How Kaizen and Six Sigma Training Led to $40K in Savings

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In business, when times get tough, the knee-jerk reaction is to have layoffs. What follows is a remarkable example of one company that decided to make a further investment in its people by getting them trained toward Six Sigma Green Belt certification and having them put their focus on saving money for the organization. Even […]

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How the Six Sigma DMAIC Process Made Samsung Into an Industry Leader

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With strategic implementation, Six Sigma can do wonders for an organization. The methodology can drastically improve processes, cut down on waste, and even help provide better results in the design and R&D of new products. Samsung found that it was having issues with all of the above and, in 1999, conducted a complete overhaul of […]

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How Canon Business Process Services Uses Six Sigma to Optimize Business Processes

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Everyone knows Canon as a massive corporation that manufactures cameras, printers, scanners, and a variety of other quality goods. Less known by the consumer market is the role Canon plays in helping other companies improve processes using the Six Sigma methodology. This happens through a Canon subsidiary that operates under the name Canon Business Process […]

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How Six Sigma and Lean Tools Helped Recover Nearly 4 Million Dollars in Annual Revenue

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When faced with the news that drug manufacturers of cancer medication were responsible for causing a massive amount of financial waste, the oncology department at UCSD utilized Six Sigma and Lean tools like a cause-and-effect diagram, a Kaizen Event, the 5 Whys, and others in order to improve scanning processes that could help in recovering […]

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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 ZARA Revolutionized the Fashion Industry with Lean Practices

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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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The Benefits of Kaizen Events for Business Improvement

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With your business, sometimes a need arises to address an issue swiftly and with all hands on deck. A Kaizen Event is meant for these kinds of times.

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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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Achieving Excellence Through Quality Management

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The strategy of continuously improving your organizational processes by setting your goals, identifying deviations from those goals, and then taking appropriate actions to adjust your processes to close the gaps.

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The Concept of Kaizen: The Key to Continuous Improvement

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If your organization is too impatient to use a formal DMAIC approach to continuous improvement then Kaizen may be the tool for you. 

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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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