Procurement process of GlaxoSmithKline includes Six Sigma implementation

GlaxoSmithKline’s Janan Johnson, director of procurement for corporate services, was nominated by Business Travel News as the 2005 International Travel Manager of the Year at the Association of Corporate Travel Executives conference in London last week. The approach adopted by GlaxoSmithKline for its procurement process includes Six Sigma methodology.

According to Susan Lancaster, director of procurement at BTI, Johnson has avoided using Six Sigma principles in isolation, as is so often the case. Johnson approaches procurement by applying Six Sigma on both the operations and services sectors. BTI is also implementing Six Sigma to its relationship with another global airline. reports:

GSK’s hard-core procurement approach also incorporates Six Sigma processes. While Lancaster said other customers use Six Sigma, "they tend to do it in what I call isolation. Janan has used procurement processes all the way through the program, using the procurement tool and applying Six Sigma not only operationally, but also on the service side.

Business Process Management: A methodology to implement Six Sigma

According to business process management (BPM) analyst Connie Moore of Forrester Research, BPM is perceived by process owners as a way to implement improvement initiatives including Six Sigma. BPM is a computer program that aids processes across different functions and applies to both people and systems.

The users of BPM see it as a process that is managing their work. However, the process affects several parts of an organization. Its basic functionality centers around efficiency and productivity, cutting down on time and cost. The starting point of a BPM implementation is important. Intelligent Enterprise Magazine reports:

To begin, look for projects that affect the company’s revenue, are high cost or are associated with customer satisfaction. Processes that transcend company boundaries, involve extensive integration or constantly change involve much higher risk. Start with the highest-reward, lowest-risk process and then expand as you move up the learning curve.

“Customer needs are at the very heart of Six Sigma”

The Financial Times has published a feedback submitted by Jon Walden, Managing Director of Lex Vehicle Leasing on the article by Simon London published by FT on October 26 regarding the advantages and disadvantages of process analysis. According to Walden, London’s article emphasized the challenging issues involved in an implementation of the Six Sigma techniques of business reorganization on knowledge workers.

Pointing out that London displays a reluctance to accept process analysis on his working week, Walden adds that it would be a useful exercise to gain feedback and suggestions from the "customers", i.e., the readers of the article. quotes Jon Walden:

Customer needs are at the very heart of Six Sigma, and account for its success. Increasingly, service businesses are going to need these techniques if they are to gain a lead over competitors in a world where service will be progressively more commoditised by the internet and the outsourcing of work to lower-cost countries.

PowerSteering Enterprise 4.6: A new tool for Six Sigma team members

PowerSteering, a leader in on-demand performance improvement programs, has released its latest offering, PowerSteering Enterprise 4.6. This new package includes tools for increasing productivity and can be integrated with Microsoft Office. The software provides time and cost-cutting tools to Six Sigma team members, including Black Belts and Green Belts.

The impressive list of capabilities include a Six Sigma scorecard, executive charts, a risk management module, a PowerPoint storyboard creator, PowerLogic gate control "poke-yokes" (mistake-proofs), and integration tools for Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Word, Visio, Publisher, and MS Project. reports:

PowerSteering’s extensive experience helping many of the preeminent Six Sigma practitioners including GE, Raytheon and EMC underscored the importance of supporting the common tools and processes used by Black Belts every day, including all of the Microsoft Office applications, mobile devices, and document management programs. Allowing Black Belts to use PowerSteering in conjunction with the daily processes they are most familiar with ensures that PowerSteering is a seamless part of each user’s productivity suite.          

SixNet Business Intelligence System: Leading provider of Six Sigma Management

SixNet Business Intelligence System, which provides support for performance improvement initiatives, has a long list of valuable clients including BHP Billiton, Entergy Corporation, Freddie Mac, Mellon Financial, and Royal Dutch Shell. The latest addition to this list is Peabody Energy, which has signed an agreement with SixNet to provide an impetus to its performance building measures.

SixNet has been successful because it gives its clients an easily deployable technological solution that is both cost-effective and can be customized according to client requirements. The company has more than 15,000 on-demand users. PRNewswire reports:

SixNet combines ease of use with powerful performance, enabling its customers to align efforts and resources to corporate objectives; increase financial savings; reduce cycle-times for project completion; and provide real-time reporting.

Event: Live Webcast on Lean and Six Sigma: The Winning Customer Satisfaction Formula

On November 16, an hour-long live web-based conference will be broadcast on the topic, The Winning Customer Satisfaction Formula. An article published by IndustryWeek gives details of registering for the conference.

The panelists at the conference include Adrienne Selko, manager of the editorial content of IndustryWeek’s award-winning Web site; Sheri Phillips, associate partner within IBM’s supply chain management practice; Kirk Paluska, consultant with Value Stream Solutions and a faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute; Bill Ridenour, president of UPCO, Inc., a Claremore, Okla., manufacturer of oilfield products; and Chuck Siepold, director of the Infor global solutions throughput improvement services group, the Lean initiative team, and directly responsible for the Easy Lean/DBR consulting and implementation.

The discussions will focus on the integration of Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma in the process of on-time delivery and high product quality. reports:

Attend Lean and Six Sigma: The Winning Customer Satisfaction Formula and you’ll learn proven methods for eliminating waste and improving time to market — all designed to dramatically improve customer satisfaction. Don’t miss this dynamic Webcast outlining manufacturing’s most revolutionary strategy, Lean and Six Sigma, brought to you by leading experts.

Design for Six Sigma 2006: Issues and debates

The upcoming three-day mega event, Design for Six Sigma 2006, is set to grab the attention of attendees through informative presentations and knowledge trips. The event will add to the experience of the attendees on their DFSS journey, in which they strive to recognize defects at an early stage, preferably at the design stage of a product, and take steps to correct them.

Some of the important topics that will be discussed at the event are "Program Behavior Issues," "Evaluation of Synergies," and "Revolutionizing the Front End of the DFSS efforts to adapt to ever-changing customer demands." A workshop will be hosted by Bart Huthwaite, Founder and CEO of the Institute for Lean Innovation, and industry experts will debate on important issues relating to Six Sigma implementation. reports:

Once again, "Design for Six Sigma 2006" promises to be a success. Attendees can expect to experience high impact, informative presentations delivered by renowned experts within the industry. This two-track event will discuss key issues that are fundamental to DFSS success, which will empower attendees to confidently continue to implement their DFSS processes.   

Quality training programs from BMG

BMG has a team of Six Sigma training educators who inculcate the best environment for understanding the concepts presented in classroom discourses. Participation in a BMG training course ensures the best output, whether it is training in Six Sigma processes or in Lean, TRIZ, and DFSS principles.

BMG follows the Adult Learning Model in imparting training through corporate programs, public classrooms, e-learning, and hybrid programs that combine corporate training with e-learning. reports:

To maximize learning, all of our classes feature hands-on exercises, workshop time, comprehensive course materials, professional guidance, [and] small class size.

Event: Design for Six Sigma 2006

Delegates at the Design for Six Sigma 2006 event will be able to gain further momentum in their DFSS program and use their knowledge for implementing a process free from defects. Research has shown that the earlier a defect is diagnosed, the easier it is to rectify that defect and move the DFSS approach forward. It is critical that manufacturers realize the defects prevalent in their business processes and initiate measures to resolve them. In implementing such process improvements, companies have registered qualitative and fiscal gains.

The Design for Six Sigma event this year will study issues related to program behavior, evaluation of synergies, and adapting to changing customer demands. reports:

Once again, "Design for Six Sigma 2006" promises to be a success. Attendees can expect to experience high impact, informative presentations delivered by renowned experts within the industry. This two-track event will discuss key issues that are fundamental to DFSS success, which will empower attendees to confidently continue to implement their DFSS processes. 

The beginnings, features, and implementation of the Six Sigma concept

A detailed article published on analyses the beginning of the Six Sigma implementation in the mid-1980s by Motorola in an effort to improve quality and cut costs, and the performance improvement model of Six Sigma known as DMAIC or Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control.

The article also examines the powerful Six Sigma feature of creating an infrastructure to ascertain that all the required resources (leadership, champions and sponsors, black belts, and green belts) are present to improve performance, the level of staff employed, and finally the implementation of the Six Sigma principles. reports

Although the approach is simple, it is by no means easy. But the results justify the effort expended. Research has shown that firms that successfully implement Six Sigma perform better in virtually every business category, including return on sales, return on investment, employment growth, and share price increase. When will you be ready to join the Six Sigma revolution?

Six Sigma and Total Information Quality Management

Six Sigma entails strict enforcement of its principles. A rigid implementation can yield very positive results for a company, and this is the reason behind the popularity of the concept. There is a subtle difference between a Six Sigma approach to information quality and Total Information Quality Management (TIQM).

The DM Review Magazine has published an article on this aspect in its October issue. The article examines the meaning of Six Sigma, the reasons for the popularity of Six Sigma and TIQM, the Six Sigma process implementation and TIQM’s six processes, Six Sigma’s DMAIC phases and steps, and TIQM’s processes and steps. The DM Review Magazine reports:

The bottom line is that TIQM is a quality management system that focuses on business effectiveness and customer satisfaction, whether performed as a Six Sigma project or not.

Regal-Beloit Corporation implements Lean and Six Sigma programs

With two major acquisitions—General Electric’s Commercial AC motor business in August 2004, followed by GE’s HVAC motors and capacitors division in December—Regal-Beloit Corporation not only enlarged its size, but also gained business processes from the erstwhile owners. This included GE’s Six-Sigma expertise, particularly Bhargava, a 15-year GE exponent in Lean Six Sigma programs and projects. Beginning in January this year, Vivek put the system in place for implementation of Lean Six Sigma principles.

A few weeks after the formal announcement of the acquisition, a Lean Six Sigma program implementation was declared as one of the company’s objectives. What followed was extensive training for the staff, both black belt and green belt. With the implementation of the program, the company is already seeing positive results, backed by a committed leadership. reports:

The momentum to charge ahead is strong: Regal-Beloit doubled its size with the GE acquisitions and business has never been better. Six Sigma will enable these entities to come together as one perfectly aligned machine.   

General Cable Corporation cuts costs and increases revenue through Lean and Six Sigma implementation

Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma has helped General Cable Corporation’s plant in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, cut costs by $360,000. Simultaneously, the revenue of the company soared by 21.5 percent in 2004. The production unit brings out 20 million feet of black jacketed underground electrical cable, which reaches customers in North America.

The plant ensured the involvement of all 31 production workers as self-directed work teams, operating equipment, carrying out preventive maintenance, ensuring quality assurance, holding kaizen events and implementing safety audits. The team involvement of the workers yielded the desired results for 2004. reports:

Its team techniques are made up of three production teams, one for each shift. They’re supported by technical coordinators for production, quality, maintenance, finance and process improvement.

Northrop Grumman Corporation appoints new sector Vice President to implement Six Sigma principles

Kelley Zelickson is the new sector vice president of mission assurance and Six Sigma for the Mission Systems sector of Northrop Grumman Corporation. The major role of Zelickson is to implement mission-assurance and Six-Sigma principles, leading to enhanced quality, productivity, and performance.

Zelickson’s expertise will ensure that Six Sigma process improvement theories are implemented in the company, including the supply chain. Customer satisfaction is going to be the measure of Zelickson’s success. reports:

Zelickson’s mission-assurance responsibilities will include strategy, planning and execution for process-improvement initiatives such as Six Sigma and Lean; business processes to increase customer satisfaction through streamlined operations and improved quality through the use of metrics; and quality-management systems to include those of the entire supply chain.    

NAVSEA to open new Lean Six Sigma College on October 17

The new Lean Six Sigma College at the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Port Hueneme Division is due to open on October 17. This college is being established by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), and will derive its curriculum from advise collected from industry leaders Raytheon, GE, Minolta, and Ford. Lean, Six Sigma, and the Theory of Constraints are to be the major constituents of the course syllabus at the college.

Consequently, the effort will be concentrated on reducing waste, reducing and eliminating variation, and concentrating on improving the bottleneck situation in a process. NAVSEA is looking to gain several black belts through the college curriculum. There will also be courses offered for green belt training, and a course for Lean championship. Navy Compass reports:

L6SC curriculum addresses the technical, cultural, financial, and management components of process improvement, as well as how to apply those components to real work situations. During their training, students learn about basic Lean, Six Sigma, and TOC principles and tools. These include Lean’s Value Stream Mapping & Analysis, Visual Controls, and 5S workplace organization; Six Sigma’s project selection and validation, statistical analysis, and strategies such as DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control); and TOC’s constraint management techniques. They also take part in exercises that promote creativity and team-building.

2nd Annual Six Sigma Summit in Bahrain in December

The 2nd Annual Six Sigma Summit is being held in Bahrain from December 5-7, 2005 at the Bahrain Conference Centre. The meet is expected to attract more than 200 delegates from across the Middle-East. The meet is being organized by Future Vision in association with Bahrain Society for Training & Development (BSTD), and is supported by Juran Institute Inc, USA, the leading authority in quality management.

On December 5, a briefing on Six Sigma and business processes will be delivered by Joseph A. De Feo, President & CEO, Juran Institute Inc. The talk will also highlight the implementation of Six Sigma at Telefonica Spain, a world leader in the telecommunications industry. Other case studies that will be presented at the Summit include Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Dubai Cables Company (Ducab).  On December 6 and 7, a Post-Summit Champion Workshop will be held under the stewardship of Joseph A. De Feo. reports:

A successful Six Sigma implementation demands a change in corporate culture that begins at the highest levels. For this reason, top-management commitment is a key factor determining the success of any organization’s Six Sigma initiative. The members of the management team who create such initiatives are called Six Sigma Champions. A Six Sigma Champion Manages, Supports, Defends, Protects, Endorses, Maintains, and Deploys an organization’s Six Sigma effort.   

Buzz Contact Centre Solutions takes to Six Sigma

Buzz Contact Centre Solutions, an outsource call centre solutions provider in the Middle-East region, has decided to implement Six Sigma practices in its management system. Towards this effort, the company recently held a training program on Six Sigma principles for its staff. The program was spread across 12 days, and was conducted by TQMI and Motorola University.

Head of Buzz, Tarun Gulati, declared that 25 of its staffers successfully completed the Six Sigma Green Belt training and will soon be certified Six Sigma professionals. In course of the training sessions, the staff have picked up problem-solving, project and crisis management, and technical improvement skills. reports:

Added Mr. Gulati: ‘Our objectives were three fold—to convert all our employees into high-performing team members, instill values of team leadership and integrity; and prepare them for the future. Motorola’s qualified and experienced trainers are some of the best in the world for Six Sigma training and they have met our expectations.’ 

Six Sigma applied by Federal agencies

Part of the government machinery is taking recourse to the basic Six Sigma principles of avoiding wasted motion and removing mistakes. Primarily, the concept of Six Sigma is applicable to the manufacturing industry, but the federal institutions are adapting the principle to processes such as email administration and engine repair.

For ensuring improved performance in any project, the five steps that need to be adapted are define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. These processes need to be used repeatedly to make the improvement a continuous process. The Defense department has already implemented Six Sigma methodology, and Six Sigma has also contributed to the Navsea Lean program of the Naval Sea Systems Command. reports:

Carl DeMaio, president of the Performance Institute, said Six Sigma’s success in the private sector is a good indicator that the federal government will eventually follow suit. But without some pressure on agencies to adopt the principles, many officials won’t see it as worthwhile, he said.

Towards a Robust design using Six Sigma principles

There are several factors that make for a robust design of a product. These include dependability, reliability, and affordability. These factors center around quality improvement, and Six Sigma offers a fresh approach towards implementing a robust design.

The Six Sigma method uses data and statistical analysis to enhance the performance of an organization. It also drives towards a robust design by removing defects in the development process and strategy. In the process, Six Sigma also ensures enhanced profits. It takes into account Voice-of-Customers (VOCs) and Critical-to-Quality (CTQ) characteristics through experiments. reports:

Six Sigma is a rigorous and disciplined methodology that uses data and statistical analysis to measure and improve a company’s operational performance. It identifies and eliminates "defects" in product development, manufacturing, and service-related processes. The goal of Six Sigma is to increase profits by eliminating variability, defects, and waste that undermine customer loyalty.   

The Six Sigma Dilemma

Ever since its roots in the 1980s, the Six Sigma principle has been adopted by several companies across different industrial pursuits. However, the concept of Six Sigma is still alien to many parts of the world. In an article published on September 28, explains the concept of Six Sigma, and its application in different sectors of entrepreneurial activity.

Essentially, Six Sigma is a set of processes that help analyze problem areas in a business process, and then identifies the root cause of those problem areas. The principle has been adopted by several leading companies in the world, including Sony, DuPont, and Merrill Lynch. According to the article published on, while there are merits in the implementation of Six Sigma principles, it is not necessary that success can come only through such implementation. reports:

No one disputes the worthiness of Six Sigma’s intentions, much less the statistics. But a quick survey of a handful of industries, using product-quality ratings from J.D. Power and Associates, led CDU to believe that while Welch may be right that you can’t afford not to understand Six Sigma, you can’t necessarily afford to use it, either.

Read More: Six Sigma Stigma

Solectron organizes events to spread Lean and Six Sigma implementation among suppliers

Solectron, a company engaged in the production of electronics manufacturing and integrated supply chain services, has adapted Lean manufacturing initiatives. The company has followed this with the organization of two events to establish Lean as part of the supply chain. One of the events, the Supplier Day conference, brought together hundreds of suppliers who were encouraged to adopt Lean manufacturing.

In its other event, Solectron declared the facility at Penang (Malaysia) as the winner of the Global SPS Kaizen competition. Marc Onetto, Solectron’s executive vice president, explained the adoption of Lean Six Sigma by Solectron, and expressed the view that the principles could now be transmitted to the suppliers. The Supplier Day event introduced Solectron’s Lean supplier program. reports:

The one-day event included breakout sessions on Lean 101, an introduction to the Solectron Production System; Solectron’s Lean supply chain program; an overview of increasing customer value through design and engineering for Lean production; and Lean deployment from a supplier perspective.

Read More: Solectron Drives Lean Six Sigma Manufacturing to its Suppliers; Honors Sites for Quality Achievements; Supplier Day Focuses on ”Embracing Lean” Theme

Publication on Six Sigma implementation

Mediagrab reviews an important publication on the principle of Sigma and its value in business propositions. The book, titled The Power of Ultimate Six Sigma(r): Keki Bhote’s Proven System for Moving Beyond Quality Excellence to Total Business Excellence, emphasizes the importance of the customer in all business processes, and explains the application of the author’s theory of ultimate Six Sigma in the context of organizational and management techniques. The book provides examples of how to organize a business enterprise for tendering greater value to the stakeholder.

Of particular importance in the book are the chapters dealing with loyalty issues of the customer, employee, and the supply team. The book also provides case studies and examples of Six Sigma application in real-world scenarios, and a checklist that can act as a self test to measure the implementation of the Six Sigma theory of management. The author seeks to move Six Sigma beyond the realm of manufacturing, and emphasizes that the goal of zero customer defects can be achieved through—among other factors—the implementation of a company culture for customer loyalty, a differentiation of the customer base, identifying core customer defections, and customer cultivation. Mediagrab reports:

Though much of Bhote’s book remains applicable only to manufacturing, providing only a superficial and sometimes unorganized explanation of many tools and techniques, it makes significant strides in encompassing the design and service areas, and there is still much to be recommended in its reading. The how-to lists of business disciplines may take some expansion and individual research, but they are a good consolidated list of actions on which to focus to make one’s business more effective. In the same way, the self-assessment, or health audits, at the end of each chapter offer a practical way to measure how far a company is in implementing Ultimate Six Sigma as a management system.

Read More: MediaGab Shop: The Power of Ultimate Six Sigma(r): Keki Bhote’s Proven System for Moving Beyond Quality Excellence to Total Business Excellence

Televised show to explain Six Sigma and Lean implementation in Fort Wayne

The city of Fort Wayne has been able to make a saving of $10 million within a period of five years (2000-20005) by following the Six Sigma and Lean principles.

Through this practice, the city is able to extend protection to its tax payers, deescalate costs, and extend better services. This has been achieved with a small work force of dedicated people. The city plans to explain this achievement through the implementation of Sigma and Lean principles in a televised program on October 27 at 7 p.m. local time. There is also a telecast to show how to reduce heating bills  in the winter. reports:

By using business practices such as Six Sigma and Lean, the city protects taxpayers, reduces costs and provides more services, all with fewer employees. “Bringing the Basics to You” will feature a discussion with city employees Rick Orr and Maria Gomez-Espino, who will tell you how they did it. The program airs live at 7 p.m. Oct. 27. Residents are encouraged to call 422-8708 with their questions.

Read More: City TV schedule tips cap to ‘CSI’

Bharti Tele-Ventures Ltd. wins award for quality initiatives achieved through Six Sigma implementation

The CII National Six Sigma awards were given away in Chennai recently. Among the winners was Bharti Tele-Ventures Ltd., a private sector telecommunication provider. Bharti got the distinction because of the reduction of outgoing barring complaints implemented by the Infotel team.

Bharti’s competitors in this category included some of the leading companies in India, such as Wipro, IBM Daksh, Tata International, and LG Electronics. According to Badri Agarwal, president, Infotel, Bharti Tele-Ventures Ltd., it is significant for the company to have received this award for its initiatives through the implementation of Six Sigma tools in business ventures. quotes Agarwal:

We at Bharti believe in institutionalizing the virtues of quality in all our business processes. To receive this prestigious award for quality initiatives is indeed noteworthy, especially when Six Sigma is a focus area and a top-ranking tool with the company to achieve business goals.

Read More: Bharti Tele-Ventures wins CII award

Kaiser Aluminum bags award for LeanSigma implementation

Kaiser Aluminum has received the 2005 TBM Perfect Engine Award for its facility at Chandler. This award is a result of the company’s effective implementation of LeanSigma techniques and standards, which helped the company achieve significant improvement in the manufacturing arena. The award is an annual feature, and goes to an organization that has recorded significant productive results through the implementation of LeanSigma, a fusion of Lean and Six Sigma principles.

Kaiser Aluminum’s unit at Chandler (Arizona) brought in LeanSigma in May 2000, resulting in a reduction on the lead time and an enhanced and timely delivery system. Conrow, vice president of Lean Sigma, Kaiser Aluminum, expressed satisfaction with the recognition of the company’s LeanSigma implementation process. Business Wire quotes Conrow:

We have elevated the emphasis on Lean Sigma within our organization and look to continue our transformation over the next several years, allowing us to do more with less as we eliminate waste from the value stream with the objective of providing superior value to our customers.

Read More: Kaiser Aluminum’s Chandler Facility Receives TBM Perfect Engine Award for 2005; Achievement Recognizes Success of LeanSigma(R) Transformation at Kaiser Aluminum Facility