Category Archives: Manufacturing

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Complaints – The Tip of the Iceberg

“Voice of the Customer” – VOC in short – is a key topic in all kind of customer service, TQM or Lean Six Sigma training and related project work. There are two main categories for VOC data, reactive and proactive. Proactive data is collected with methods like focus groups, interviews, observations, surveys or test customers, […]

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What You Measure is What You Get

Developing a compelling vision and mission statement as well as a sound strategy is vital for any organisation. Equally important is the translation of the strategy into the day-to-day business. This step becomes even more critical for multi-national companies with their need for regional adaptation and alignment with corporate at the same time. So, how do we make sure […]

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A Lesson of Leadership

A couple of months ago, I was having lunch with the Chairman of a medium-sized contract manufacturing company in Singapore. When we made the appointment, we agreed to meet at a posh club in the centre of the city-state. After arriving there I found myself in the middle of his management team. He brought MD […]

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The Difference Between Black Belt and Black Belt

Six Sigma has been developed decades ago and fine-tuned by many companies since then. However, there is no ISO standard or something similar guiding the deployment or regulating the certification of the key players, Green Belts or Black Belts. There is only one key requirement that helps distinguish between success and failure: business results. The easiest […]

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Three Rules for Data Analysis: Plot the Data, Plot the Data, Plot the Data

The job of purchasing is obviously to source for reliable suppliers who deliver products conforming to specification on time within a certain price range. The more data is available about potential suppliers the better the decision will be. However, how shall the data be analysed? FridgeMaker used to get supplies of a very crucial part, […]

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What to Do With Special Causes?

“Don’t use Six Sigma to tackle special cause variation!” is one of the common phrases being repeated by Lean Six Sigma coaches and a very important recommendation for the management, too. The Six Sigma methodology is indeed targeting variation that is an inherent part of the process – common cause variation that has been expected […]

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Make Use of Your Survey Data – Kano It

Survey data should be analysed with different tools at the same time in order to find the most appropriate method to show “patterns in data” that lead to conclusions. The Kano analysis or the Jaccard index offer additional insights into survey data.
Remember: Attaining the data is expensive, analysing them is cheap.

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Take Care of Your Talent – Develop your Belt

Against the common belief, statistical knowledge is not a criterion for selecting your Belts. However, the capability to acquire new technical skills, to apply these skills successfully is an important prerequisite. More important is the aptitude to involve, motivate, coach and train people, to lead and manage teams towards delivering results and to communicate effectively […]

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BPR Case Study: Preparation for ERP Purchase & Implementation

An Australian construction equipment rental & leasing firm had decided to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning system in 12 months. During this 12 month period there was an expectation that all front-end services including Sales, Customer Service, Receivables, Payables, would be re-designed to achieve streamlining and simplification prior to ERP implementation. Operations spanned 18 cities […]

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SMED Case Study: Steel Tools Manufacturer

After a Lean programme for inventory was instituted the production facility struggled with getting a good product mix out to the finished goods inventory due to relatively long change-over times for cutting dies. Steel tool (final product) cutting dies need to be replaced after every 4 Kanban batch runs of 225 pieces each. This frequent […]

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