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Products & Services Business Operations Benchmarking and Quality Quality Deployment

Breakthroughs in Lean Sigma and Quality for Transactional Areas and Manufacturing: Meeting Proceedings

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ID: 4925


Graphics, Detailed Process Map

Pages/Slides: 38

Published: Pre-2019

Delivery Format: Online PDF Document


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The historic and continued prominence of Six Sigma transcends from its ability to expand beyond its original use in improving processes in manufacturing to transactional areas. However, Lean and other productivity approaches are still widely regarded as useful tools in helping companies root out inefficiency. Applying these lessons learned from Six Sigma and Lean deployments in manufacturing to transactional areas that drive corporate growth is the next hurdle for companies looking to impact the bottom line through process improvements.

At the September 2006 Global Benchmarking Council meeting, members and guests gathered to discuss the current landscape and future of productivity approaches, their application in transactional areas such as sales, marketing and new product introductions, and best practices in sharing process improvement successes and failures throughout the company.

Master black belts, black belts, quality managers and directors, process improvement and productivity executives and other benchmarking professionals will benefit most from the case studies of seven leading companies and the summarized transcripts from two facilitated roundtable discussions.

Most of the case studies listed below include speaker biographies and company background, key challenges company leaders faced and how they overcame them. Other case studies include either a recent benchmarking study or an overview of the past, present and future of quality. Speaker anecdotes, quotes, select slides, insights and key take-aways all liven the case studies with personal touches and graphics.

  • Accident Fund Insurance focused on quality organizations of the future with an emphasis on an enterprise approach. The discussion briefly reviewed the gains in quality practices from the 80s to the current day, then focused on where the future of the discipline appears to be heading in “Beyond Six Sigma: The Next Quality Generation.”
  • Raytheon Missile Systems emphasized the strong relationship between people and processes, the power of language and the energy required to support continuous process improvement. Essential elements of this process can be used to guide effective process improvement across a project, a division or an entire organization, according to “Maturation of the Business Process and Process Improvement Relationship.”
  • PSE&G explained how the company uses the benchmarks from their industry-wide benchmark study. The benchmarks help identify corporate GAPS, set priorities on year-ahead major corporate-wide improvements and drive the operational/quality side of their strategy and business planning as explained in “An Integrated Approach to Improve Business Performance.”
  • Best Practices, LLC reported the results of an updated Quality study originally conducted in 2003 so to provide attendees with clear data on the most recent stage of flux in quality organizations that participated in “Pathways to Excellence: Assessing When Different Productivity Approaches Work Best.”
  • Sonoco Products Co. discussed how the $3.5 billion global packaging company uses Lean Six Sigma to drive top line growth and optimize performance in other non-manufacturing areas, such as sales force productivity, HR staffing, contract leakage, pricing and leasing processes, cash-to-cash cycle time and financial close cycle time in “Lean Six Sigma: It’s Not Just for Manufacturing Anymore!.”
  • The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center shared how The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. became an industry leader in the customer service field by instilling pride, quality and legendary service into the training module for all employees in “Legendary Service.”
  • Best Practices, LLC stressed the importance of winning the knowledge transfer race and leveraging human capital to create profit while sharing insights and breakthroughs about Design of Experiments and Design for Six Sigma in a study conducted by the American Society of Quality Dallas Lean Six Sigma special interest group in “Insights and Breakthroughs of the ASQ Dallas Lean Six Sigma SIG.”
  • GE Infrastructure shared best practices in applying Lean Six Sigma principles in New Product Introduction processes with respect to customer focus, innovation and commercial execution. Process improvements must range across functions and impact the external customers to be implemented, according to “Lean Six Sigma on New Product Introductions.”

In addition to the case studies, this report also includes the summarized transcripts from two separate quality roundtable discussions that addressed the same hot-button issues, including:
  • Approaches that work best in matching the tool with the business strategy & competitive positioning
  • Applying productivity approaches to customers interactions and ensuring that customers see the value of your quality improvements
  • Pros and cons of “soft” value contribution targets (i.e. aggregate corporate targets)
  • Reducing cycle time to accelerate the pace of improvement

This report was compiled from notes taken during speaker presentations and in-depth roundtable discussions at the September 2006 Global Benchmarking Council meeting, "Unleashing Business Success through Breakthroughs in Lean Sigma & Quality." For more information or to register for upcoming meetings, go to Global Benchmarking Council.

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Industries Profiled:
Insurance; Chemical; Manufacturing; Aerospace; Financial Services; Consulting; Service

Companies Profiled:
Accident Fund Company; GE Infrastructure; Raytheon; PSEG; Best Practices LLC; Sonoco; Ritz-Carlton

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