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waste

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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Why Lean Manufacturing Fails

During both prosperous and difficult times, successful businesses naturally look for new ways to improve performance. However, in recent years, as the world economy suffered through one of the worst recessions in history, many companies turned in droves to Lean and other variations of continuous improvement programs to rescue their sagging businesses. But, did they…

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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…

A Stronger Chain

The familiar maxim “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” has particular import for businesses committed to process improvement. For some companies, forging stronger, more collaborative relationships with suppliers and customers has become a natural, even necessary, part of their improvement efforts. “Early on, we knew that to create successful value streams,…

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…

Get a Feel for Lean: Explore Application Opportunities

Extensive training and a thorough understanding of complex analytical tools are required to successfully perform traditional Six Sigma projects. Although this careful and methodical evaluation is an invaluable problem solving technique, traditional Six Sigma projects can be time consuming and must be carefully selected. Lean projects, on the other hand, are different. Lean is intuitive,…

Lean at Work…: From Factory Floor to Operating Room

Until relatively recently, many quality professionals considered the term “Lean” to only be applicable to the manufacturing giants of industry. Lean, first created as a part of the Toyota Production System, is an operational approach and methodology embraced by world-class companies around the globe. With proven results, Lean has made its way into non-manufacturing industries,…

Improve Software-Development Productivity with Lean

To survive in today’s competitive software-development market, organizations need to build their capabilities around delivering the best service within customer-stipulated time frames and costs. Increasing productivity – the rate of output per amount of input – is the factor most likely to give an organization an edge over others. Many software-development organizations have realized the…

Lean Six Sigma Can Benefit Drug Discovery/Development

As is true throughout virtually all areas of business across diverse industry sectors, Lean Six Sigma principles and practices applied to research and development (R&D) and product development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have a dramatic effect on reducing cycle times and the cost of developing new technologies, products, and protocols for research and…

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Software Development Convergence: Six Sigma-Lean-Agile

Some common messages are beginning to emerge from several software-relevant areas – Six Sigma for software, Agile development and Lean thinking. The links between Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) and Agile have been explored recently, but now a broader view yet can illustrate the way that Lean thinking, evolved from just-in-time manufacturing, aligns well with…

Lean and Creative Six Sigma to Solve Real-life Issues

A strong possibility exists that some organizations using Six Sigma are failing to cash in on the true potential of the methodology. This can happen when proper care is not taken to understand what needs to be integrated with the Six Sigma methodology to make it effective, comprehensive and a focused approach to solve real-life…

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When Implementing Lean, Live the Methods You Teach

Practitioners must think “lean” from the beginning when they are starting an initiative in a certain area. Part of their job is to transfer the Lean philosophy. To do this effectively, they must be role models who live Lean all day, all night, all the time – this will earn them credibility. If not, a…

Lean Services: Doing Transactions Right the First Time

In a service organization, the most efficient method for cutting waste is to attack anything and everything that is not done right the first time. This concept, known as first time right, involves making sure that all activities are carried out in the right manner the first time and every time. Examples include a customer…

Harvesting Benefits of Both Lean and Six Sigma in IT

Information technology (IT) organizations increasingly are under pressure to improve their service and process capability. In the quest for improvement methodologies, organizations often adopt a “pick one” strategy – with Six Sigma being the widely favored choice. However, it is possible to integrate Lean and Six Sigma and reap the full benefits that these methodologies can…

Lean Six Sigma to Reduce Excess and Obsolete Inventory

Excess and obsolete inventory write-offs are chronic supply chain problems costing businesses billions of dollars each year. Unfortunately, improvement projects that are deployed to eliminate these problems often have a short-term focus. In other words, the current levels of excess and obsolete inventory are usually addressed, but not the root causes of the problem. Often…

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Lean Template System Reduces Software Document Waste

With the growing need for reducing waste in all aspects of work done in an organization, people are looking at innovative ways to obtain this objective. One waste area, often found in organizations handling outsourced projects, is excessive – and often redundant – documentation. These organizations may be certified against a variety of standards, which…

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Lean: Relentless Pursuit of Product Value and No Waste

Lean, like other process improvement methodologies, is based on the big idea from the 1980s that a business is composed of a series of processes, a value stream, that delivers value to its customers. A process is Lean if it uses only the absolute minimum of resources (material, machines and labor) to add value to…

Eight Workable Strategies for Creating Lean Government

Lean government. The very idea sounds implausible. Even to the seasoned Lean practitioner, the idea of a Lean government sounds far fetched. Governments are traditionally seen as the epitome of bureaucracy, and the guardians of red tape, incomprehensible forms and endless queues. But there are workable Lean strategies for governments seeking to reduce waste and…

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Learning to Recognize Process Waste in Financial Services

One of the biggest challenges for Six Sigma practitioners in financial services is developing the ability to recognize waste. Imagine an “overnight pack” entering Bank One’s wholesale lockbox process for processing remittance payments. By the time it has been through every step, up and down the elevators, back and forth between departments, it would have…