Applying Lean and Six Sigma to ensure efficient and effective processes
Daily project work shows that companies, whose quality systems and processes are under fire of authorities, very often tend to focus on compliance only. Normally these efforts do increase compliance but very much at the expense of efficiency. Additional process steps, quality checks and rework loops are just not the right answer but still a very common approach. Compliance improvements must bear in mind the associated effects on the daily work and of course the implied costs.
Some questions Process Excellence can answer:
- How can we make sure that we always produce on time, in-spec and always stay compliant?
- How can we achieve complexity reduction by eliminating process waste without making concessions regarding compliance?
- How can we identify and eliminate the root causes for quality problems in order to minimize, deviations, investigations and rework?
- How can we design high quality processes without adding additional process steps?
- How can we make sure that process improvements last and continue to contribute to operating results?
How uQualize+ can help
We cover all aspects of Lean Six Sigma for core as well as enabling processes. We combine the bottom-up approach in our projects with the top-down perspective to tackle extremely detailed problems and reach high-impact solutions:
- Eliminating the primary cause for process quality issues
- Aligning processes strictly with customer expectations
- Reduction of defects, scrap, inventory as well as waiting time
- Optimization of transport, material and information flows
- Balancing value stream planning and flow
- Streamlining process interfaces
- Finding best solutions by performing as few experiments as possible
The focus in Lean Manufacturing is to improve the production and material flow of manufacturing processes. At uQualize+ we cover all classical methods of Lean Manufacturing (including SMED, TPM, Poka Yoke/Jidoka, Workplace-/ Cell-Design, 5S, Visual Workplace, Pull-JIT, tact-time analysis and many other methods) and integrate them into custom solutions.
We lever on the advantages of Lean Management to increase efficiency of processes in services companies. 5S, value stream mapping with waste analyses, capacity control, space organization (spaghetti diagrams), visualizations and respective target definitions are some tools we work with in the office environment.
The Lean Action Workout® (LAW) is a proprietary development of ifss that has evolved from the integration of the GE Workout® and the Toyota Kaizen workshops. The LAW is a short-focused project format that concentrates on reducing process waste and finding Lean solutions in just a few days. During a Lean Action Workout, the existing value stream of a process is analyzed and improved and the future value stream is developed.
Gemba Action Workout (GAW) is a special form of the Lean Action Workout® (LAW) that is particularly useful for shop floors in producing companies. The proven lean methods 5S, SMED, space utilization, etc. are applied in these short workshops (1-3 days).
The DMAIC cycle (an acronym for the 5 project phases Define / Measure / Analyze / Improve / Control) contains the most relevant Six Sigma tools. ifss has developed a customized DMAIC cycle with 15 steps, giving project teams the freedom to choose exactly what tools to apply. DMAIC is the right toolset for completing broader improvement projects that require data analysis for the root-cause elimination. DMAIC can also be enhanced with Lean tools.
For specific problems, some clients prefer applying a specific tool instead of completing an entire DMAIC project. We achieve specific short-focus improvements with methods such as Design of Experiments (DOE), Measurement System Analysis (MSA), Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), among others.
Process excellence sometimes means creating new processes from scratch. By performing projects focused on Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) we launch new processes, Greenfield.