Lean Six Sigma surfaced at Brunswick in 2003. Since then it has not merely been sailing along but is powering throughout the company like a Maxum 2400SR3 cruising atop a pristine body of blue. The boating, billiards and bowlingindustriesare very competitive. With noroom toscratch or throw a gutter ball, Brunswick isusing Lean Six Sigma to improve product quality, eliminate variability, and reduce costs.
In February of this year, George W. Buckley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, delivered a presentation at the Miami International Boat Show titled, Brunswick – Becoming the “Toyota of Boating”.In it he revealed Lean Six Sigma as part of the Brunswick growth strategy to drive bottom-line earnings.
Savings and Benefits
“We have developed and widely deployed new technologies to bring unequaled quality and innovation to our products, while relentlessly driving out costs and inefficiencies, most recently introducing and applying Lean Six Sigma principles to achieve better quality and productivity.
“As for Lean Six Sigma, the methodology that seeks to eliminate unnecessary steps and simplify processes to improve quality and productivity, it has gained tremendous momentum throughout Brunswick during 2004.
“For example, the benefits of our global supply chain management and the application of Lean Six Sigma with cost-containment efforts have sparked a turnaround at US Marine, home to our Bayliner, Trophy and Maxum brands.”
“We believe that cost will continue to be the ultimate competitive deadly weapon for any company in any industry. In 2003, we added potent weapons to our arsenal to attack costs. These included a Company-wide commitment to implement Lean Six Sigma, a statistical control process aimed at improving product quality by eliminating variability and reducing costs.
“We’ve bolstered these efforts with great processes such as Lean Six Sigma that we can use, over time, to deliver superior results.”
“Already, Lean Six Sigma has led to ‘more than $300,000 in cost savings, 62% reduction in crankcase defects, 15% productivity improvement, 6.5 day lead time reduction, a decrease in missed shipments per month from 13 to none, a decrease in the distance a part travels through the production process from the length of five football fields to just one, and a 21% reduction in floor space.’ And this is just in one small segment of the Brunswick Corporation (Mercury Castings)!”
“Building on our ISO 9001 success, we are currently well underway in a company-wide Lean Six Sigma venture that is taking us ‘the next step’ towards total customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.”
Articles and Links
Breaking News: ITC ruling a ‘major blow’ to Mercury?, Boating Industry, February 2, 2005
The Mercury Installation Quality Certification Program, Mercury Marine Website
ISO and Lean Six Sigma, Mercury Marine Website
Mercury Racing Opens Horsepower Highway, Boating Industry, Aug 2004