Companies are forging a more stable supply chain through Six Sigma and Lean.
In the last several years, companies have had notable results using Lean Six Sigma in transactional and administrative processes. Recently Medtronic has successfully adapted Lean Six Sigma to apply to even a wholly automated electronic IT process.
New studies identify common areas of wasteful supply chain spending and offer benchmarking data.
An unexpected rise in demand for automobiles and electronic goods this spring and summer has played havoc with the supply chains of some corporations, causing temporary shutdowns at a number of factories in Asia and North America. While recent articles in The Wall Street Journal (wsj.com) have pointed to Lean manufacturing methods as a cause for the strain, some experts say the problems are ordinary supply chain issues that are unrelated to Lean operations.
As companies concentrate on design and outsource more of the order fulfillment process, including manufacturing, their quality image is dependent on supplier performance. So, when is the time to involve suppliers in a quality improvement initiative?
In order for organizations to reap maximum gains from their process improvement efforts, they must link their strategic goals with their business system.
Excess and obsolete inventory write-offs are chronic supply chain problems costing businesses billions of dollars each year. Lean Six Sigma can be effective in eliminating root causes, and thus preventing costly year-end reductions in inventory.
Many Six Sigma practitioners have asked how the Supply-Chain Operations Reference model, or SCOR®, relate to Six Sigma and Lean. However, perhaps a more relevant question should be, “How can Six Sigma and Lean make a SCOR model more effective?”
A demand-pull system – a TQM concept – helps to improve product availability and avoid stock outs.
Two countermeasure ideas help remove non-value-added steps from the transport process.
By establishing a market-mix-led demand-pull model, a company is able to avoid damaging stock outs.
Customers are requiring greater supply-chain integration. This trend must be considered when launching and/or deploying Six Sigma. Today’s traditional effort in deploying Six Sigma projects should be restructured in order to balance addressing Chain Voice of the Customer with solving internal, single-business process problems.
iSixSigma research finds there’s room for improvement in how organizations communicate with their suppliers and customers about Six Sigma.
The following case study helps to illustrate the methods for analyzing supplier data, and shows how organizations can benefit from closer analysis.
This last article in a three-part series illustrates how TQM was used to make cycle time improvements throughout the newspaper’s supply chain in order to ensure efficient and on-time delivery.