In a day where consumers are inundated with increased savings through supposed bargains, how does one know where value truly lives? In addition, how do companies look internally to fight the constant attack on the bottom line.
Over two years ago, BroadStream Solutions introduced a new role in the senior organization to combat these very questions. While on the outside (and to some on the inside as well), VP of Continuous Improvement, seemed odd and frivolous. Internally, though, it set in motion a change in focus, a change in procedure, a change in collaboration, and overall a change in the value we could offer our customers. Two years later, I still take great delight in introducing Lean Six Sigma to our customers as well as continuing the dialogue with our teams. While we use a variety of tools such as Kaizens, Process Mapping, Standard Work, 5 Why’s and more, often times the term Lean Six Sigma is ambiguous and leaves many with the feeling that it is just a combination of tools and a feel-good phrase that doesn’t apply to their situation.
Once upon a time there was Lean, and there was Six Sigma. To understand, what it is now, you must understand what it once was. Lean Enterprise/Lean Manufacturing focused on the reduction of waste. Using a variety of tools, teams around the world looked at minimizing the eight main wastes in an effort reduce cost. Six Sigma on the other hand, focused on minimizing defects by creating standard work set on the overall quality objective of 6 Sigma (99.99966% Accuracy). As one can imagine, there was overlap in the two business practices, which brings us to Lean Six Sigma. The marriage of Lean and Six Sigma produces quality improvement through standard work and waste elimination, thus adding value.
What does this value look like for the customer? Knowing that BroadStream Solutions works to a set, repeatable process ensuring a seamless transition from the old system to the new. In addition, the lessons learned from previous experiences are brought with us on each new opportunity ensuring that we are always a bit better, smarter and stronger than the last time. This ultimately means that BroadStream strives to do “IT” right first time eliminating the need for extra overhead and therefore reducing the cost which ultimately affects our customers’ bottom line.
The true value lies in what it means for our team. Through giving each individual not only the tools to fix the problem but the voice to bring any issue to the table without fear of blame or consequence, we are able to openly address frustrations and failures. The constant focus on how to improve allows those really wanting to do to good, to do good; those really wanting to be successful, to be successful; those really wanting to enjoy each day, to enjoy each day.
And in doing so, we see the true value of Lean Six Sigma. If you would like to learn more about Lean Six Sigma sign up for new blog notifications or send me an email, [email protected].