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Lean and Six Sigma

February 1, 2011




5S Supply is pleased to announce that we are now carrying Lean Six Sigma products. This is a natural extension of our current Lean offerings. Through our real-world experience we recognize the power of combining Lean and Six Sigma and wanted to be a resource for those companies pursuing both.

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six SigmaLean Six Sigma is combining the best of both methodologies to provide sustainable improvements in the workplace. Many people explain the concept as Lean to increase velocity and Six Sigma to reduce variation. I want to add that many companies are extremely successful using Lean (i.e., Toyota) or focusing on Six Sigma (i.e., GE). There is no requirement that you do both.

I was asked to be a on a conference panel many years ago with a Lean expert, a Master Black Belt and myself as the Lean/Six Sigma presenter. It was a lot of fun fielding questions straight from the audience and having to think on your feet. Before we went out on stage my friend J.R. , the MBB said to me “Tony, you need to do Lean before Six Sigma.” I was a little shocked that this statement would come from a Master Black Belt but I played his game and asked “Why?” He said “Because if you don’t, you’re just perfecting waste!” I’m sure many of you have heard a story similar to that.

Six Sigma had a huge increase in popularity during the 1990’s with help from people like Jack Welch and GE. It was one of the hottest things going. Many people became Black Belts and Green Belts saving their companies hundreds of thousands of dollars per year per project. Some companies recognized the need to add Lean as part of their management approach. This was a perfect marriage of having SSBB’s that already knew about improvement and converting them into Lean experts. This still continues today.

By combining Lean and Six Sigma techniques many organizations are reaping the benefits from Six Sigma type projects at the speed of Lean and kaizen.

Upcoming Events

We want to help spread the word.

  • With the spirit of continually bringing our customers the best that Lean has to give, we are offering a free webinar this month “Lean and Six Sigma Simplified” by expert Tom Dunn, MBB. Those who sign up and attend will receive a free copy of Hawkeye Process Improvement Management System software by D-bar Innovations.
  •  The American Society for Quality (ASQ) is holding their annual Lean and Six Sigma Conference February 28 – March 1, 2011 in Phoenix, AZ. Attend a workshop or hear some of the best Lean and Six Sigma practitioners in one place.
  •  There is another conference that will showcase Lean and Six Sigma The International Lean & Six Sigma Conference in San Antonio, TX March 15-17, 2011

Check out our website www.5Ssupply.com often as we continually add new products and services to fulfill our mission of “Helping organizations on their Lean journey.” Thanks – Tony

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