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Europe

England’s Early Years System Focuses on Quality Improvement

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector and head of the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), has called on members of England’s early learning educational system to make changes to the way inspections are being conducted among nurseries, pre-schools and babysitters. In a recently launched consultation on changes to the…

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Scotland's Six Sigma Efforts Pay Off with Manufacturing Savings

A recent report by the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS), a business advisory group sponsored by the government of Scotland, found that continuous improvement efforts, including Six Sigma, have resulted in more than £21 million worth of productivity benefits across the region over a 12-month period in 2010-11.

Salaries Steady, Bonuses Dip for European Six Sigma Pros

According to the latest figures from iSixSigma’s 8th Annual Global Salary Survey, certified Black Belts in Europe earned an average of $71,500 in 2010, down from the $75,000 figure from 2009. Bonuses for Black Belts in Europe, however, fell by more than 34 percent compared to the previous year (close to the worldwide average), from…

Car Makers Struggle with Supply Chains One Month After Japan Quake

Honda is only the latest of several automobile manufacturers to report production slowdowns in the wake of last month’s Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis – triple catastrophes that have crippled global car production supply chains and reduced overall capacity by as much as 30 per cent, according to the British newspaper The Independent.

Streamlining the Ordering Process for U.K. Book Publisher

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…

European Wind Project Embraces Lean

With assistance from Spanish wind-turbine manufacturer Gamesa, nonprofit foundation Tekniker and several other European technology firms, COSMOS seeks increases in turbine quality, as well as lower costs and faster manufacturing times, according to a release from Ibermática. According to the COSMOS consortium, many European turbine assembly operations involve both manual labor and work done by…

U.K. Packaging Firm Celebrates First Year of Lean Six Sigma

Based in Bardon, Leicestershire, U.K., Benson Group is one of the country’s largest carton suppliers, producing packaging for both the food and pharmaceutical industries at its 130,000-square-foot facility. The Bardon plant produces sheets of printed cardboard that is then cut and glued for use in the food industry as containers. With the adoption of Lean…

Global Problem Solving with TRIZ

To help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the TRIZ Future Conference, hosted by the European TRIZ Association (ETRIA), Nov. 3-5, 2010, we present the following excerpts from Domb’s extensive coverage. DAY 1 Function-oriented search is a problem-solving tool based on global knowledge search, using functions as the key search items. In his presentation, speaker Simon…

Demand Rising for European Supply Chain Optimization

The acute focus in the European market is now on global supply chain optimization, said John Hannan, regional manager and partner for Tampa, Fla., USA-based USC Consulting Group. “If you think of the supply chain as a series of interconnected steps across which product, cash and information flow both ways, you can appreciate that at…

Bestnet Europe Trains Workers in Six Sigma for Kenyan Plant Expansion

Danish manufacturer Bestnet Europe Ltd. has announced the establishment of a new sewing and packing facility to produce mosquito netting in Mombasa, Kenya. Bestnet has already trained its management team and staff of about 50 workers in Six Sigma methodology and plans to triple the number of workers as it ramps up to full production…

What Role Does National Culture Play in Implementation?

On iSixSigma’s Discussion Forum, a poster working on a doctoral thesis asked about how various differences in national culture can affect Six Sigma implementation. Respondents provided several links to studies on the role of cultural differences among deployments in the United States and Europe. One reader added that the corporate culture is far more important…

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U.K. Study: Change Management Can Reap High ROI

A recent study from the United Kingdom found that expenditures on change management activities can reap huge rewards for relatively little cost, with a return on investment (ROI) as high as 650 percent. According to the report from British consulting firm Changefirst, more than 40 percent of the 2,500 change managers surveyed from 120 organizations…

IASSC Appoints Joep van Nieuwstadt as Associate Director, European Affairs

The International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC) has appointed Joep van Nieuwstadt as associate director of European affairs. As an expert in the field of IT education and certification Joep van Nieuwstadt has been heavily involved at high levels in many different standards, including ECDL/ICDL, ITIL, ISO 20000, ISPL, COBIT, Prince2, IPMA, ASL and…

Eight Steps Toward More Accurate U.K. Retail Data

In June, GS1 UK, a supply-chain standards nonprofit, released the results of a six-month study with Cranfield University’s School of Management, of Bedford, England, stating that 80 percent of the product supply chain data captured by the top four grocery retailers in the U.K. were inconsistent with data used by suppliers. Of the 66 “core…

U.K. Electronics Firm Reports Six Sigma Quality Levels Via Automation, Training

A U.K.-based manufacturer of electrical and electronic assemblies has attained Six Sigma manufacturing quality levels of 99.97 percent following the installation of fully automated, custom designed wire processing machinery at its factory in the West Midlands. A gradual, phased implementation of automated production machines over the last 10 years – coupled with PP Electrical Systems’…

Lean Six Sigma Around the Globe: Hertel – Europe

By Elaine Schmidt Headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Hertel has operations in more than 20 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. The company offers construction, maintenance, modification and dismantling solutions at client sites, such as on- and off-shore oil and gas facilities, power plants and other specialized facilities. For Hertel employees, process…

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Volcano Provides Tough Lesson for Europe’s Lean Organizations

By Randy Woods The rumbling and ash plumes have subsided for now over Europe’s skies, but the echoes from April’s Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in Iceland are still being felt throughout the Lean supply-chain structures of the continent and across the globe. Some European companies that have embraced the just-in-time (JIT) inventory strategy of the Lean…

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Salaries for European Six Sigma Professionals Hold Steady

After a difficult year of serious cutbacks at many businesses due to the global economic crisis, average salaries for Six Sigma professionals around the world, including those in Europe, held steady, for the most part, according to the results of iSixSigma’s 7th annual Global Salary Survey. While Six Sigma salaries in Europe lagged behind those…

IBM Applies Green Principles to Reduce Waste at Irish Facility

From environmentalleader.com Businesses today generally understand they need to do as much as possible to conserve energy and water, reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and minimize their environmental impact overall. Societal pressures from customers, increasing regulation and economics all make this a fact of life for them. Most are taking steps to address these…

IBM Applies Green Principles to Reduce Waste at Irish Facility

Businesses today generally understand they need to do as much as possible to conserve energy and water, reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and minimize their environmental impact overall. Societal pressures from customers, increasing regulation and economics all make this a fact of life for them. Most are taking steps to address these issues, consulting…

Mobilizing a Business for Turning Strategy into Action

Developing a strategy is critical for any organization, and equally important is having a mechanism to translate that strategy into action. However, given the complexities of the European market, there is a special need for a business implementing its strategy to allow its local business unit leaders to adjust the tactics to local needs and…

Leadership Sustains High Performance in Manufacturing

How does one sustain high levels of performance in manufacturing after the first successful waves of Lean Six Sigma projects? Research done on 75 manufacturers, predominantly European, sheds light on the balance between product/process and people leadership capabilities needed to sustain high levels of performance. Of High Performers and Lagging Performers High Performers: Sustaining high…

Adding Science to the Art of Sales Boosts Effectiveness

Every sales force has a few outstanding sales representatives, who always deliver on or above target. What is it, in their way of working (process), which makes them so outstanding? If we identify these processes and give them as tools to the rest of the organization, our belief is that we will increase sales force…

Case Study Shows Six Sigma Role in Financial Services

An international bank with 50 branches in Germany and approximately 300 employees decided in 2003 to adopt Six Sigma in all its business units in Europe. It then set out to use Six Sigma to implement one of its priority business strategies – significantly grow its car loan business in the next two years. The…

How Six Sigma Adds Value in an Existing Quality Culture

A Conversation with… Randall W. Powell, VP of Eastman Chemical Company In a conversation with iSixSigma, Dr. Randall W. Powell, vice president of Eastman Chemical Company, Europe/Middle East/Africa, offers his views on how Six Sigma adds value to an existing quality culture. Located at the company’s regional headquarters in The Netherlands, Dr. Powell has operations…

Deploying a Measurement System: What Does It Take?

Management concepts such as the balanced scorecard, process management, key performance indicators and strategy deployment have prompted many executives to revisit their measurement systems. As more and more companies have initiated Six Sigma during the last two decades, the use of dashboards to measure process and business performance has become increasingly popular. As a result,…

Business Leaders’ FAQ on Europe Six Sigma Deployment

Business leaders who are considering implementing a Lean Six Sigma program need answers to a wide variety of questions. Here are the answers to the questions that business leaders most frequently ask about European Lean Six Sigma deployments. How can I be sure that Lean Six Sigma won’t be perceived as “yet another program”? People…

Common Success Factors, Uncommon Success in Europe

Whether implementing Six Sigma in Munich or Manhattan, Paris or Prague, certain common factors are critical for success. Nonetheless, how one successfully applies these factors is culturally dependent. Universal Critical Success Factors Accepting the General Electric definition of Six Sigma as “completely satisfying customers’ needs profitably” means that Six Sigma requires a company-wide initiative to…

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Six Sigma Improves Workflow in N-Medicine Department

The nuclear medicine department located in the Ospedale Santa Croce e Carle in Cuneo, Italy, has always been recognized as a national and international reference site for its clinical compentencies and innovative facility design. When originally opened, the nuclear medicine department was structured to provide the best possible service to patients. This included a focus…

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Leverage ITIL and Six Sigma Together to Maximize Outcome

Information technology (IT) services are highly valued in today’s enterprise particularly those aligned with business needs. As IT departments transition from technology to service based management, more organizations are following the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. ITIL is a set of best practices intended to facilitate the delivery of high quality IT services. ITIL…

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Leadership and Lean Six Sigma Opens Door to Innovation

  “Invention is 2 percent inspiration, and 98 percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison How much productive and creative potential of its personnel does a business utilize today? An informal poll across a wide range of industries suggests it is less than 20 percent. Why? How people are led, managed and supervised is part of the…