iSixSigma’s first Retail Forum for Process Excellence, presented by SSA & Company, wrapped up last week at the Westin Edina Galleria in Minneapolis.

Attendees at the four-day event had the opportunity to learn from workshops, keynote addresses, breakout sessions, panel discussions and a site tour. They also had a chance to meet, network and share ideas with colleagues across the retail industry. If you missed it, here is a wrap up of some of the highlights from the event.

Catch up on Tweets from the Retail Forum for Process Excellence, and stay up-to-date on the latest events, articles, news and more by following @iSixSigma on Twitter!

Day 1 – Monday, March 28, 2011

Outstanding Workshops Kick Off Retail Forum for Process Excellence

Robert Hafey, the president of RBH Consulting and the author of the book “Lean Safety – Transforming Your Safety Culture Using Lean Management”, started the day with a phenomenal session that informed attendees on how they could positively impact safety at their workplaces through the utilization of lean techniques… In the afternoon, Suzanne Long and Seth Rosenfield of SSA and Company led a workshop titled “Shifting the Curve in Retail: Driving Profits Through Process Excellence”.

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Day 2 – Tuesday, March 29, 2011

AMEX, Kaj Ahlmann, Walmart, Target Among Morning Highlights

Stories of innovation, growth and business transformation were shared during morning sessions on Day 2 of the iSixSigma Retail Forum for Process Excellence. Keynote sessions this morning were delivered by Tim Wilson, the vice president of quality at American Express, and Kaj Ahlmann, the founder of the Six Sigma Ranch Vineyards and Winery. Case studies were then presented by Troy Vellinga, the vice president of Continuous Improvement at W.W. Grainger; Phil Klein, a process consultant at Target; and Betsy Simmons, a Master Black Belt at Walmart Stores.

Wilson’s keynote address described how American Express utilizes quality performance strategies to drive improvements and explained the progression from internally focused activities to those impacting external customers.

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Macy’s, Best Buy and Many Others Share Best Practices

Macy’s, CVS and Best Buy. Oh my! Those were just three of the companies that shared their stories of process improvement success during the afternoon session on Day 2 of the iSixSigma Retail Forum for Process Excellence. All total, the afternoon session included six case studies and a panel discussion that featured change management leaders from three additional blue-chip companies.

Nancy McCrickert, the vice president of process improvement for Macy’s Logistics, provided a session on the implementation of process management and RFID. Macy’s Logistics has utilized the process management methodology to collaborate with industry leaders to develop radio frequency identification (RFID) implementation methods and standards for retailers and suppliers.

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Day 3 – Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tips on Talent Management, Plus Six Great Case Studies

An all-star lineup of speakers shared best practices and lessons learned during the morning sessions on Day 3. Jess Elmquist, the senior vice president of Life Time University and Total Health at Life Time Fitness, served as the morning keynote speaker. In a powerful and motivational message (“Talent Shift – Right Hire, Right Time, All the Time: Changing Your Company, One Hire at a Time”), Elmquist detailed how this North American fitness chain has transformed the way that it connects with and recruits prospective employees and hires the best right-fit candidates.

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Sessions Share Insights on VOC, Business Transformation

The conference portion of the 2011 iSixSigma Retail Forum for Process Excellence concluded on Wednesday afternoon with three case studies, a panel discussion and a keynote address. All total, the 2011 Retail Forum consisted of 18 case studies, four keynote addresses, three workshops and two panel discussions.

Here are the highlights from the Wednesday afternoon sessions: In her presentation “MoneyGram’s Transformation from a Functional Organization to a Process Management Organization”, Mandy Spiess, program director of process improvement, explained how MoneyGram International has begun the effort of transforming its fundamental business model from a series of disparate and fragmented functional silos to more streamlined global processes focused on the customer. The presentation provided an overview of this effort, including tools and strategies being implemented and obstacles faced during this challenging time.

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Day 4 – Thursday, March 31, 2011

Top-5 Tweets from the Best Buy headquarters site tour:

* Live at iSixSigma Retail Forum in MN: Group had an awesome benchmarking tour of Best Buy headquarters this morning! Lots of “wow factor”!

* Best Buy HQ tour explored how they create and sustain an environment of inclusion, innovation and information (for employees & customers).

* Best Buy corp values: have fun while being the best; learn from challenge/change; show respect, humility, integrity; unleash power of people

* Best Buy takeaways: Collaboration and real-time feedback are enabled through a host of social media tools.

* iSixSigma Retail Forum – What’s on the mind of Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn? Check out his Web whiteboard through this link

Visit the iSixSigma Live! site to read about other upcoming events!

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