Union Pacific (UP) has been using the Six Sigma methodology for a number of years to increase customer satisfaction, reduce failures, and conserve energy. Last year Thomas A. Myers, Michael Carver, and Dr. Michael Echols wrote a case study describing how UP reduced the cost of training Six Sigma Black Belts by partnering with Bellevue University (a local college) to deliver training. Not only did UP realize tremendous cost savings, but the quality of learning, training delivery, and project execution all improved as a result.

Savings and Benefits

“The company’’s Total Quality Management System provides an unrelenting focus on customers. The 15-year relationship between managing quality and improving customer service is proven – as costs linked to failures and rework go down, customer satisfaction goes up. Total Quality Management incorporates Six Sigma tools to reduce failures. A recent Six Sigma project resolved a rail car ride problem affecting auto parts. Working through the customer satisfaction issue won Union Pacific additional business.”

2002 Annual Report

“Intelligent Solutions was a key catchphrase for UP in 2000, as the Railroad discovered new ways to leverage its expansive rail network, technology and understanding of its customers’ business needs. The commitment to quality, including management training and the use of Six Sigma tools, was the underpinning of UP’s efforts.”

2000 Annual Report

“‘Fuel for Fuel’ is more than a dollar saving program, it’s also an important conservation initiative for the railroad,” said Wayne Kennedy, director of Union Pacific’s Six Sigma program. “Whether finding new ways to stretch a gallon of diesel fuel or employing the latest technology to cut locomotive emissions, we are working very hard to protect the environment and our natural resources.”

Union Pacific Engineers Rewarded for Saving Fuel

Articles and Links

Partnership in Educating Black Belts- A Case Study, isixsigma.com, June 14, 2004

Bellevue University, Six Sigma Program

Union Pacific Engineers Rewarded for Saving Fuel, Globeinvestor.com, May 2, 2005

Professional Profile: Hillary Parker, Union Pacific Railroad, Purchasing.com, July 18, 2002

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