness of Six Sigma methodology to increase productivity from people.
- Asplund: …because people — employees and customers — are much more unpredictable than machines, they can’t be managed or directed in prescribed ways.
- On the importance of humanity in business – Asplund says: A company can’t control people’s emotional reactions… he reason a company must understand the essential humanity of its customers and employees is because they are people first and customers and employees second. They’re living, breathing, real people. Before a business can manage them effectively, it must understand how customers and employees think and how they react; it must understand their psychology and their emotional infrastructure.
- On standard is better than variation – Fleming says: No, it just creates mediocrity. There’s a paradox here that is important to recognize. What we’re suggesting is that companies that have concentrated on creating consistency of execution have failed to create consistency in the outcomes that execution is intended to produce. Most are trying to control the process through which employees are delivering service by mandating the steps.
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