Process Improvement

How Good Are You As An Organization? How Good Do You Want To Be?

Over the years, much has been written about the pros and cons of lean and Six Sigma.  People often complain about the training costs, the infrastructure required, the teams of green and black belts, and so on, but in my 40+ years of experience nothing has proven to be more successful at getting things improved than a combination of lean and Six Sigma.  I’m not talking about ten, twenty,...

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Five Green Belt Projects Rock with a Combined Yearly Savings of $743,000!

Last fall I had the opportunity to conduct a Lean Six Sigma training class at Kent State University, Trumbull Branch.  The training concentrates on teaching the participants how to identify and eliminate waste using the various lean techniques and how to reduce process variation by concentrating on the 6M’s (Man, Machine, Material, Method, Measurement, and Mother Nature).  Participants...

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New Ideas, Experimentation and Faster Change Must Be The New Norm

We’ve all heard the adage, “If you’re not changing, you’re standing still and falling behind!” many times in the last 15 years.  But I think it is even more appropriate today in the fast paced world we live in.  Look around and you’ll see companies that were thriving a few short years ago are now struggling just to keep the doors open.  Why is that? I think...

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Make Something Happen – Establish Accountability!

Yesterday I met with a potential client that is looking for problem solving training for his employees.  We discussed the logistics of the training, topics to include, and a variety of other training issues.  He told me his organization would be very quick to say they know the reasons for many of their problems, based on past experience and opinion.  Very few of their problems are addressed by...

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Understanding the Difference Between the Mean and Median

The other day I was listening to a reporter on CNN talk about the median price of an apartment in New York city.  The price was a staggering $820,000.  During the discussion that followed he said something that made me cringe.  He stated that very high priced apartments, those over $2 million dollars, were causing the median to be higher than it should be.  What he failed to realize is the...

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Don’t Let Operator Issues Be An Excuse Not To Do Your Job!

I recently visited a client that is experiencing a number of quality issues both internally and externally with their customers.  A large portion of their manufacturing process relies on operators doing their job properly.  In reviewing their process, it was evident that operators were not handling material properly, not using process fixtures, and not following the methods they were taught....

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