Lean Six Sigma

Topics: Six Sigma, Manufacturing, Lean manufacturing Pages: 6 (2001 words) Published: July 13, 2010
Lean Six Sigma processes are used by many businesses without it being realized. Many companies today are adopting the Lean Six Sigma processes to aid in cost reduction and waste management. The Six Sigma program aids in eliminating the negative effects caused by variations within the supply chain. The Lean process is all about the speed, flow and elimination of waste concerning inventory. Although Lean and Six Sigma are separate programs, they complement each other. Together these two programs provide supply chains with a tool that eliminates, “unnecessary inventories through disciplined efforts to understand and reduce variation, while increasing speed and flow in the supply chain.”(Lean Logistics Understanding) Lean and Six Sigma are valuable for many processes, but the programs have been proven to be exceptionally valuable to logisticians. Implementing Lean Six Sigma will allow logisticians to effectively conduct supply chain operations by reducing waste in the following areas: Inventory, transportation, space and facilities, time, packing, administration and knowledge. Lean Six Sigma saves supply chains thousands by reducing waist and redundancy. Lean Six Sigma is the key to supply chain success

Lean management strategy was developed to eliminate waste and increase speed. This strategy can be trace back to the Toyota production system where it was used to tie customer demand and production together to improve the company’s production output. Six Sigma is statistics driven; it stabilizes variations and improves quality of processes. Lean Six Sigma is widely embraced by many companies and the DoD to improve processes and eliminated waste. The DoD offers classes at various Air Mobility bases to train personnel on the implementation of LSS. Companies often adopt Six Sigma to improve facility operations. New Breed a third party company utilized Six Sigma to improve warehouse layout, reduce waste, and the overall flow of property being distributed. An increase of demands was encountered with the new Boeing V-22 program coming on board, the company experience deficiencies within its distribution operations. The absence of customer and supplier collaboration negatively impacted the on-time delivery rate, increasing delivery time by 23%. In order to improve distribution operations; warehouse layout and efficiency was considered to be vital in the companies’ ability to package an additional 73 orders per day. After evaluation of the delayed distribution issue, it was determined that the root causes concerning the warehouse were; insufficient floor space, lighting, product preparation area, and material handling equipment. Within 4 months of implementing Lean Six Sigma (LSS) process to improve distribution and warehouse layout efficiency, New Breed increased packaged orders by 73 per day, adaptability to customer orders by 5%, errors decreased by 503 parts per million after one month. “New Breed's Lean Six Sigma-based warehouse redesign was so successful that the Swedesboro, N.J., improvement team was named a 2008 finalist in the International Team Excellence awards presented by the American Society for Quality (ASQ).” (Jacobsen, 2009) It is evident from the situation incurred by New Breed that Lean Six Sigma has valuable input in the streamlining the efficiency and effectiveness of warehouse facilities, and plays a major part in Supply Chain success.

Packaging is something that rarely crosses the mines of logisticians. Packaging could be anything from containers, to dunnage. Packaging of good could either negatively or positively affect the supply chain and the amount of waste encountered. Some specific areas that are affected by packaging are storage efficiency, product protection, and handling. One obvious way to relate packaging to waste it when packaging is inadequate and goods are damaged; resulting in waste. It is important that the appropriate size packaging is used for production to eliminate...
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