DMAIC Case Study: Accuracy of System-generated Service Routes

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A leading environmental services company provides collection, processing, recycling and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous materials for industrial and automotive customers. The company has branches all over the United States. The service representatives in these branches carry out services for geographically dispersed customers in their respective territories. This case study describes how DMAIC (Define, Measure, […]

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DMAIC Case Study: Improving System Availability

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A leading environmental services company applied the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology to improve the availability of an internal software system. The goal was to reduce system downtime (the time that the software application is not available for users) and reduce defect resolution time (the time it takes to fix a software defect […]

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Improving the Productivity of a Service Team

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The manufacturing and transactional worlds have long used productivity as a measure of efficiency. Traditionally, a productivity metric has been used for assessing return on investment on machinery to measure the contributions of team members. In the growing service economy where human resources are the biggest driver of costs in the organization, management teams want […]

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Improving Outbound Calling Conversion Rates

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Internet betting exchange Betfair invests heavily in different marketing activities, and one of the most effective marketing channels is outbound calling. The outbound marketing team employs a number of different campaigns. Its main focus, however, is to reach out to customers who have registered online, but not yet placed money in their betting account. The […]

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Improving Process Turnaround Time in an Outpatient Clinic

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Historically, medical residency teaching clinics provide the heart of medical services to an under-insured population through various government-subsidized health insurance programs. These programs provide medical coverage for eligible individuals with incomes of less than 35 percent of the federal poverty level. It is well-established that people living in poverty are at a higher risk for […]

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Improving Lab Performance with Six Sigma

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Laboratories can be a taxing environment in which to implement Lean and Six Sigma. Labs are not the same as manufacturing – where Lean and Six Sigma got their start – because they typically have more variability in workload, less operational focus, less process reliability and longer task cycle times. However, through creative adaptation of […]

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Reducing Misdirected Calls in Automated Payment Systems

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While working on a maintenance project for a large U.S. telecommunications firm, information technology company Infosys Technologies Ltd. discovered that an unacceptably high percentage of calls in the clients’ automated payment system were being routed to the call center agents. The team conducted a DMAIC project, outlined here, to reduce the number of misdirected calls. […]

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Delivering Record Products without Delays: A DMAIC Case Study

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The record label Music Co. was experiencing a high number of incident tickets regarding its digital release planning system, mostly as a result of delays in a release, reported by the sales team. To help deliver their record products in a more timely fashion, the organization used the DMAIC roadmap to uncover the causes of […]

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Managing Personal Expenses Using Six Sigma

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Many people have experienced the pinch of money from time to time. As a Black Belt, I decided to use Six Sigma to aid in managing my money, and conducted a project to lower my expenses.

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The Final Tollgate: Age Verification Cycle Time

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For online betting organization Betfair, based in the United Kingdom, scrupulous identification of customers is vital. Within 72 hours of creating a Betfair account, the customer’s age must be verified to be 18 years or older. Betfair’s verification process is a necessary part of protecting customers and the business, and for complying with relevant U.K. […]

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Medical Transcription Six Sigma Case Study

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Today’s industrial black belt typically trains for six months. Seventy-five percent of this training time is spent learning theory, and the balance is spent in practice. Often when the black belt returns to the real world to tackle inefficiencies, he finds that there are no takers for his logic and passion – his Six Sigma entreaties fall on […]

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Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts: Six Sigma Breakthrough

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Six Sigma, 6s, is nothing more, and nothing less, than the use of science to solve problems. Scientific evidence that a breakthrough medical solution is genuine is statistical evidence. Though altruism and evidence influence medical treatments, economic pressure drives improvement. Multi-million dollar savings created by “beating heart” or “off-pump” coronary artery bypass outcomes are a […]

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Software Vendor Partnership Cost Reduction with Six Sigma

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Business Issue A multibillion-dollar software manufacturer needed to drive down the total $191 million annual cost of supplying its workers with continuously updated workstations. Both the software manufacturer and its primary vendor/supplier were in the midst of an aggressive cost cutting initiative that would lead to a new compensation model. The initial, first year targeted […]

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HMO Formulary Standardization Six Sigma Breakthrough

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Business Issue All medications are not created equally. Reopro (generic name: abciximab), Integrilin (generic name: eptifibatide) and Aggrastat (generic name: tirofiban) are all platelet-inhibiting drugs used in cardiac care. Each is priced differently. They act on patients in slightly different but clinically significant ways. The key critical to quality issue in healthcare is patient safety. […]

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Using Six Sigma to Improve Clinical Quality and Outcomes

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Appropriately implemented, Six Sigma clearly produces benefits in terms of better operational efficiency, cost effectiveness and higher process quality. Perhaps less obvious – and until recently less documented – is the impact it can make in clinical areas such as infection control and medication delivery. Clinicians are often receptive to Six Sigma given its familiar scientific and […]

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Read-Rite Low FPY Manufacturing Case Study

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Read-Rite Philippines is the manufacturing site for the Tape Head Business Unit, and the core competency is assembly and test. Read-Rite Philippines manufactures magnetoresistive tape heads to the entry level through mid-range tape drive markets, with products such as Travan, DLT (Digital Linear Tape), SLR (Scalable Linear Recording) and SDLT (Super DLT). The Elite Sigma […]

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UVA Reduces CPT Coding Errors With Six Sigma

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Like a detective, Pam Thomson probed the mysteries of CPT coding errors in the pulmonary medicine department at University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center, looking for hard evidence of what went wrong and why. Were coding errors correlated with the time of day, day of the week, or workload? Was something amiss in the physician/coder […]

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Six Sigma Software Development Case Study

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This article illustrates the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) process using an organization that develops software packages as an example. The Six Sigma DMAIC approach to process improvement provides a powerful mechanism for improving the software process. Typical benefits will exceed costs within 6 to 12 months from initiation of a Six […]

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Six Sigma Software Development Case Study – Part 2

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This article illustrates the Six Sigma DMAIC process using an organization that develops software packages as an example. The Six Sigma DMAIC approach to process improvement provides a powerful mechanism for improving the software process. Typical benefits will exceed costs within 6 to 12 months from initiation of a Six Sigma program for software development, […]

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Leveraging Six Sigma to Improve Hospital Bed Availability

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Located in Lafayette, Louisiana, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center recently began working with GE Medical Systems to implement Six Sigma as a method for achieving quality and process improvement. Since patient throughput and bed availability are among the organization’s top concerns, the team began by focusing on this issue. Following a process of […]

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Case Study: Surmounting Staff Scheduling at Valley Baptist Health System

Case Study: Surmounting Staff Scheduling at Valley Baptist Health System

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Finding solutions to staffing issues in the orthopedic unit at Valley Baptist Health System required a dual emphasis on productivity and quality.

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Using Six Sigma to Reduce Pressure Ulcers at a Hospital

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Since 2001, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center (TRMC) in Louisiana has applied Six Sigma and change management methods to a range of clinical and operational issues. One project that clearly aligned with the hospital’s strategic plan was an initiative to reduce nosocomial or hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, because this is one of the key performance metrics indicating […]

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Starting the First Surgical Case on Time to Cut Delays

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In 2006, the board, administration and staff at Louisiana’s Thibodaux Regional Medical Center (TRMC) decided their operating room (OR) suites represented an opportunity for improvement. Rising demand, costs and competition were all signals that the hospital would need to either invest in expansion or operational efficiency. Taking the less glamorous and more difficult path of […]

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DMAIC Project Selection Using a Systematic Approach

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The growth of the Six Sigma DMAIC continuous improvement process in the United States’ more service-oriented economy is not proceeding as fast as it did earlier in the country’s manufacturing industries. DMAIC is a well-proven process, but requires a systematic approach to project selection in transactional environments. When companies are squeezed on cost and drive […]

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