Halden Zimmermann on Lean Six Sigma

Component Two: Lean Six Sigma

Once business units know what to improve, we permanently fix issues with Lean Six Sigma (LSS), another component of CI. This problem-solving toolbox standardizes how employees approach problems. The methods we use to select, define, measure, analyze, improve and control projects are part of the Lean Six Sigma toolset.

Alcan benchmarked similar corporations renowned for beating their competition and growing their business. We found the best companies use a standard toolset. They also have a system for obtaining successful results and implementing improvement projects to maximize company value.

Lean Six Sigma methodology maximizes shareholder value by achieving the fastest rate of improvement in customer satisfaction, cost, quality, process speed and invested capital. Lean Six Sigma (LSS) combines two problem-solving concepts aimed at profitability. Lean tools focus on reducing the number of wasteful steps in a process. Six Sigma tools help explain and reduce the variation in processes. Together, Lean and Six Sigma make a very powerful mechanism when used properly. These tools need to be used together because Lean strategies cannot, alone, bring a process under statistical control, and Six Sigma methodologies, by themselves, cannot dramatically improve process speed or reduce invested capital.

The Principal Of Lean Six Sigma states: The activities that cause the customer’s critical-to-quality issues and create the longest time delays in any process offer the greatest opportunity for improvement in cost, quality and lead time.

Component Three: Best Practice Networks

After project teams come up with solutions, we take advantage of them by sharing the new standard methodology throughout the entire organization. The mechanism we use is called Best Practice Networks.

Alcan has developed a methodology to find “Best Practices” processes within our business. If a process maximizes value, it may be possible to implement it across our company. The Best Practice Network allows managers to be aware of and “shop” for systems proven successful elsewhere in the organization and then to implement them to benefit our business.

Alcan Packaging is a large organization with many facilities and businesses worldwide. Each business has developed methodologies or processes to improve its market competitiveness by using Manufacturing Excellence Basics and Lean Six Sigma tools. Best Practice Networks make it possible for the entire company to share benefits from individual project results completed at every level of the organization. Our size allows us to leverage what we have learned across the entire organization, which can help us compete.


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