Posts Tagged ‘Article Review’

Four U.S. Organizations Honored with the 2011 Baldrige National Quality Award

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011


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via Four U.S. Organizations Honored with the 2011 Baldrige National Quality Award.

2010 Baldrige Award Recipients!

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

We can all celebrate a milestone in the field of performance excellence, as President Barack Obama and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that seven organizations are the recipients of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for innovation and performance excellence.

Here is the link to there stories:

Article Review – Where Process-Improvement Projects Go Wrong (WSJ)

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Today a friend sent me this article “Where Process-Improvement Projects Go Wrong” from the Wall Street Journal. The author seems to feel that most Lean Six Sigma projects fail, but has some very interesting lessons learned.

I agree with your article when it comes to how weight-loss and Six Sigma fail. They both do fail just like a spring, But I disagree with how often they fail. I have seen and read hundreds of successful projects that show Six Sigma successes[i]. I have not read them but I feel there are probably just as many in weight loss success as well. Yes some are successful in several projects before the “fad” wears off, but what really makes them fail. Both Weight Loss and Six Sigma, failure is due to a lack of  commitment to a cultural change not just a few projects. I think you found that out too in your lessons learned[ii].

Lets look at your four lessons learned:

  1. “…the extended involvement of a Six Sigma or other improvement expert is required of teams are to remain motivated.” This is very true. IF the Expert is pulled on any improvement project usually it means failure. Where you have a company that has committed to a Six Sigma cultural change, pulling the expert means closure of the project and an explanation from top management (not a lower level) of the reason it is no longer a viable or priority project. All Six Sigma project should be a high priority project.
  2. “…performance appraisals need to be tied to successful implementation of improvement projects.”  This also is true. Every project, in a company committed to a Six Sigma cultural change, has a sponsor who insures that the project is aligned to company goals and objectives that directly impact his or her departments performance. This means failure of the project is failure to meet the goals that they have committed to and YES their performance appraisals are tied to the success of those goals and the perforance of their department.
  3. “… improvement teams should have no more than six to nine members and the timeline for launching a project should be no longer than six to eight weeks.” Since every project should be aligned to key company goals, it would mean that top management would what this project done NOW and not later. Delay would only cost the company money. If that is not the case the project should be dropped. By the way the “DEFINE[iii]” step helps insure this IF it is done right. Also in Define not only is the start decided but also the expected completion date and team membership. People, the most important resource of a company, need to be allocated to maximize their skills. In Six Sigma teams need to be small (5-10) so that the rest of the company can meet its customers demands. Even that many has a big impact on a department. So each team has to be carefully selected to represent all that will be impacted, but large enough to accomplish the task in the time allotted. This is all done in DEFINE with the “expert” and the Sponsor.
  4. “…executives need to directly participate in improvement projects, not just “support” them.” When a company has truly committed to this cultural change and deployed Six Sigma properly you will find every project has a director-level sponsor identified, duties specified, and sufficient time committed and scheduled in advance. Here the sponsor is part of the project team. That is how important the project is to the company.

If Six Sigma is implemented right as a business cultural change in the way they address issue and problems that hold them back from achieving their goals, then everyone get the idea and a voice. It becomes an improvement method everyone is focused on, understands and likes because they have an input into the process.

Peter Bersbach

Bersbach Consulting

peter@bersbach.com

1.520.829.0090


[i] Six Sigma Forum Magazine, ASQ Six Sigma Forum Division, www.sixsigmaforum.com

Quality Progress, American Society for Quality, www.quality progress.com

Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare, Lionheart Publishing Inc., www.psqh.com/digital

Quality Digest, Quality Digest, http://www.qualitydigest.com/content/six-sigma

Quality in Healthcare, ASQ Healthcare Division, www.asq.org/qhc

The Quality Management Forum, ASQ Quality Management Division, www.asq-qm.org 

[ii] Where Process-Improvement Projects Go Wrong, Wall Street Journal | Business, January 5, 2010, http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB20001424052748703298004574457471313938130-lMyQjAyMTAwMDIwNTEyNDUyWj.html 

[iii] The First step of DMAIC – Define, Peter Bersbach, Bersbach Consulting, October 27, 2009, http://www.sixsigmatrainingconsulting.com/uncategorized/the-first-step-of-dmaic-%e2%80%93-define/


The Honeywell Experience*

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support. If you have landed here looking for our Six Sigma training, coaching or support services in Tucson, then please follow this Six Sigma Training link.

At a chemical plant in Europe, Honeywell was losing profits at approximately $900,000 per year. The problems appeared related to a need to simplify the process flow.The problem studied and a new process implemented.

This led to a reduction of cycle time from 12 to 10 days plus a significant reduction in product travel distance from 300 to 14 Kilometers. Through these changes, the loss was reversed into a profit of $3.4 Million per year.

* William J. Hill and Willie Kearney, “The Honeywell Experience,”  Six Sigma Forum Magazine, February 2003, 34-37

How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-721-2077 or SKYPE me  Now!

Process Improvement at BOC Edwards*

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support. If you have landed here looking for our Six Sigma training, coaching or support services in Tucson, then please follow this Six Sigma Training link.

During economic downturns, chip manufacturers must walk a fine line between balancing costs and providing high quality product. In this industry, sophisticated processes use specialty gases and chemicals to fabricate semiconductor devices that must be consistently pure to avoid costly yield failures. BOC Edwards, a supplier of these gases, wanted to decrease costs while still maintaining high quality product.

They assembled a Six Sigma team to deal with this issue on one of the gases they produce. The results led to a dramatic reduction in the costs due to defects, and at the same time delivered improved gas by reducing the amount of impurity in the final product by 15.5%.

*Brian Zievis,” Process Improvement at BOC Edwards,” Six Sigma Forum Magazine, February 2003, 38-42

How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-721-2077 or SKYPE me  Now!

The Bug and the Slurry: Bacterial Control in Aqueous Products:*

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support. If you have landed here looking for our Six Sigma training, coaching or support services in Tucson, then please follow this Six Sigma Training link.

Warren/Amplex Superabrasives had a problem at one of its Asian customers—a high capacity manufacturer of data storage disks. Their customer reported a problem in the polycrystalline diamond (PCD) slurry they were being supplied was clogging the filtering processes. To compound the problem, a film of unknown origin was appearing after the clean-up step from texturing.

Their customer had no time to send back any samples. They had three days’ worth of texturing slurry left, before the product line would have to shutdown.

After working with the customer and another division at Warren, they trace the problem to bacteria in the slurry and found that they could quickly resolve the problem by pasteurizing the slurry.

In less than three days, they ID identified the problem, found a solution, produced a 400-bottle order of new pasteurized polycrystalline diamond slurry, and shipped it overseas and where it was received in time to keep their customer running

*Ron Abramshe, “The Bug and the Slurry:Bacterial Control in Aqueous Products,” American Society for Quality: Making the Case for Quality,
September 2007, www.ASQ.org

How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-721-2077 or SKYPE me  Now!

Other Healthcare Successes:

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support. If you have landed here looking for our Six Sigma training, coaching or support services in Tucson, then please follow one of these links  Six Sigma Online Training or Six Sigma Classroom Training.

SSM Health Care*

This St. Louis-based nonprofit health care system increased its market share to 18% over three years while three of its five competitors lost market share.

Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City (SLH) *

Financial performance steadily increased for three years, and client satisfaction scores ranked Saint Luke’s 35th out of 4,500 hospitals nationwide.

Thibodaux Regional Medical Center*

At this Southern Louisiana acute-care facility, an accounts-receivable project increased cash flow by $2 million per year, inventory reduction achieved annual cost savings of $450,000, and a medication-management project decreased defects by 42%.

Baptist Hospital, Inc.*

Overall patient satisfaction for this Florida-based health care provider rose into the 99th percentile for several years; staff satisfaction rose from 47% to 84% over five years.

* Information from American Society For Quality (ASQ)
http://www.asq.org/healthcare-use/why-quality/case-for-quality.html

How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-721-2077 or SKYPE me  Now!

Application of Six Sigma to reduce Medical Errors*

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support. If you have landed here looking for our Six Sigma training, coaching or support services in Tucson, then please follow one of these links  Six Sigma Online Training or Six Sigma Classroom Training.

At Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, errors with IV medication drips and laboratory processing and results reporting were causing serious problems related to effective patient treatment.

After diagnosing and quantifying the problem, a new process was implemented which had a significant impact on customer care. Level 1 discrepancies (<1 ml/hr) fell from 47.4% to 14%. Level 2 discrepancies (1-5 ml/hr) fell from 21.1% to 11.8% and level 3 discrepancies (>5ml/hr) fell from 15.8% to 2.9%.

Left untreated, these types of problems can result in poor customer care, longer treatment and recovery times, increased costs, and reduced profits.

*Cathy Buck RN MSN, “Application of Six Sigma to Reduce Medical Errors,” ASQ’s 55th Annual Quality Congress, Charlotte, NC, Vol. 55, No. 0, May 2001, pp. 739-742,  http://www.asq.org/qic/display-item/index.html?item=14740

How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-721-2077 or SKYPE me  Now!

Toward Error Free Lab Work*:

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support. If you have landed here looking for our Six Sigma training, coaching or support services in Tucson, then please follow one of these links  Six Sigma Online Training or Six Sigma Classroom Training.

The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health systems were experiencing miscommunication and procedural problems in their lab work. After researching the problems and instituting new processes and procedures, the company reduced average lab test processing times enough to be able to increase processing volumes 43% without adding additional personnel.

In addition:

  • Processing and analysis error rates dropped from about 1 in 100 tests, to 1 in 300 tests.
  • Patient satisfaction ratings went up.
  • Improvements resulted in a positive financial impact of $339,000 a year due to increased revenue and cost reduction.

*Nancy B. Riebling, Susan Condon and Daniel Goprn, “Toward Error Free Lab Work”; Six Sigma Forum Magazine, (November 2004), 23, www.asq.org/qic/display-item/index.pl?item=19709

How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-721-2077 or SKYPE me  Now!

Faster Lab Results Using Six Sigma and Lean*

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support. If you have landed here looking for our Six Sigma training, coaching or support services in Tucson, then please follow one of these links  Six Sigma Online Training or Six Sigma Classroom Training.

Doctors at the Pocono Medical Center were hampered in their ability to treat patients due to not receiving lab results until late morning. Once the problem was identified, a project team outlined and implemented new procedures to speed the lab process.

Within about six weeks, doctors began to receive blood test results by 6 a.m. for critical care patients and by 7 a.m. for all other patients. Project results also extended outside of the laboratory, contributing to a decrease in overall patient length of stay for the medical center.

*Walter T. Hayes and Carmine J. Cerra, with Mary Williams, “Faster Lab results Using Six Sigma and Lean,” ASQ Making the Case for
Quality, http://www.asq.org/healthcare-use/why-quality/case-studies.html

How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-721-2077 or SKYPE me.