iSixSigma

continuous Improvement

Beware of Tools and 'The Next Big Thing'

Isn’t it amazing how there’s “the next big thing” everyday? Headlines from blogs, sales websites, newspapers, even Twitter and LinkedIn, carry this headline continuously. How many of these “things” really are new? Years ago when I started my continuous improvement journey, I read about Deming and Juran. Quality Circles and SPC were big. Then Total…

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Eliminate the 8th Waste

In these difficult economic times it is vital now more than ever that organizational leadership understand and implement the best defense against all types of waste. Value added analysis and percentage increases to the overall value added activity must be among the top measurements for all employees. Non-value activities need to be reduced and cultural…

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Lean Manufacturing Vs. Continuous Improvement

Let’s start off by defining Lean manufacturing. Lean (as described on multiple on-line resources) is described as a production practice that focuses on the elimination of wasteful elements in all process to increase the value to the customer. Sounds great! What organization wouldn’t want to implement a program to eliminate waste? The problem is that…

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Do Organizational Leaders Really Understand CI?

Many times in our industry, organizational leaders spout that they desire and believe in continuous improvement. They use the latest buzzwords and seem very serious when they communicate the new direction that they want to take. I don’t know if CI is truly understood by many organizational leaders due to the fact that most of…

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RF Day 2: Macy’s, Best Buy and Many Others Share Best Practices

Macy’s, CVS and Best Buy. Oh my! Those were just three of the companies that shared their stories of process improvement success during the afternoon session on Day 2 (Tuesday, March 29) of the iSixSigma Retail Forum for Process Excellence. The conference is being held through Thursday, March 31, at the Westin Edina Galleria in…

Nordson Corp. Appoints DeVries as VP, Global Continuous Improvement

Nordson Corp., a manufacturer of adhesive and sealant dispensing equipment, has announced the appointment of James E. DeVries to the newly created enterprise-level position of vice president of global continuous improvement. DeVries will be tasked with driving profitable growth in all operating segments through the elevation of Nordson’s ongoing continuous improvement and margin enhancement efforts.

Process Improvement Benefits of Sarbanes-Oxley

When the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was ratified in 2002, requiring strict financial reporting standards for publicly owned companies, the law was regarded by many in the business community as an administrative burden. In the eight years since SOX has been in place, however, the reporting rules have helped some companies drive continuous improvement efforts, according…

Sustaining Results From Six Sigma

Now, more than ever, Corporate America is suffering from a growing lack of commitment, loyalty, creativity and ideas from its own employees. Called employee engagement, this unseen, unquantifiable and unbudgeted influence has long been a powerful contributor to American business success. Sadly, with more than 2,000,000 employees lost to downsizing in the last 18 months,…

Aligning Six Sigma with Objectives and Strategies

In a well-managed business that has implemented Six Sigma, the organization’s objectives and strategies and continuous improvement are all closely aligned. Organizational objectives enhance the efficacy and importance of Six Sigma initiatives. And Six Sigma specialists can play an integral role in ensuring the execution of strategy. In many organizations, however, there seems to be…

Follow a Structured Approach to Continuous Improvement

The need to deploy a continuous improvement (CI) program is greater than ever. In the global financial meltdown, companies must find ways to produce goods and services cheaper, faster and better, while continuously delighting customers. In an effort to catch up, companies may be tempted to launch extensive training programs or start multiple improvement projects…

Continuous Improvement Should Apply to DMAIC Itself

All practitioners of Six Sigma – even those new to the methodology – are aware of the basic DMAIC roadmap. The starting point for every Six Sigma program is to explain the acronym and to teach the common principles of DMAIC. “Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control” becomes the mantra for new Green Belts and…

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Managing for Continuous and Breakthrough Improvement

As a set of state-of-the-art tools for solving operations problems, Six Sigma can be used for both continuous and breakthrough improvement. What separates the two is the structure by which they are managed. When managers confuse the two types, the result is usually below-par performance. Even worse, such confusion could result in yet another dead-end…