iSixSigma

Help – Six Sigma is not working for me.

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Help – Six Sigma is not working for me.

Viewing 34 posts - 1 through 34 (of 34 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #28702

    Mike Nelson
    Participant

    I’m a Green belt at a small (11 people) distributor, we do no Manufacturing.
    It was 36,000.00 to start Sig Sigma here (training of the champion, green belt, yellow belt, travel etc.) my 1st project, Mis-shipments, saved me only $6,000.00  Mis-shipments was also our largest area of error.
    we where apx 3.7 long term sigma before the project, and apx 4.3 sigma now, with less than 40 errors per year of 5,000 orders per year.
    The average Six Sigma project we estimate will cost my company $9,000.00 to do in time lost etc.
    My concern is:
    1) Due to my size it is very diffucult to do Six Sigma (realize when I get my team together I reduce my inside workforce to 20%)
    2) Everything we do here must be done manually, we do not use Excel and track any Data (we looked at 4,987 orders for our mis-shipment project by hand to collect our data)
    Is Six-Sigma something that I should be trying to implement at a company this size?

    0
    #71804

    Al
    Participant

    Is mis shipments really the biggest problem facing the company?   Is that what prompted spending $36,000? 
    You need to working on what is really hurting the company.  What is it that really troubles your boss?  What is a ‘defect’  – losing a customer,  being dropped as a distributor by a manufacturer, etc.

    0
    #71805

    Ø6 Sigma BB Coordinator
    Participant

    It is hurt to hear that Six Sigma is not work. But we must accept the truth that somtimes (or often) Six Sigma is not work. Some have that experience, not only you. Then please feel free to say that Six Sigma is not work although it may hurt me a little.
    As your infromation, Six Sigma may not fit to your company. The reason is not about the size of the company but becuase you have little wastes in your company. Then Six Sigma can not deliver enough ROI to your company.
    However, make sure that you properly identify the source of the waste you have. Check if you identify the project properly. If you make sure that you identify projects and the sources of wastes properly and you still can not find what worthwhile to improve, then you are right :
    Six Sigma is not working for you. 
    Six Sigma Black Belt Coordinator
     

    0
    #71809

    Michael Nelson
    Participant

    Quote:

    You need to working on what is really hurting the company.  What is it that really troubles your boss?  What is a ‘defect’  – losing a customer,  being dropped as a distributor by a manufacturer, etc.

    To be honest with you, we are a small family business, we really do not have a large % error rate.  Mis-shipments we figured to be a huge problem becuase it did seam that we always had customers calling due to mis-shipment, we later realized that we where making more of the situation than it was worth.
    I also did a data study for backorders not leaving on a timely basis, and our inventory control level’s, while our inventory control levels are very out of the standard area (I have 1.8 turns per year for my inventory) I could not get myself to listed to what others where telling me about my inventory, anyone that hears we have 1.8 turns per year on our inventory of 45,000 parts will tell us that we should be out of business in about 6 months, but we have been doing this since 1955, it is just what it takes for this situation.
    our backorder error was 7 tenths of 1% error, again, not worth taking the time to fix.

    0
    #71813

    Bobby
    Participant

    Mike,
    One thing to keep in mind is that Six Sigma should not be applied to every problem.  In some instances the solution is readily evident and you won’t need the tools that help you in dissecting some processes.  The tools learned while performing Six Sigma projects are beneficial to a company as a whole and can be used outside of project work.  Hopefully, when you worked on your mis-shipment problem, you the primary root cause of your problem.  If this was not the only cause, you can look at using what you learned from your project to try other improvements to further improve your shipping process.
    Looking at data by hand is common, even if you have data readily available via excel.
    As to your backorder problem.  You might be better served by looking at other improvement strategies, like Kaizen, that won’t be as lengthy and might work just as well, or better, given your situation.
    Best of luck!

    0
    #71815

    Kelly Maidman
    Participant

    Knowing that you are in a very small company, don’t try to implement “textbook” 6S. Perhaps you can focus on the big picture: Continuous Improvement. Fill your toolbox with both statistical (“hard”) tools and Relational (“Soft”) tools. Remember, True 6S consists of 80-90% soft skills (Building teams and trust) and about 10% hard tool usage. A trained monkey can use the tools…no lie! You need to concentrate on building and sustaining a culture of Continuous Improvement. Concentatrate on getting all 11 employees to to think in terms of process and VOC (internal/external. Tool use will come later. Think about conducting a baseline assessment taking into account:
    Cost/Quality/Delivery. Maybe a series of low-cost Lean/KAIZEN type blitzes can help reduce touch time/cycle time/variation in your critical processes. Take some time with the owners to develop your “Crtical To’s”:
    -Critical to Satisfaction
    -Critical to Cost/Quality/Delivery
    -Critical to Process
    6S can and does flourish in such settings. I’ve worked with both Large corps and small “mom n’ pop’s”. The concepts are the same…the applications may vary.Don’t get too discouraged! Remember, there is variation in every process. Collect that data and root it out!Keep us informed!
    -Kelly

    0
    #71817

    Mikel
    Member

    Mike,
    Ask for your money back. Any organization that takes on Six Sigma training without understanding the opportunity and guaranteeing their results is not reputable.
     

    0
    #71819

    Michael Nelson
    Participant

    Quote:
    Mike,
    Ask for your money back. Any organization that takes on Six Sigma training without understanding the opportunity and guaranteeing their results is not reputable.

     —-
     
    Actually, we where told to partake in Six-Sigma by our largest supplier, hard to say no to someone that produces 80% of what you sell.  I’m just trying to come to some good decisions before I go back to the manufacturer that “guided our hand” tward Six-Sigma.

    0
    #71861

    Jim Bossert
    Participant

    I would think inventory turns would always have to be taken as a relative number. In other words, if 1.2 annual turns are average for your product niche, you’re doing great!! (If, on the other hand, the average for your niche is 3.0, I want to know what you do so I can start a competitive business, undercut your price, collect all your customers, and shut you down!)If anyone makes an assessment of your business based on inventory turns alone, they’re talking through their hat!!

    0
    #71864

    Kevin Cullis
    Participant

    The question is: do you use a hammer to find only nails, or only BIG hammers to find only nails. 6S might be good, but it might be too big in your situation. However, you may not know that until you dig into it, only experience will guide you, and the data.

    0
    #71887

    Rob Smith
    Member

    Mike,
    I am leading a very similar effort right now at an organization with many of the same characteristics as you described. Like you we are focusing on the shipping side of the business. We have found that Six Sigma has two strong assets that we can leverage: 1. It provides a common language when we talk with our customers. 2. It offers a framework within which to work. Beyond that, we are very flexible in the tools we are using. If you’d like to talk further, drop me a note at [email protected].
    Rob

    0
    #71893

    J. De Feo
    Participant

    I have been working for Juran Institute for 13 years. during that period we have seen man small compnies ask the same question. How can it hel[ my small company. Today the question is how can Six sigma help my company? In either case your company should have had a clear understanding from your training partner what activities best fit your organzation’s size, culture and financial needs.
    A smal organization has the benefit of few people perfroming many tasks. This creates an environment of higher quality and customer satisfaction becasue each employee is his or her own customer. This very tight supplier-customer chain allows for fast feedback when things go wrong. Smaller companies do not require the same kind of support as a large company that has large supplier-customer chains. There are more opportunities for failure in a large, multi-department chain.
    I would suggest you focus your attention on the bigest opportunities with the knowledge you have gained. Just do not assume you will get the size return on your investment. You should be able to analyze what situations you have faster and therefore get many small quick hits.
     
     

    0
    #71896

    isoquality.com
    Participant

    Many people has mistaken that 6-sigma as one off-the-shelf item to solve all sort of problems in our life. Seems 6-Sigma consultants make more monies from this hype!
    I will suggest just use a simple fish bone diagram to figure out all possible causes to your mis-shipmet and backorder problem and then take proactive steps to correct and prevent it.  
    Do not need to attend such expensive 6-sigma training course if the complexity of your problems does not justify ROI. Go buy one book from the bookshop to understand its concept and learn some basic tools is far more than enough in your case.
    I disagree with some people say 6-sigma does not work in your case.  A right mentality in seeking waste elimination and continous improvement always work in any companies.

    0
    #71898

    Pipkin
    Participant

    Mike,
    Everyone speaks from their experiences.  So here’s our two cents worth.  We are a manufacturing facility and have had very good success with Six Sigma, however, when we took on a project to reduce lead times we found ourselves in a new area we had not experienced.  “Traditional” Six Sigma didn’t cut it so we researched “Transactional” Six Sigma.  It quickly became apparent  the Process Map was key so obtaining all the detail required for inputs/outputs became the main focus.  This led us to looking at software to model the process such as iGrafx and ProcessModel.  In trying these out, we were guided into what were needed for inputs/outputs.  Modeling also allows you to “try” different solutions without changing your process and hoping for the best.
    Bottom line, transactional Six Sigma may be a better fit for your situation.  More and more Six Sigma consultants are realizing the importance of this approach.
    Good luck,
    Jack      

    0
    #71907

    Deidre
    Participant

    Clearly you need to take advantage of the upfront investment you have already made by using Six Sigma to help your company.  In my opinion the most obviouse needs are in the area of automation.  You mention that all of your data is kept and reviewed manually, that can be improved. You can also use the brainstorming techniques to find ways to improve your revenue growth, not just tackle problems that cause revenue loss.  I am sure there are a lot of potentially great projects you can tackle.

    0
    #71915

    Hugo Danilo
    Participant

    It sounds to me like you need to Lean out your processes along with your Six Sigma work.  Be careful about implemeting Six Sigma in the same way that an AlliedSignal or a GE did.  It will be far more costly than you can afford to do.

    0
    #71921

    howe
    Participant

    An earlier poster(s) may have hit the nail on the head (no, not the one talking about the hammer!).  You’re applying Six Sigma to a specific problem, but maybe that’s not the problem you should be addressing.  Have you really properly identified the pain being experienced?  Have you identified what your customers (internal or external) really want? 

    0
    #71923

    Vahok
    Member

    Your first project did not generate the savings you expected. OK, try again. In many small companies change is very difficult to implement and manage. You need to make Six Sigma the norm not the exception. Energize your people, everybody should be a part of the team. Using the tools is not always the answer, as was stated in an earlier post “you can train monkees to do some very exceptional things”. The whole staff needs to be involved in the process and they all need to be players. The mindset needs to change. Somebody in the company thought the training was a good idea or the resources would not have been made available. Ask the questions, what is causing the most pain to my company? Excess inventory? Late shipments? Late deliveries? Supplier Quality? HR issues? Cash flow? …. The point is that there are many problems to work on, the size of your company may not just have one problem that will save you that big dollar figure, it may be a combination of small issues that will add up to the big or larger savings.

    0
    #71931

    Matthew Stillings
    Participant

    Our company is about a year into its implementation of Six Sigma.  During that time we have broadened our focus to include more than just COPQ.  We found that focussing on COPQ alone drove us to work on internally-focussed projects.  It’s really no wonder when you think about it.  COPQ is the voice of the business, not necessarily your customers.  We have discovered that internally-focussed projects don’t have the break-through impact you would expect.
    One of our Black Belts targeted a customer with a high potential for increased sales.  He developed a relationship with that customer and found out what we would have to do to be their sole supplier.  At the time we had approximately half of their business.  He worked two consecutive projects on their top 2 CTQ issues.  He maintained contact with the customer during that time and communicated our progress on their CTQ’s through dashboards. (A dashboard is a graphical display of our performance against their CTQ’s.) Two projects and six months later we have 100% of their business.
    The revenue from the newly acquired business greatly exceeds the COPQ savings we calculated.  Jack Welch said, 
    “The best Six Sigma projects begin not inside the business but outside it, focused on answering the question – How can we make the customer more competitive? What is critical to the customer’s success? … One thing we have discovered with certainty is that anything that makes the customer more successful inevitably results in a financial return for us.”
     
    I realize that each business is different and there is not a cookie-cutter approach to Six Sigma that works for everyone.  I will say that customer-focussed projects can result in top-line growth.
     
    I hope this helps.
     
    Matthew Stillings
    Master Black Belt
    IDEX Corporation

    0
    #71941

    Luis Cuellar
    Participant

    Hi.
    I have been trying to start a Six Sigma culture in my organization for a couple of years. The company I work in is larger that yours but I don’t think size is the Issue; it is more an implementation strategy issue.
    1) I think you have to identify witch your mayor processes? Who is the client?, What is the input/output, What do those clients complain about?, are they happy with what they are getting? How those that happiness, reflect on the bottom line? In other words what are there CTQ?. Take into consideration that there are to ways of improving, one is to reduce cost, the other is to increase earnings, How does customer satisfaction affect that?
    2) You will have to start a measuring strategy. How are you going to measure those CTQ?. It is interesting what you said about Mis-shipments where not that big a deal as you thought. Many times opportunities for improvement are hidden on the strangest places. Doing something for the last 50 years does not necessarily means it is the best way of doing something.
    3) Also you have to reduce Six Sigma project cost. I agree with you the cost is to high and I think you need to automate this somehow. And by automating I don’t necessarily mean to put it in a computer, but more like making the process register the data in forms that are easier to analysis. Excel is one option, paper spreadsheets is another.
    4) Your biggest problem right now it to change to a process driven culture. How are processes defined? How do people see there work?, Is work repeatable?, What are the inputs/outputs? What area the few that really affect me?.
    5) If you are doing any training do it on process definition and very basic tools like fishbone analysis, at the beginning this is probably the only tools you will need, As I said before we are been working on Six Sigma for 2 years and fishbone, QFD and FEMA are the only tools we have really worked with. The rest are only for problems that are not so obvious, or that we don’t have a clue on how to solve.
    Unfortunely depending on how far your company is on VOC, Metric gathering and Process culture. You will not necessarily see big savings at the beginning, Six Sigma is more a long-term strategy of process improvement, even though it is sold as a quick savings program, It is not necessarily true when you start implementing it in the company. I don’t agree that Six Sigma is not for you but I do agree that textbook Six Sigma is for companies the size of the ones the author worked for and those are rarely small. Try to understand the concepts and apply only the tolls that apply for now as you and your company continue things will get better.
    I hope this is helpful.
     

    0
    #71951

    TCJ
    Member

    First of all how does one “do Six Sigma”?  As a Six Sigma BB I’ve seen several projects in which an Engineer completes a capability study and pareto chart and says “I did Six Sigma”.  Many of us are missing the boat when it comes to Six Sigma.  What does it mean to you?  You should be able to apply the training that you recieved to make business decisions.  The purpose of your training was to learn a methdology for solving problems by reducing the variation in your process; thereby, reducing waste.  You can’t make Six Sigma a program until you understand what it is.  I believe that your company can apply Six Sigma tools and realize improvement, but you should take a step back evaluate the “What” and “Why”?

    0
    #71955

    Michael Nelson
    Participant

    Many have asked how I’m using Six-Sigma, let me tell you a very short story.
    Our largest supplier asked us to take on Six-Sigma, we started to question it, and then said no at the time, they then lets say “asked” us again, we took the hint (since they supply 80% of what I sell) and got ourself setup for Six-Sigma. This included.
    4 day’s training for Champion1 week training for Yellow Belt3 weeks training for Green Belt (myself)
    Our Manufacturer is asking for 4 Six-Sigma projects a year from us.  I have just finished my 1st project report, which was a Powerpoint presintation, as well as hard copy to send to them.  The report in of itself took me close to 3 day’s straight (door closed to my office) my example to work from was 37 pages long.  Which included every tool we learned for Six-Sigma.is it possible due to the time spent that they might be asking us to do Six-Sigma “wrong” for lack of better terms?
    I see some tool that I have used to be very handy, but these very long drawn out way’s seems crazy to me, it takes so much time to go through and do a full blown project.  Are most of you doing projects, or just finding a problem (lets say you run out of item X to often) and saying, Place CanBan there.. Six-Sigma at work.  I have to go through the entire process, how often do we run out, lets do a multi-vary study of this, get a sampling, X,Y matric, FEMA the situation, process map it to look for NVA area’s etc… just seems so crazy when I can say “Let me make the re-order point 10, not 5”
    Yes, I feel that is not the best use of Six-Sigma, but I’m really lost for what else it might be able to do for me.

    0
    #71960

    TCJ
    Member

    Thanks for your explanation that helps to clear up the issue a little.  As I understand it, your supplier (customer) is requiring Six Sigma Projects/Reports.  This is now one of your CTQs Critical to Quality requirements, so what can you do?  Use what you’ve learned to your advantage, try to get in touch with the VOC Voice of the Customer and challenge your customer.  What metrics would they like to see your company improve?  How can your six sigma projects benefit them?  I am sure that cost reduction is at the root of there request, but it is not achieved through presentations.  The combination of transactional six sigma projects, supplier partnerships and the implementation lean manufacturing principles can help reduce cost, but it has to be done with a purpose.  Is your company the best in class?  If not, what would it take to get you there?  Use this to set up a series of problem statements.  Once you have problems statements…six sigma projects are born.  Not all projects lead to big savings because the goal of each projects are Incremental Improvement.  Familiarize yourself with the tools give your projects an honest effort and you probably will supprise yourself.

    0
    #71963

    Chris Walker
    Participant

    Mike,
    I can appreciate your dillema. Look at the bright side: you have already paid for the training. There is nothing you can do get it back, so you might as well stick with it.
     
    I can’t imagine that the biggest problem your company has costs only $9,000. It’s time to get creative.
     
    How much emphasis was given on project selection in your training? Let me know if you’d like some free information that could be useful – [email protected].

    0
    #71979

    Dormand
    Participant

    This case has two underlying problems: a) the 80% concentration which puts the distributor into the position of easily being controlled by the manufacturer and b) the mandate by the manufacturer that a particular expenditure be implemented.The distributor might well consider how it might diversify its manufacturers so that it could have more control over its destiny. For an 11 person company with minimal IT systems, perhaps a more effective means of improving customer satisfaction and reducing errors would be the small company streamlined version of ISO 9000:2000.The bulk of shipping errors could be reduced via this program and it would be far more affordable and easier to implement. The key is to talk with other companies which are similar and have implemented systems which have achieved the desired objectives.For any clarification, [email protected] taking the time to share this situation may communicate to other companies which might reconsider before mandating a given quality program to all their vendors or distributors. Frequently this causes problems.

    0
    #72006

    mozhgan ellioun
    Participant

    Seeking & eliminating waste ,and continual improvements may always be the targets for six sigma projects.
     Remember that increasing the number of the customers may never come in to visible numbers.You should enter it in to your calculations.

    0
    #72007

    Laurence Baselli Rayon
    Participant

    I am a quality professionnal with Six Sigma training. In my last six years, I have worked with small (40 people) and large (400 people for each business units (250)in service companies). I confirm you can apply Six Sygma and quality approaches. You just need to adapt your language. In small companies, you must avoid the quality language. I have used it only at the executive mmeting to present the results. However I have done my Six Sigma job as always but in small companies I have mixed it with the quality approach.
    With your description, I will do (I am sure you had done some of them)
    1) Build a questionnaire to have problems overview and interview (on their work area)workers and “supervisors”
    2)Take a sample of orders (Sample size following Six Sigma request)to confirm or not the interviews results. Do a second sort of your orders by amount, look for correlation between $ amount and mistakes or items volumes and mistakes…
    3) Measure the process at your current point of measurement but also where the interviewed people pointed out issues and where you find trouble with your orders’ analyze.
    4)Map the process and add the workflow (stick the template of used forms on the brown paper with activities post-it)and highlight all the control points (you will find over control).Look for “Where you can put control points to avoid over quality” (This last part is based on people empowerment). You will find your new points of process performance measurement.
    5)Submit this mapping to the workers and “supervisors” (this presentation can be display in the lunch area during one / two days). You note any comment. Correct the mapping if required and may be find some lightens of current forms.
    5) Organize a meeting (2 hours) with 1 “supervisor” and 2/3 workers (recognized as well professionnal and informal leaders by their peers. Objective: How to decrease our mis-shipment? Use the “tree diagram” (one of the 7 new quality tools)to guide your meeting. Expected solution: Find practical improvement actions and prioritize them through 2 criteria (efficiency and facility to implement-w/o new resources, quick win…-)
    6) Present the solutions with your meeting team to executive’s approval and after re-do that for staff presentation. You don’t sale the solutions, your team members do it.
    7) Before testing improvement actions, measure to the old and new points of measurement.
    8) After testing, re-do the measurement of old and new indicators. You will see the distorsion between old and new measure.
    9) Communicate to the executive and supervisor the distorsion. Correct the tested process if it is required. Implement the new process, by your own, continue your old and new measurements for one month and “peak activity” period.PS: Measurement is essential to improve but you need simple measures with your small group.

    0
    #72020

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    You have probably given the reason you are struggling right in your question. You said you have no data. If you are going to engage in a data driven decision making process it is always a good idea to find a project using data. If you do not then the project slows down immediately while you try to quatify things.
    Because you are a small company and/or nonmanufacturing does not make it acceptable to not have data. Closing your eyes and using “the force” to run a company is a real good reason to head somewhere else.
    As much as I hate to admit it Hugo (was one of my Allied BB’s – very disappointed in the Cost comment) is probably more correct than anyone else. Start with Lean. While you are running through the Work Place Organization and Standardized Work, build an ABC model for the company and do the Customer Success thing. The Lean will get the “People Variation” out of the system and make it easier to identify projects using the cost drivers from the ABC model (remember the signal to noise ratio thing from Taguchi – people variation down projects look like they stick up a little higher).
    If you need some help email me at [email protected].

    0
    #72041

    Anna
    Participant

    Mike,
    I can fully understand your concerns. I am doing Six Sigma projects which also aren’t of the value stated in all Six Sigma adverts and introduction.
    This is the mind set change that matters – in my opinion. To achieve the breakthrough result doesn’t mean you will get 100 000 USD hard cash saving with every project. If 9000 USD means significant improvement to your company it always makes sense to do it. 9000 USD project means something to my company and I can’t afford involving people too much – somebody has to do the work… The point is that people have to understand and apply the data driven approach – no data – no decision.
    Keep smiling
    Anna 
     

    0
    #72046

    RR Kunes
    Member

    It sounds as if you were taught six sigma the GE way. As such it probably won’t work.
    The idea that you need to have a team and hold many many team meetings is uniques to GE.
    As the greenbelt you need the support of Subject Matter Experts not necesssarily a working team of people. The DMAIC methodology only requires that you follow the steps to develop an understanding of the problem define the root cause and implement a solution.
     
    The small size of your company should afford you speed of understanding and implementation.
     

    0
    #72050

    john beaudoin
    Participant

    I read through enough responses to understand the situation your family business was put in.  I did not have time to read every response, so some of what I say may have been included in some of the other responses.  From what I’m reading, you may also feel like your supplier has really let your company down.
    Keep this in perspective.  Your Supplier is not really your customer as some have said.  You are the customer of your supplier.  However, since 80% of your business comes from this supplier, you can probably say that without this supplier, you lose.  I work for a Parts Distributor as well for a Fortune 500 company supplying repair parts to the Western Hemisphere.  Our inventory turns are about the same as yours and we are very successful.  We also supply to Distributors such as yourself and are a 6-Sigma company.  I imagine your company was “told” to invest in 6-Sigma because your distributorship reflects your supplier in how the end-user customers are affected.  If the Supplier wants to improve customer satisfaction levels, they need to improve your satisfaction levels as well as your customer satisfaction levels.
    I will get back to this concept in a minute, but I wanted to point out that your first project should really be if you should undertake 6-Sigma or Not.  You could probably show the affect that not having 6-Sigma training would have if the the result of that decision was to lose your supplier.  I imagine the economic ramification to your business if you were to lose a supplier would be much greater than the training cost.  If this is the case, you made the correct decision.
    2nd, now that you have been trained in 6-Sigma, you will be able to act as team members to your supplier’s projects.  Remember, their projects are trying to improve customer satisfaction with you, end-user customers,  reduce their costs, and improve product quality.  If successful, overall business should grow and so should your sales.
    Last, you have end-user customers as well.  You have the ability to send out customer surveys and find out how your customers rate your business for service, etc.  There is an excellent book I suggest you purchase.  It may be in your local bookstore, and if not you can get it from Amazon.com titled “Customer Centered Six Sigma: Linking Customers, Process Improvement, and Financial Results” by Naumann and Hoisington.  This will be a great help with customer surveys and linking customer satisfaction level improvements to increased sales and revenue.
    A final note is that your supplier may be acting as a Champion for some projects, and you may want to get ideas for projects or control charts from them.  Note that it will be much less expensive to get Excel and Access Database training for employees, and if you haven’t already, you will find that great internal quality and inventory accuracy can be achieved by bar-codeing parts and bin locations, obtaining the ability to import information from databases into Access or Excel, looking at shipping costs.  Our biggest projects for savings here resulted in reducing our shipping costs by rateshopping at the manifest station, finding ways to circumvent dimensional weighting, finding alternative carriers, cosolidating LTL shipments to full truckloads, etc.  Good Luck, and do not feel that your company has made a bad investment.

    0
    #72552

    Pete Teti
    Participant

    First I would question spending $36,000 for Six Sigma training.  Someone is ripping you off big time.  I am appalled that any Supplier would consider this type of expense.  We run CQE training onsite at Hamilton Sundstrand with required Black Belt projects for approximately $500.00/person.  The average return on each project ranges between $50 K – $100K.  If a Customer is mandating that a Supplier attend “Green Belt” training, then they should be willing to pick up the tab.  After all, isn’t the Supplier an extension to the Customer’s business?  If the payback is that great, it’s pennies on the dollar.

    0
    #171063

    Timbo
    Member

    You only have to use the tools that you need. I prefer to identify, sort, attack, and sustain. Maybe a brainstorm to find your problems (list of CTC items), a pareto to choose the biggest ones. Then you can look for the causes (another pareto or scatter plot, etc). Fix the obvious probelms using your collective noggins, and then use a run chart or something to make sure you’re doing ok. You don’t have to use all of the tons of metrics (x-bar, K test, etc…) Just choose a max of two tools for each major project step and go with that. If you’re using more than 3 or 4 6S tools per project, your using too many….
    You may also want to look at leaning out your supplier. If you have less than 2 turns per year. gauge how much money it takes you to store 4 or 5 month’s of inventory against the extra cost of getting smaller amuonts shipped to you 3 or 4 times more a year. If you factor in electriciy, insurance, heating, A/C, leasing cost or Property tax, man hours spend managing your inventory, etc it might be cheaper to pay more for the smaller turns. I know you are successful, but if you want to expand at all, it you might be able to do it without moving into a bigger building or hiring a few people. Cost avoidance can earn some of your money back.
     
     

    0
    #171064

    Vallee
    Participant

    Timbo,
    First little bit of advice… look at the post dates 2002 means you probably will not get a response and the originator ain’t going to get the message.
    Second… if you think brainstorming is going to identify your problems robustly you will be limited by the subject matter experts in your team. Framing, Confirmation, and Availability Biases (just to mention a few) will limit the big picture and you will only look for data that supports you initial hypothesis. The tools you mention will only reformat what they already know.
    Third… minimizing the tools recommendation should depend on the process. People tend to pick the tools they like based on ease of use but this too becomes a problem (do a search on Doggett and root cause analysis tools… simple but well defined research).
    Fourth…. mentioning leaning out a supplier based on storage costs and turns without mentioning TOC, lead times, and lags times sets a person up for failure. Lean projects even low hanging fruit should fully be understood before you act.
    Just lessons learned and observed,
    HF Chris Vallee
     
     

    0
Viewing 34 posts - 1 through 34 (of 34 total)

The forum ‘General’ is closed to new topics and replies.