Continuous Improvement and the 3p Approach Helped Deschutes Become An Industry Leader

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You may have taken notice of Deschutes lately. In the last few years, it has become much more commonplace to find the brewery’s products on draft at your local pub or at your nearest retailer. Such a marketplace presence did not happen overnight, and the brewery credits the lessons learned from Six Sigma as having […]

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How Lean Six Sigma Practices Helped ZARA Achieve Global Success

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ZARA changes its clothing designs every two weeks on average, offering upwards of 11,000 distinct garments every year. In comparison, competitors change their designs every three or four months and product 3-4,000 distinct pieces. This is fast fashion: the business model of replicating high-fashion, luxury-brand pieces quickly and cheaply, making them available to customers while […]

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Successful Reinvention Focused on Customers and Quality

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In 2008, Starbucks was taking a major hit from the financial crisis, losing customers to competitors, and having to close hundreds of stores. Despite having its back against the wall, some decisions made around key Six Sigma principles helped Starbucks bounce back better than ever. How Giving Quality and a Better Experience To Employees and […]

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Tips for a Successful Virtual Gemba Walk

Tips for a Successful Virtual Gemba Walk

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The foremost purpose of the gemba walk is people-engagement. Here are some suggestions for conducting a gemba walk in the virtual space.

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Tips for Facilitating a Virtual Kaizen

Tips for Facilitating a Virtual Kaizen

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In the time of a global pandemic, the ability for a company to make efficient and effective adjustments is more important than ever. Don’t let the need for physical distancing put a stop to your continuous improvement efforts. Learn how to adapt an in-person Kaizen event to a successful virtual experience.

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Template of an SQDCM Board

Using SQDCM Boards the Right Way for Effective Gemba Walks

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With the right metrics, SQDCM (safety, quality, delivery, cost, morale) boards can – and should – be used on the floor to enhance strategic development and the power of your Gemba walks.

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Kaizen

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Resource Page: Kaizen

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Kaizen is a Japanese term that means continuous improvement, taken from the words kai, which means continuous or change, and zen, which means improvement or good. A Kaizen event gathers operators, managers and leaders in one place. An existing process is reviewed and all team members – generally comprised of those directly responsible for or […]

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Readying Middle Management for Culture Change at Bosch

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This is the second of two excerpts iSixSigma.com is publishing from Creating a Kaizen Culture. This week’s excerpt looks at ways to engage middle management in a culture of change at Bosch. Last week a team in a Fabrication Department at Hill-Rom Industries learned about continuous process improvement from Shigeo Shingo. We have seen that […]

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A Kaizen Event with Shigeo Shingo at Hill-Rom Industries

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iSixSigma.com published two excerpts from Creating a Kaizen Culture. Here a team in a Fabrication Department at Hill-Rom Industries learns about continuous process improvement from Shigeo Shingo. A second excerpt looks at engaging middle management in a culture of change at Bosch. In July 1985, Mike Wroblewski was still a junior industrial engineers in the […]

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Managing to Standard Work in the Office

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In the fourth quarter of 2010, Fairbanks Morse Engine had to swallow a tough message from its customers: You are too slow and we are not going to take it anymore! After an extensive voice of the customer (VOC) effort, it was clear that our lead times for aftermarket parts were missing customers’ expectations. Although […]

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A Plan for a Five-day Kaizen

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In a previous article, “Kaizen – ADHD Therapy Using Continuous Improvement: Tools to Keep Employees Continuously Occupied,” we discussed what a Kaizen event is, focusing on how to organize and scope the event. This article looks at some common tools and techniques for planning a successful Kaizen event, and identifies some pitfalls to avoid. Data, […]

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Kaizen – ADHD Therapy Using Continuous Improvement: Tools to Keep Employees Continuously Occupied

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Two common questions for people new to the Lean Six Sigma community are: “What is Kaizen?” and “Why would you run a Kaizen event as part of a Lean Six Sigma project?” This article describes what a Kaizen event is and addresses how to run successful Kaizen events. In “A Plan for a Five-day Kaizen” the […]

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Gemba Walks Come to Life at Fairbanks Morse Engine

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Editor’s note: In a previous article, author Lindquist describes what a gemba walk is. Here he presents three examples of gemba walks. Gemba walks at Fairbanks Morse Engine demonstrate the importance of the sometimes-overlooked basics of process improvement. Case Study One Single Process – Pama Machining Center Observation: The objective of a series of events […]

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The Many Sides of a Gemba Walk

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Editor’s note: A follow-up article features three specific examples of gemba walks. With so many tools available to a continuous improvement professional, it is easy to get overwhelmed and consequently focus on a narrow grouping of tools. Experience expands the practitioner’s toolbox, but sometimes it is just as important to return to the foundations to […]

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What Is Lean Six Sigma [VIDEO] – With Rick Murrow

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Historically, Lean and Six Sigma were used to solve two different types of business problems. Today, Lean and Six Sigma are integrated into one methodology and toolset for solving any process problem in any type of organization, from Fortune 500 companies to small private businesses to nonprofit institutions. In this introductory video, you will learn […]

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Lean Six Sigma Remains Strong in Manufacturing

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A recently released study of compensation trends at manufacturing companies across the country contained some reassuring news for quality professionals: The deployment of Lean and Six Sigma methods remains strong in the manufacturing sector. Within the more than 1,000 pages of the 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing survey on salaries and benefits, conducted by consulting firm […]

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Using Kaizen to Gain Buy-in at Boat Manufacturer

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What is the best way to gain buy-in at a manufacturer that is resistant to culture change? iSixSigma spoke with Zack Chehaitli, Master Black Belt and director of continuous improvement for Sea Ray Boat Group, about his experience with Lean Six Sigma and how he helped bring continuous improvement principles to the boat manufacturing industry […]

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Driving Financial Services Excellence with Kaizens

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Last year, business process outsourcing firm Firstsource, based in Mumbai, India, was one of the participants in the iSixSigma Live! Summit & Awards program in the Most Successful Start-up category. Recently, iSixSigma caught up with Chandeep Singh, Executive Vice President, Process Excellence and Workforce Management, at Firstsource to discuss some of the recent accomplishments of […]

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Why Choose Six Sigma Over Kaizen?

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Message: 8897 Posted by: Carlos Castillo Posted on: Tuesday, 29th January 2002 What are the benefits of choosing 6sigma over Kaizen, 6 sigma seems a great deal more expensive and more bureucratic. I have obtained great gains from Kiazen with minimal investment. Message: 8899 Posted by: mn Posted on: Tuesday, 29th January 2002 ——————————————————————————– I […]

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Is This a Six Sigma, Lean or Kaizen Project?

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This is a familiar question that is often addressed by organizations. In fact, it is the wrong question. These concepts are nothing more than tools in your management toolbox. You don’t fix a watch with a hammer, and you get the same results when you deploy Six Sigma, Lean and Kaizen incorrectly. The fact is, […]

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Improving Emergency Department Flow Through the RME

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Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center is a 330-bed hospital with one of the busiest emergency departments in San Diego County, California, USA. In 2005, the wait time for emergency department (ED) patients had noticeably increased, driven by a growing demand for services, combined with staffing and space constraints. To identify bottlenecks, the ED manager and […]

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Lean Improves Physician Office Medical Records Flow

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In October 2006, Virtua Health, aided by a team of Black Belts and Lean consultants, completed a Kaizen event at Tatem Brown Family Practice. A Kaizen event is a three-and-a-half day burst of continuous improvement activities where changes are brainstormed, try-stormed, validated and implemented by a small team of process experts (frontline staff) primarily from […]

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