Michael Dell has built a successful business model that scores of companies are trying to emulate.Dell Inc. is the perfect example of a company that is using Six Sigma not as an end in itself but as an enabler to achieve results. Early in 2000 they started a corporate initiative called Business Process Improvement (BPI).Nearly five years later the program, which includes Six Sigma, Lean, and Hoshin Planning, is still growing strong, becoming yet another model that other companies are trying to follow.

BPI Overview:

Marie Moynihan, Human Resources Director, Dell EMEA – Home and Small Business, gave the following description of BPI at The LRC Symposium “Meeting the Challenge of Change – Irish Labour Market Issues in a Global Economy”on November 11, 2004:

  • BPI is a set of tools and skills used to understand, investigate and improve business processes.
  • BPI Mission: To empower employees with the knowledge, skill and tools in order to make Dell more efficient through reduced cycle time, improved quality or lower costs.
  • Why has Dell made BPI a priority? Because of its inherent benefits:

BUSINESS:Quality, cost savings (more than $1.55B during FY04)
EMPLOYEES:Effective teams, empowerment, career enhancing
CUSTOMERS:Better Customer Experience through cost, quality and cycle time improvements

In a roundtable discussion with CNET News.com’s Editorial Board in November , 2003, Michael Dell spoke about many aspects of the company including BPI:

“We have a process called BPI, business process improvement, which any employee can be involved in. If five workers on the production line see something that isn’t working, instead of complaining about it, they have BPI. They form a team, they go solve it and it becomes a BPI project in a global database. We’re saving $1.8 billion with this kind of process.”

Additional Savings Quotes:

“At the end of July, we had over 375 million in annualized BPI savings dollars. We’ve completed almost 600 BPI projects worldwide and we still have more than 2600 projects in progress worldwide with a projected annualized savings of over $600 million.”September 10, 2003, Town Hall Los Angeles.

“Since implementing BPI, over seven hundred and fifty people have been certified across Dell EMEA, resulting in savings exceeding $300M.”November 18, 2004, INBITE ’04: Intelligent Business IT

Dell is very public about their BPI program.Ian McMorrough, Executive Champion EMEA – BPI and Lean Programs will be speaking at Six Sigma IQs 6th Annual European Six Sigma Summit in April.He is also speaking at the Six Sigma for Service and Transaction Excellence in March.

Plain and simple, Dell is a leader in just about everything they do.From supply chain to customer service to marketing, Dell is harnessing the power of their employees to achieve great things.It’s no wonder that Dell is #1 in Fortune’s America’s Most Admired Companies list, they have earned it.


Decker Marketing – Sam Decker, a Marketing Executive at Dell, has an excellent Blog where he occasionally posts his thoughts on Six Sigma, and gives insight into Dell’s unique way of using it.”7 tips for “Getting Six Sigma in Marketing” and “Six Sigma Marketing…Made Simple

Dancing With Elephants, Fortune Small Business, October 14, 2004

Customer focus keeps Dell productive, Network World, April 21, 2003

Feds May Unleash Six Sigma on Terrorism, USA Today, October 30, 2002

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