Happy Holidays!

Posted by: meikah | 24 December 2008 | 3:40 am

Filed under: Events/Announcements, General, Six Sigma

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Going Lean Teaches You How to Live with Change

Posted by: meikah | 21 December 2008 | 11:45 pm

Going LeanStephen Ruffa’s new book titled, Going Lean, is very timely. In this time of the economic crisis when recession has plagued the world’s economic arena, Going Lean teaches us how to live and adapt with change.


By first giving a good background on how companies make their processes work in certain environments, spanning from Ford’s Model T to recent superstars, Toyota, Walmart, and Southwest Airlines—companies that have stood and ridden the waves of change.

These companies show and prove that excellence is best seen in a crisis. Thus, Going Lean challenges every company to think about successfully doing their business as the business arena changes. Its underlying principle is termed lean dynamics, which teaches companies that uncertainty and crisis are not temporary disruptions in business. Rather they are now the driving force of every business.

The lessons:

Chapter 1 – Think of solutions that encompasses the most number of business environments. Go beyond the obvious, and don’t think of the “now” only.

Chapter 2 – Accept that business conditions are ever changing, and that in order to survive, you need to adapt.

Chapter 3 – You may not see the future, but you can definitely prepare for it.

Chapter 4 -  Establish a new management system that addresses a fast-paced technology, ever-changing demands of customers, suppliers, and even competitors all playing in the same global market.

Chapter 5 -  Measure your success in terms of the value every process has and every worker puts in to make the whole organization work.

Chapter 6 – Do away with individualistic approach, rather work on a smooth flow of processes where each contributes to the smooth operation of the stream map.

Chapter 7 – Although you need to address fast-changing customer demands, you need to consider the implication of each demand on the whole process of the organization.

Chapter 8 – A flexible solution could more precisely accommodate varying demands. By letting actual demands pull operations rather than have average forecasts push them forward, overall flow could be streamlined, minimizing lag and waste within the dynamic environment.

Chapter 9 – Study clearly your organization so that you’ll know which needs to be changed, which do not, and have the courage to roll out the changes. Before rolling out changes, though, it is important that you have everything planned out. Otherwise it may lead to false starts, thus to waste.

Chapter 10 -A natural progression from Chapter 9 is to structure your transformation with deep knowledge of your problem, the factors/roots of the problem, the vulnerabilities, and the thought-out solutions. “Six Sigma skills can be useful here in identifying and driving down variation at these hot spots, improving a wide range of outcomes on everything from improved product quality to faster delivery times.”

Chapter 11 -  To succeed at your lean efforts, look at the whole process, not on single discrete steps; avoid the problem; pursue sustainable value, focus on the dynamic flow, get everyone involved.

Chapter 12 -  This phrase no longer works: If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. Rather,  it should be If it ain’t broken, improve it! Innovation and execution can work hand in hand, creating tremendous, sustainable value.

These lessons are gathered from the ample examples of how companies, especially Toyota, Walmart, and Southwest Airlines have been weathering their storms successfully.

This book is a must read! If you’ve read it, you may want to join the conversation over at LinkedIn (Sign up for the Lean Six Sigma group first).

Filed under: Book Review, Going Lean, Lean, Lean Maintenance, Lean Manufacturing, Lean Six Sigma

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Unilab Is Philippines’ First and Only Philippine Quality Award Winner

Posted by: meikah | 21 December 2008 | 11:26 pm

PQA for UnilabIn yesterday’s Philippine Daily Inquirer issue (Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008), Unilab is awarded the country’s first and only Philippine Quality awardee.

The Philippine Quality Award, or PQA is adapted directly from the strict standards of Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Awards.

Unilab is one of the country’s leading manufacturer and distributor of a wide range of prescription and consumer health products covering all major therapeutic categories. The company is 100% Filipino-owned but with a strong presence in the ASEAN region. It is cited for its excellent performance across a broad range of criteria covering everything from leadership and strategic planning, costumer focus, work force focus and overall business results.

The award just validates Unilab’s mission, which is to provide the best quality and affordable healthcare to Asia, and to recognize the value of its 3,000-man workforce. Unilab’s principles are quality, affordability, service to community, and the “Bayanihan” spirit.

I am one of the happy customers of Unilab, so I congratulate them in this new achievement, and I wish them more success.

Filed under: General

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Lean Six Sigma at Xerox

Posted by: meikah | 21 December 2008 | 10:48 pm

A recent report from Gartner says that Xerox as well as its customers continues to reap benefits and savings through the Lean Six Sigma-based Xerox Office Services.

lean six sigma at Xerox Corp.With Xerox Office Services’ comprehensive Lean Six Sigma-based approach, customers are able to determine the actual costs associated with printing, copying and faxing across all offices. The assessment also tracks how often and when multi-vendor copiers, printers and other hardware devices are being used. Armed with this information, Xerox designs an output strategy that not only meets workplace requirements, but also increases efficiency while reducing waste.

Read more…

Xerox is a company that has been enjoying leadership in the market, but it is commendable that it continues to work harder to improve its processes further. Way to go!

Related posts:
Xerox Driving Efficiency Through Lean Six Sigma-based Document Management System
Xeroxing the Six Sigma

Filed under: General

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Michigan Air National Guard Sends Two Officials for Lean Six Sigma Training

Posted by: meikah | 17 December 2008 | 10:48 pm

Battle Creek Inquirer reports:

Two officers of the Michigan Air National Guard recently took part in Lean Six Sigma training at the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center.

Lt. Col. Clark Hinga, wing plans officer, and Capt. Wendy Burris, installation deployment officer with the 110th Fighter Wing, received “Green Belt” training in early December 2008. “We were invited to the training,” Hinga said. “The Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service had extra seats available and offered them to the 110th.”

Read more…

It seems that the Department of Defense is really serious in their Lean Six Sigma efforts. This is good!

Filed under: Green Belts, Military, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations

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Six Sigma Product Development Models

Posted by: meikah | 17 December 2008 | 8:54 pm

Product development here refers to drug development in pharmaceuticals. The characteristics of the process are:

  • it is a single event unique to itself
  • highly cross-functional, which needs communication, coordination
  • decision making is complicated
  • bring products to the market quickly

HERE is the process of drug development. And to improve the process and ensure a successful development, many pharmaceuticals go into Six Sigma.

Six Sigma models concentrate on eliminating potential sources of variation in processes. On the shop floor, Six Sigma follows what is known as the DMAIC roadmap (Define Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control). Moving Six Sigma into the product development phase would employ a version of DMAIC tailored according to the type of development structure being used and the product being developed. When Six Sigma moves to the product development phase of a product’s lifecycle it is termed Design for Six Sigma (DFSS). Three different versions of DFSS have been developed: DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify), IDOV (Identify, Design, Optimize and Verify), and DCOV (Design, Characterize, Optimize and Verify). The DMADV model has been very successfully deployed in the medical device industry, while DCOV, with its characterization phase is more suitable to in the drug development process.

Click on the image for a bigger version.

Read more…

Related post:
Lean Six Sigma to Product Development

*Image credit

Filed under: Deployment, DFSS, DMAIC, Pharmaceuticals, Six Sigma, Tools/Toolkits

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The SixSig Roundup

Posted by: meikah | 15 December 2008 | 10:37 pm

sixIt’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.

Dr. Singh’s Six Sigma Blog shares his insights on Six Sigma in TQM.

Buffalo Geek is curious about Buffalo City’s going into Citistat when Citistat is kind of like Six Sigma, just without the procedural elements and no definitive measurement methodology.

Daily Kaizen shares a wonderful lesson about creating an environment receptive to change. There are a lot of realizations to be had in the post.

In the spirit of Christmas season, Sue Kozlowski of iSixSigma Blogosphere shares A Lean Carol. Sue works on Charles Dickens “Ghost Story of Christmas.” Do you have management ghosts? Learn from this post.

Filed under: Kaizen, Lean Six Sigma, Quality, Six Sigma

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DHL Uses Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 15 December 2008 | 9:29 pm

Six Sigma at DHLI think we are in the season of sending gifts all over the world. Just yesterday, Wizheart and I sent out our second batch of gifts and cards to friends and family. We used another courier, though.

DHL published a press release (this press release was also published on Market Watch but is no longer available) saying that DHL is using Six Sigma to deliver and sort mails and packages. As a result, the company can now boast of speedy package delivery. The DHL Global Mail now performs the most advanced sorting by destination–using all 5 digits of the ZIP Code–on 83 percent of customer parcels nationwide.

According to the press release:

DHL Global Mail increased the use of 5-digit ZIP Code sorting for packages, which has also reduced shipment delays, under a major initiative to enhance their parcel service. After seeing a large jump in the volume of packages that customers were shipping, the company reengineered their parcel process this year using exacting Six Sigma methodology. In addition to changing their sorting schemes to reach the 5-digit ZIP Code level with even more packages, DHL Global Mail reorganized the footprints of their processing facilities to streamline operations and optimize performance.

Read more…

Related post:
Lightning Six Sigma at DHL Exel Supply Chain

Filed under: Deployment, DHL, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations

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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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Looking Into Six Sigma’s DMAIC

Posted by: meikah | 11 December 2008 | 10:50 pm

This is the first time that I read about DMAIC’s use as only for reactive solutions. Because all along I though that DMAIC is a tool to use for any problem or solution be it reactive or proactive.

I think the view of DMAIC as only for reactive solutions stems from the fact that you do DMAIC when there is already a problem at hand. But then again, am thinking that whatever solutions you come up after the DMAIC will help you become proactive. That is where the Control part comes in. You sustain the initiative and makes sure similar problems won’t crop up in the future.

In any case, iSixSigma Software has a good discussion going about the future of DMAIC, and that because of its flexibility it will still be useful in the future. The article presents a background of DMAIC, its use/function, and its flexibility to be incorporated with other tools.

Read the article: With Flexibility, DMAIC Has Long Future Ahead

Filed under: DFLSS, DMAIC, Six Sigma, Tools/Toolkits

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