Procurement and Lean Six Sigma

Posted by on Sep 20, 2020 in Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

Procurement organizations face many challenges in today’s environment.  Receiving the right supplies, at the right time, in the right quantities is often easier said than done.  Working with many suppliers to receive goods that are defect-free is not for the faint of heart.  Lean Six Sigma principles and techniques provide an excellent toolset for working with the many challenges these organizations face. For example, Lean Six Sigma can be used to: Ensure prompt delivery of quality goods and services Elimination of non-value-added...

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Engineers Use Lean Six Sigma Principles To Help Them Think Scientifically

Posted by on Sep 13, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As an engineer myself, I often wished I could have started my career with the knowledge I had acquired by the end of my career.  I had the opportunity to learn something new every day, design new products and processes, work with great skilled tradespeople, solve problems, teach problem-solving and Lean Six Sigma around the world, and travel meeting new people.  It was a great career and I enjoyed every minute of it! I learned I needed to be a good problem solver and use a disciplined approach.  As an electrical engineer for a small steel...

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Applying Lean in a Finance Department

Posted by on Sep 6, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the problems that many manufacturing companies face in deploying lean in their operation is the conflict with how to account for inventory.  In lean, we learn that inventory is waste and the root of all evil.  It is something we need to eliminate.  The standard-cost absorption accounting method, however, takes the opposite view: it rewards those who build inventory, allowing them to defer a portion of their production costs to a later period. Going further, you will find that absorption accounting also changes behavior by making...

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Lean Six Sigma in Human Resources

Posted by on Aug 30, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Any process that has a gap in performance is a candidate for a Lean Six Sigma project and that includes the Human Resource processes and department.  Over the years I’ve been involved in a variety of HR projects that include: Reducing the time to hire new employees Hiring process for summer help On-boarding of new employees Improving the FMLA process Reducing recruitment costs Implementing a standard multi-site training program with effectiveness measures Improving the consistency of the interview process All these processes had one...

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Healthcare Can Benefit Greatly Using Lean Techniques

Posted by on Aug 23, 2020 in Lean, Lean Healthcare | 0 comments

In recent years healthcare has been under enormous pressure to reduce cost and improve customer satisfaction.  Hospitals getting squeezed on all sides and seeing rising costs are having to improve everything they do or risk going out of business.  Hospitals have looked at what manufacturing has done to reduce cost and many have started to implement Lean Six Sigma as a way to analyze and improve their processes. This has caused them to look differently at how their processes flow.  Traditionally, hospitals were organized into functional...

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A Lean Strategy Requires Lean To Be the Foundational Core For Everything You Do

Posted by on Aug 16, 2020 in Lean | 0 comments

Many companies think they can implement lean by simply laying it on top of what they already do or delegating it to their operations folks.  This simply won’t work!  In order for you to be successful, lean must be a strategic approach that effects everything you do. As an organization, you need to evaluate all your processes to determine the value-add you provide your customers.  Customers don’t care that it takes you an extra two days to make sure you get a proposal correct or to accept their loan application.  They don’t care if...

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To Ensure Your Project Is A Success, Make Sure The Team Is Working Effectively

Posted by on Aug 2, 2020 in Team Effecitveness, Team Work | 0 comments

Have you ever been involved with a group or team trying to accomplish a task or solve a problem where someone never says anything or has nothing to contribute?  Maybe the person was voluntold to attend the meetings but has no interest and thinks it’s a waste of their time.  The person may be very knowledgable and have a lot of expertise, but for some reason doesn’t want to contribute to the team’s success. You’ll not always have the luxury of picking who will be on the project teams you lead or coach.  For teams to...

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Don’t Let Small Problems Crowd Out The Big Ones

Posted by on Jul 19, 2020 in Problem Solving | 0 comments

How often do we react to problems and not take the time to think about the bigger issue at play?  The urgent things that really matter? Let’s take the example of nurses.  Every day, they deal with missing or incorrect information and contend with missing or broken equipment.  In one particular case, a nurse on duty was preparing to discharge a new mother from the hospital and noticed that the woman’s newborn wasn’t wearing a security tag.  After a quick search, the nurse found the tag in the baby’s bassinet.  Then,...

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Solving Nagging Problems Requires Ownership

Posted by on Jul 12, 2020 in Problem Solving | 0 comments

Does your organization have a nagging, frustrating problem that carries over from one year to the next and never gets resolved? If you ask, “Who owns the problem?” do you get a clear answer, and if so, why aren’t they doing anything about it? Problems tend to go on and on without resolution when no one steps up and decides to own the problem.  Let me give you an example. In his recent book, Upstream, The Quest To Solve Problems Before They Happen, Dan Heath gives an example of the travel website Expedia.  In 2012, the head...

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Solving The Most Complicated Problems

Posted by on Jul 5, 2020 in Problem Solving | 0 comments

Solving the easiest of problems takes a lot of effort, but trying to solve complicated problems is something that is beyond most of our ability.  It’s hard enough to get our arms around simple things but much harder to try to assimilate everything that is going on in a complicated situation.  And that is why complicated problems drag on forever without any sign of improvement. Take, for instance, homelessness, drug abuse, low graduation rates, or gun violence.  Can these issues be solved or improved?  It’s easy to say that...

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