Six Sigma Integration, Inc.

Business Enterprise Innovation through Lean Six Sigma

Project Applications

Thousands of projects across diverse industries such as Oil and Gas, Process Industries, Automatic Controls, Chemical Process, Banks, Brokerage, Fluid Handling, Military, Financial Systems, Aerospace, Security Systems, Measurement Systems, Distribution, Merchandising, Building Products, Retail Products, Hardware, Software, Automotive, Consumer Products and others …

1. Credit Card Disputes:   Prior to this Six Sigma project credit card write-offs were increasing. It was found that incorrect information caused rework, long resolution cycle times as well as client dissatisfaction. Project savings were approximately $375,000 annualized using Six Sigma training methods ...

2. Process Simplification:
   Prior to this Six Sigma project paper statements were produced for all clients including those who had access to on-line services. Clients had on-line access to their billing statements, but were unaware of the ability to suppress their mailings. Customer statement accuracy was improved and cycle time was reduced significantly. Project savings ~ $ 1,800,000 annualized...

3. Shipping Errors:   This distribution center shipped more than 170,000 items and the unit error rate was ~ 3% resulting in low customer satisfaction and a cost-of-poor quality (COPQ) of $400,000 annually. The Six Sigma project objective was to reduce the error rate by 50% to save ~ $200,000. The actual results were a decrease in the error rate to ~ 1.75% and an annualized savings of ~ $170,000. The improvements were made using simple Six Sigma tools such as process mapping, cause & effects analysis, statistical analysis, Pareto analysis, time series analysis, capability analysis, statistical sampling, and regression analysis. Improvements included worker training, improved facility lighting, reduction in overtime, weighing pallets of product…

4. Account Receivables:  Account receivables (days sales outstanding i.e. DSO) had been increasing over the past two years. The Six Sigma project was to reduce DSO from an average of 70 to a maximum of 60 days. The project benefits were an increase in working capital by $150,000 annually. The improvements were made using simple Six Sigma tools i.e. Pareto analysis, process mapping, root cause analysis, statistical analysis, capability analysis, and regression analysis. Improvements included upgrading project management skills, and standardization of customer payment terms...

5. Emergency Stock Replenishment:  This distribution center experienced problems with poor order fill because of inventory replenishment problems. Problems included emergency replenishments, longer order cycle time and customer dissatisfaction. The Six Sigma project was to improve inventory fill to reduce emergency replenishments by 50%. The Six Sigma training benefits were a reduction in overtime expense of $ 35,000 annually, an average reduction in order cycle time of one day, and an increase in first pass order completion from 90% to 95% ... The improvements were made using cause& effect diagrams, process maps, Pareto analysis, time series charts, statistical analysis, capability analysis, one-way ANOVA... Improvements included changes to the WMS and facility layout to eliminate bottlenecks in the aisles...

6. Cycle Counting:  This distribution center experienced problems with cycle counting over 170,000 items…This Six Sigma project resulted in high cost and low accuracy. The objective of this project was to reduce annual cycle counting labor costs by 50% to save $65,000 annually and improve accuracy (correct location/ correct quantity) from 85% to 95%. The improvements were made using simple Six Sigma training tools such as process mapping, Pareto analysis, cause & effects diagrams, statistical analysis, capability analysis and regression analysis. Improvements included modifications to software logic to stratify the inventory population and use statistical sampling to count more frequently...

7. Lower Cost:  Large negative cost variances in project cost estimates caused margin erosion. The Six Sigma project goal was to improve the project estimation systems and procedures. The improvements were made using basic Six Sigma training tools i.e. Pareto analysis, statistical analysis, process mapping, cause& effects analysis, capability analysis, regression, and ANOVA...Using Six Sigma methods, a 50% reduction in margin variance was effected resulting in a profit increase of $ 100,000 for a key product line...

8. Sales Quotes:  This customer had a sales quotation success rate of only 50%. Using Six Sigma methods of Pareto analysis, process mapping, statistical analysis cause & effects diagrams, capability analysis, survey sampling etc. the causes for the low success rate were determined. Improvements to the sales quotation process were subsequently implemented using Six Sigma methods resulting in a 15% increase in quotation success and a pre-tax profit of $ 350,000. The improvements included software upgrades to track customer quotation status; formal meeting to determine why business was lost...

9. Order Accuracy:  Over 30% of orders were accepted for machines which did not meet customer requirements. Profit margins were not adequately adjusted for special orders resulting in a revenue loss of $1,670,000. Typical Six Sigma tools such as process maps, Pareto analysis as well as ANOVA showed which customer segments and product lines were impacted by the lack of standardization. Improvements resulted in a simpler and more standardized process resulting in higher customer satisfaction, a 50% reduction in the incident rate and increased revenue of ~ $800,000... 

10. Food and Drug Retailing:  This client was major food and drug retailer with low yields across a variety of product categories. Typical issues included product shrinkage, employee and customer accidents, out of date products and similar operational issues. The identification of projects in retail organizations having hundreds of stores can be problematic if they cannot achieve efficiencies through economies of scale. Inefficiencies also occur if solutions to common root causes are reinvented in different locations.  Projects were identified using advanced statistical methods for subsets of stores. The resultant solutions were then deployed across similar stores across their system. Six Sigma tools were to identify project opportunities and Lean tools for the solutions. $35 million in project savings or gross margin increases were identified in 60 days...

11. Service Technicians:  This client provided on-site services to consumers and commercial organizations. Their operations consisted of hundreds of service people visiting customers; it is difficult to identify projects having economies of scale in these systems. It is also difficult to significantly increase productivity except through automation, service person by service person, because productivity improvements are negligible across a few locations. However, if common root causes can be found across many locations, then common solutions can also be found. Lean methods were particularly useful for this organization. This improvement strategy greatly resulted in a 1% productivity improvement for the entire organization ($300 million annual sales)…

12. Information Technology (IT) Applications:  IT is vital for helping organizations improve productivity by providing useful information for identifying projects, their root causes and by making software modifications for improvements. In other words, IT is a proven major player for increasing organizational productivity when root causes have been correctly identified.  Within IT itself, improvement projects are usually focused on improving customer satisfaction, eliminating errors, increasing operational efficiency and creating enabling systems to help identify improvement opportunities for the rest of their organization.  Typical improvement methods which are useful for improving IT operations include Lean, Six Sigma, and Design for Six Sigma, project management and continuous improvement (CI). The challenge within IT is to integrate the various toolsets to match productivity opportunities…