Leaning and Greening Your Software

Posted by: meikah | 31 March 2009 | 10:11 pm

Investments in software require a huge bulk off your capital or savings. And in these difficult times, not many companies can really afford to spend much, even if they probably need it.

Good thing that there’s actually a way to invest in software spending without breaking the bank, or running your savings aground.

An article on BusinessWeek Online discusses how software vendors are competing for shrinking IT budgets by touting products that can save energy, save money, and save the environment.

  • Microsoft launched its “environmental dashboard” and the Windows 7 claiming to conserve PC power
  • Autodesk acquired companies whose programs help architect design eco-friendly buildings
  • IBM is emphasizing how governments and businesses can invest together in powerful computer systems and data analysis software to address problems like climate change and food supply safety
  • Big Blue has several projects underway in the U.S., Europe, and Asia as part of its “smarter planet” initiative

Read more…

Filed under: Lean, Software/Technology, Sustainable Business

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Process Improvement Means Six Sigma for Many Companies

Posted by: meikah | 31 March 2009 | 9:10 pm

Over at advanceweb.com, there’s an interesting conversation between two people. They are talking about process improvement and that for many companies, the procedure often involves Six Sigma.

Some snippets:

  • The methodology that most health care organizations are adopting is Six Sigma.
  • With the focus on reducing medical errors and increasing patient safety, it makes sense to me that the health care industry look to the lessons of the manufacturing industry for methods of improving processes and achieving very low error rates.
  • Six Sigma stands apart from other process improvement methods because it focuses on reducing variability thereby reducing errors or achieving defect free products or services. It’s seems like the perfect methodology to apply in reducing medical errors in our country.
  • The use of Six Sigma in the manufacturing environment has resulted in significant improvements in quality from which we as consumers have benefited. As I understand it, the focus is on defect prevention as opposed to defect detection.

Continue reading about the tool and methodologies for the 21st century, which of course involves Six Sigma.

Filed under: Processes, Quality, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations

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“Lean, Six Sigma Management Becoming More Popular at Hospitals”

Posted by: meikah | 31 March 2009 | 7:52 pm

This is indeed a good development. I’m big on healthcare and very much concerned about how hospitals medical records and patient safety.

This is a result of the study conducted by American Society for Quality (ASQ).

The study, from the American Society for Quality, included 77 hospitals. Researchers concluded that 53 percent of hospitals reported some level of Lean deployment, while 42 percent reported some level of Six Sigma deployment. Not surprisingly, given the gradual evolution of these practices in hospitals, only 4 percent reported “full deployment” of Lean, and only 8 percent full deployment of Six Sigma.

Read more…

iSixSigma News

Filed under: Healthcare, Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations

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Six Sigma Companies News: G.M.’s Latest Blues

Posted by: meikah | 29 March 2009 | 10:07 pm

news on Six Sigma companies

General Motors (G.M.) is really in a bad situation right. Amidst decreasing sales and impending request for bailout, the latest news has it that it’s CEO, is stepping down.

It was only mid last year that G.M. was reported to be ahead of the pack because of its quality initiatives, specifically DFSS and Six Sigma.

It’s sad to see a big and successful company such as G.M. go. It’s even unthinkable!

What can you say about this?

The latest update on G.M.:
‘Surgical’ Bankruptcy Possible for G.M.
About Six Sigma Companies News:
This is a new feature on SixSig that will highlight news about Six Sigma Companies. So always stay tuned!

Filed under: GM, Six Sigma News, Six Sigma Organizations


Lean Principles Help Mitigate Layoffs

Posted by: meikah | 29 March 2009 | 8:57 pm

Supply Chain Digest Online, via iSixSigma’s News, carries some news on lean manufacturing mitigating impact of recession on job loss.

Here are the reasons cited:

  • some factories have become so Lean, there simply aren’t many positions that can be eliminated and keep the operations going, even at reduced volume
  • the investment in Lean training and techniques in the workforce can make the long-term cost of layoffs very high for some companies
  • companies have invested in Lean training for employees that the skills acquired are difficult to let go

Read more…

This makes a lot of sense. If you’re organization is already streamlined and no wastes (in terms of redundant positions) can be found, then there’s no reason for any layoffs. So in a way, you are already saving a lot even before a crisis hits.

Filed under: Lean, Lean Manufacturing, Lean Six Sigma

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Schwarze Industries Take on a Six Sigma Black Belt for President

Posted by: meikah | 29 March 2009 | 7:41 pm

Black Belt at Schwarze Industries

ForConstructionPros.com reports that Schwarze Industries has a new president, Bob Faulhaber. What interested SixSig in this announcement is Faulhaber’s background on Six Sigma:

He is Toyota Production System trained, a Six Sigma Black Belt, and has over 30 years of manufacturing experience serving a variety of industries, including automotive, fire and rescue vehicles, telecommunications and industrial controls.

Read more…

With this in his sleeve, I’m sure Faulhaber will bring in new good opportunities to Schwarze.

*Photo credit

Filed under: Black Belt, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Jobs, Six Sigma Professionals

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Innovation of the Week: Future Innovations

Posted by: meikah | 26 March 2009 | 9:10 pm
sixsig innovation of the week

BusinessWeek Online put out last month an article talking about innovations of the future. In one of President Obama’s speeches, he encouraged everyone by focusing on the theme: Times of economic difficulty can inspire extraordinary innovation.

Thus, in the US at least, innovative ideas are being encouraged in the fields of energy and healthcare. On the energy part, big advances on biofuels and renewable resources will be undertaken.

Giant turbines will harness the power of ocean currents. Biofuels that won’t drive up global food prices are being made. Technology will repurpose the energy from the human body to recharge our cell phones and music players. Super-charged batteries that hold more juice and require fewer charges will power electric cars and laptops.

On the healthcare part, the following are seen to be the trend:

  • self-diagnostic technologies that can be used at home
  • unwieldy medical equipment will be transformed into portable machinery that can be used at home or in some village
  • new nanotech and biotech drugs will cure decimating diseases
  • the health-care system itself will be overhauled, with digitization of patient records cutting costs and increasing transparency and reliability of care

Read more…

These innovations sound good. I only hope that we in the developing countries can also avail ourselves of them. Overall, I hope these will all happen.

Filed under: Innovation Update

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Wordless Wednesday: Church Bells

Posted by: meikah | 25 March 2009 | 7:59 pm
church bells for Wordless Wednesday
Filed under: Wordless Wednesday

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Some Core Advantages of a Lean Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 24 March 2009 | 10:19 pm

I think now more than ever is the time go lean and perhaps use also th Six Sigma tools to improve business processes.

SixSigma.eu shares the following core advantages of a Lean Six Sigma implementation:

  • Making process Lean – less waste and better use of working capital thus saving directly
  • More effective input of employees -  through training more applied knowledge and heightened satisfaction of employee, resulting in higher productivity.
  • All important business results are/become measurable and are actively managed and improved.
  • By making marketing – and sales process end-to-end identifiable, sales possibilities can be handled more effective and efficient; Find more, Win more, and Keep more.
  • Damage, claims and mistakes are being minimized by good working streamlined processes.
  • Improved client satisfaction through better service

Read more…

Filed under: Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma, Tools/Toolkits

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Using Transactional Lean and Six Sigma in Medical Imaging

Posted by: meikah | 24 March 2009 | 8:43 pm

An article on iSixSigma has a good discussion on how to improve further the system of taking, interpreting, and releasing medical imaging records.

University Medical Imaging (UMI) began a process improvement and training program. Located in Brighton, New York, USA, UMI provides outpatient magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, urography and general radiologic services.

Through an initial scoping process, report turnaround time surfaced as a key factor affecting delays and satisfaction. A project to address this issue began with the selection of team members and the development of a project charter. Through data, voice of the customer (VOC) information and short brainstorming sessions, the team was able to list, rank and categorize factors that could lead to variation or inefficiencies in the report generation process.

To identify which sub-set of factors would be addressed using Kaizen, a Lean tool, and which would be considered later using Six Sigma, the team created a simple “payoff matrix,” which compared the “benefit to fixing” with “ease of implementation (of a potential solution).” The team focused on eliminating factors that could not be fixed either due to business decisions or insufficient payoff. One factor – “need the previous exam” – was considered to be a significant pain point warranting the use of Kaizen.

Continue reading…

Filed under: Healthcare, Kaizen, Lean, Six Sigma, VOC

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