The ghost of Christmas past pointed me to this interview with no other than the man himself – Santa Claus. Rod Morgan of e-Zsigma was fortunate enough to meet Santa and ask him all the details surrounding Six Sigma at the North Pole.
Below is an excerpt where Santa describes how Six Sigma was brought in to complement current Lean Manufacturing practices:
News: “You mentioned earlier that Six Sigma was brought in to complement your existing Lean Manufacturing practices. How was this integration accomplished and did you get any resistance from the Elf workforce?”
Santa: “To be honest, as if I could be anything but, there was quite a lot of skepticism at first. Lean had worked for us – we had seen improvements in terms of efficiency with the elimination of a lot of waste and cycle time reduction, and our people were tired. Implementing Lean had been a big project for us and happened over several years – in fact, it is still going on… it never stops. We had a choice, in that we could have brought in Six Sigma tools and methodology as an add-on to Lean… disguised as additional training or something like that. But, we felt that if we did that, we might not be successful in lighting the fire that we know is required for Six Sigma to really take hold and drive results. We wanted people to know that there was something new in the air, and it was different, yet complimentary to what we were already doing. I think everyone realized that something was still missing, since even with Lean, we were still having problems… bottlenecks, quality problems, frustration… What we didn’t know at the time… something we learned a little bit later, is that we didn’t have right tools that really allowed us to focus on variation.”
To learn more about the Six Sigma and Lean initiatives at the North Pole read the entire interview!
e-Zsigma December 2003 Newsletter, Six Sigma SpotLight: Santa Claus, CEO Polar Enterprises Inc.