Army gets high payback because of Lean Six Sigma

The army and a business unit seem like the two ends of a pole. When you talk about the army, it is easy to build an image of a regimented life straightjacketed in a sense of duty and stringent rules and regulations.

Think of a business enterprise, and you can conjure up an image characterized by spot decisions, money matters, and a perennial struggle to cut costs and increase returns. All in all, you would think that running the army could not be farther away from running a business.

But it is a fact that the army goes through several of its processes from a business standpoint; there is buying and selling within the army, and money is exchanged for purchase of equipment, payment of pay packages, and for improving processes. So there is scope for business processes like Lean Six Sigma to be implemented in the army.

At the 96th Regional Readiness Command in Utah, Lean Six Sigma is not only a reality, but it has yielded positive results. According to depot commander Col. Douglas J. Evans, the Command has used Six Sigma principles to save precious dollars and increased the number of vehicles available for needy soldiers.

The U.S. army has also extended application of Lean Six Sigma to its Recruiting Command to significantly reduce the time cycle for applicants to get through the recruitment process. The army has also successfully used Six Sigma at the Army Material Command, which saw $110 million in savings and cost avoidance.

For more information.