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Build a Win-Win Supply Chain Paradigm

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The supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If you invite your suppliers into the profitability equation, you can facilitate success for everyone in the supply chain.

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Sime Darby Six Sigma

Case Study: Sime Darby Adds $250M with Lean Six Sigma

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Who Is Sime Darby Plantation? Sime Darby Plantation is the world’s largest sustainable palm oil producer and has four areas of focus: Upstream: 248 estates and 72 mills where fresh fruit is processed into crude palm oil Downstream: Production of oils and fats, oleochemicals, biodiesel, other palm oil derivatives and renewables in 16 countries Research […]

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Case Study: Improving the Flow of Cargo and Documents in a Shipping Company – Part 2 of 2

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In this case study, a team wants to be sure their customer-focused business is satisfying its clients. Part 1 focused on reducing the wait times associated with transferring cargo and documents. Part 2 looks at making more improvements using just-in-time (JIT) principles. It is often possible to make significant improvements in speeding up documentation processes […]

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Case Study: Improving the Flow of Cargo and Documents in a Shipping Company – Part 1 of 2

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In this case study, a team wants to be sure their customer-focused business is satisfying its clients. Part 1 focuses on reducing the wait times associated with transferring cargo and documents. Part 2 looks at making more improvements using just-in-time (JIT) principles. A 15-year-old shipping company with a network of offices throughout India considered being “value-driven, customer-focused” […]

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DMAIC Case Study: Accuracy of System-generated Service Routes

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A leading environmental services company provides collection, processing, recycling and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous materials for industrial and automotive customers. The company has branches all over the United States. The service representatives in these branches carry out services for geographically dispersed customers in their respective territories. This case study describes how DMAIC (Define, Measure, […]

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A Supply Chain Case Study – Socks Manufacturing: Part 2 of 2

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A socks manufacturing company in India turned to TQM to improve its supply chain. In Part One, the case study describes the process of elminating a significant cost for the company – delivery delays. This week, Part Two of the case study looks at the broadening of the application of process improvement beyond deliveries. The […]

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A Supply Chain Case Study – Socks Manufacturing: Part 1 of 2

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A socks manufacturing company in India turned to TQM to improve its supply chain. In Part One, the case study elminates a significant cost for the company – delivery delays. Part Two of the case study looks at the broadening of the application of process improvement beyond deliveries. A fledgling socks manufacturing company in India was working to […]

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Improving Supply Chain Quality Through Hoshin Kanri

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Today, irrespective of industry, corporations must focus on speed, efficiency and customer value to be globally competitive. Lean and Six Sigma are both powerful tools for improving quality, productivity, profitability and market competitiveness. While Six Sigma is focused on reducing variation using a problem solving approach and statistical tools, Lean focuses on eliminating waste and […]

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Part 3 of a Finished Goods Supply Chain Case Study: Demand-Pull Production

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The “Great Indian Bazaar” – the rapidly growing and evolving Indian retail market – presents special and daunting distribution challenges for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products. For a typical producer, about 100 stock keeping units (SKUs) flow through 40 to 50 depots to 2,000 to 3,000 distributors to more than a million outlets varying in […]

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Streamlining the Ordering Process for U.K. Book Publisher

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The publishing industry is on the threshold of major structural changes. The arrival of e-books is only the first threat, and it is having an impact sooner than expected. For example, Amazon.com sold more e-books than paper books in the first quarter of 2010. The credit crunch also has reinforced retailers’ demands for smaller, more […]

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Part 2 of a Finished Goods Supply Chain Case Study: Moving Products Between Warehouses and Depots

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The “Great Indian Bazaar” – the rapidly growing and evolving Indian retail market – presents special and daunting distribution challenges for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products. For a typical producer, about 100 stock keeping units (SKUs) flow through 40 to 50 depots to 2,000 to 3,000 distributors to more than 1 million outlets varying in […]

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Part 1 of a Finished Goods Supply Chain Case Study: Moving Products from Depot to Distributor

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The “Great Indian Bazaar” – the rapidly growing and evolving Indian retail market – presents special and daunting distribution challenges for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products, such as groceries, toiletries and other items that are used up and must be replaced in a short amount of time. For a typical producer, about 100 stock keeping […]

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Get Updated with Supply Chain Research

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Reports released in the last several months reveal important information for supply chain managers. The first study, conducted by NPI, a spend management services firm, found the top areas of supply chain overspending. The second report, carried out by CAPS Research, a nonprofit research firm, features benchmarking data from 16 industrial manufacturers. Overspending Identified The […]

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Global Supply Chain Problems Spark Lean Debate

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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 […]

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Spreading the Word Throughout the Supply Chain

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In a recent survey, iSixSigma gathered data on how organizations communicate about their Six Sigma efforts – data that reflects a lack of communication both within and outside of Six Sigma programs. A resulting iSixSigma Magazine research report, “Spreading the Word,” examined internal communication. Externally, the flow of information – or at least the knowledge […]

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A Stronger Chain

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The familiar maxim “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” has particular import for businesses committed to process improvement. For some companies, forging stronger, more collaborative relationships with suppliers and customers has become a natural, even necessary, part of their improvement efforts. “Early on, we knew that to create successful value streams, […]

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Three Rules for Data Analysis: Plot the Data, Plot the Data, Plot the Data

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The job of any purchasing department is to source for reliable suppliers who deliver products conforming to specification on time and within a certain price range. The more data is available about potential suppliers, the better the decision will be. The question is, how should that data be analyzed? The following case study helps to […]

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Six Sigma Trends: Upgrade for Supply Chains and Solution Providers

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This is my second article from my series reflecting research on strategies and trends in deploying Six Sigma. Our research is performed not in an academic lab but with direct application in companies through advanced team-training concepts and relevant project coaching. Although subjects vary, the structure of my articles will remain similar starting with What […]

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Making SCOR Model More Effective with Lean Six Sigma

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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?” SCOR, a trademark of the Supply-Chain Council, consists of several hierarchal levels. These are shown […]

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How a Company Can Involve Its Suppliers in Six Sigma

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When to involve suppliers in a Six Sigma initiative is a topic that comes up in every organization that has made the commitment to improve. “We are only as good as our suppliers.” This statement by Göran Lande, quality manager at Sony Ericcson, at a recent Six Sigma conference, sums up the situation. It is […]

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TQM Case Study: Ensuring On-time Newspaper Delivery

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Newspapers face pressure from their external customers to minimize the cycle time of their production process at both ends of the supply chain. At the start of the chain, readers want the freshest news, while advertisers want the latest possible closing time for booking ads. At the end of the chain, even a few minutes […]

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Lean Six Sigma to Reduce Excess and Obsolete Inventory

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Excess and obsolete inventory write-offs are chronic supply chain problems costing businesses billions of dollars each year. Unfortunately, improvement projects that are deployed to eliminate these problems often have a short-term focus. In other words, the current levels of excess and obsolete inventory are usually addressed, but not the root causes of the problem. Often […]

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Applying Lean Six Sigma in an Automated IT Process

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Lean and Six Sigma generally tend to be viewed as methodologies that are most successfully applied in a manufacturing environment. In the last several years, however, companies also have had notable results in transactional and administrative processes. Recently Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology, has successfully adapted Lean Six Sigma to apply even to […]

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