Over the years Ron Snee has successfully completed improvements in a wide variety of industries, at many different levels within organizations in manufacturing and non-manufacturing processes. The projects summarized below provide a sampling of this work.
Lean Six Sigma Deployment Saves Over $156 Million in Four Years
International specialty chemicals and materials company with approximately $2 billion in revenue from the sale of catalysts for the refining, construction chemicals, coatings and absorbents industries: A new CEO committed his organization to adopt Six Sigma as the mechanism to improve the productivity and growth of this company. Approximately 80 projects were completed in the first year with 40 Black Belts (BB) and 80 Green Belts (GB) trained. The company documented a financial impact of $26 million in hard savings, and another $7 million in cost avoidance. By the end of the second year one, key business alone had about 50 BB, almost 200 GB, and almost 500 Yellow Belts (process operators trained primarily in measure phase methods). Results in the second year were even better than the first year with $50 million in hard savings, and $9 million in cost and capital avoidance. The next two years produced bottom-line savings of approximately $40 million per year.
Manufacturing Process Improvement Yields More Than $12 Million
A fortune 500 food company used Six Sigma to improve its manufacturing operations. The first wave of 20 Green Belt improvement projects produced $3.8 million in bottom line savings for an average of $190,000 per project. Wave one and an additional two waves of projects involved a total of 24 plants and bottom line savings in excess of $12 million.
Billing Process Improvement Saves $2.5 Million per Year
Using process mapping, sub-process cycle time analysis and a process improvement program driven by regular management review, billing cycle time of a telecommunications firm was reduced by 47%. This resulted in increased customer satisfaction (complaints were almost eliminated) and a bottom line improvement of $2.5 million a year.
Reduction of Manufacturing Defects Saves over $500,000 per year
To reduce the complexity and improve the performance of a plastic parts manufacturing process, a statistically designed experimental program was conducted. The initial test, followed by a verification test and a plant test, found a set of conditions that worked for both processes involved and the two sources of raw material. This robust process reduced the defect level from 1.7% to 0.1% resulting in an annual bottom line savings in excess of $500,000.
Newspaper Errors Reduced 65%
Using a Lean Six Sigma approach, a major newspaper company reduced the errors identified in reporters' articles by 65% and over time the errors reduction improved to 70%. Process mapping and Pareto analysis for errors identified spelling, grammar, wrong names, facts, and figures as the key contributors of errors. The use of job aids to address these problems resulted in an annual cost avoidance of $265,000, freeing up a journalist to do more productive work and the negotiation of a more favorable contract with a key supplier of information.
A major publishing company was experiencing difficulty with its strategic planning process. An assessment of the plan identified several areas in which the plan could be improved. Enhancements were made and a deployment process involving active senior executive leadership was designed and implemented producing feedback and buy-in for the plan. The plan was revised and used to guide the work of the organization with annual reviews and upgrades as needed.
Quality by Design Identifies a Better Product Requiring 67% Less Raw Material A development organization worked on improving the performance of an existing product that had high impurity levels. A total of 56 tests had been run to date and an improved formulation had not been found. A 24-test response surface optimization experiment was completed, identifying a formulation that had 62% less impurity and requires 67% less raw material. The model developed for the design space also adequately predicted the performance of the existing product whose composition was well outside the region of the response surface experiment.
Quality by Design-Diagnostic Method Development Process Optimization
A diagnostics company adopted Quality by Design using statistical design of experiments to improve the quality and speed of diagnostic method development. It was found that a few range finding experiments followed by a screening experiment and optimization experiment typically produced a design space that optimized method sensitivity and robustness to manufacturing deviations.
Call Center Improvement
A major telecommunications company wanted to reduce the number of callback inquiries regarding phone orders. Callbacks resulted in wasted effort and reduced revenue. A new call answering process was designed and tested in a statistically designed experiment, the result of which, showed that the new process reduced call backs while not increasing call handling time or reducing call quality. The new process was adopted at all the firm's call centers with callbacks reduced as predicted by the study.
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