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Analysis of BMGI Ten, Essay Example

Pages: 10

Words: 2797

Essay

Abstract

In many organizations, Six Sigma refers to a measure of quality, which strives to bring perfection in the day-to-day business operations. The Six Sigma methodology has a fundamental objective of implementing a measurement-based strategy, which focuses on the improvement of process and reduction of variation via the use of Six Sigma improvement projects (Goldsby & Martichenko, 2005). There are two Six Sigma sub-methodologies including DMADV and DMAIC. The process of Six Sigma DMAIC involving defining, measuring, analyzing, improving and controlling is a system applicable in improving existing processes and for searching of increased improvement (Plenert, 2012). The process of Six Sigma DMADV involving defining, measuring, analyzing, designing and verifying is a system relevant for new products or processes at the quality levels of Six Sigma. This analysis will deal with 10 BMGI University case studies giving the process of changing the approach of management into Six Sigma process. We will touch on the issues before the implementation of the Six Sigma, how the companies used the “5s” and certification of crucial personnel in the improvement operations. We will also focus on the challenges faced when changing the culture of the organizations to adopt Six Sigma approach. In this analysis, we will also rank the case studies from the most difficult to resolve to the least using Six Sigma.

Case study 1: Borusan

This industrial conglomerate is one of the largest in Turkey possessing revenues that exceed $4 billion. The company has witnessed the success because of its efforts to attain perfection via Lean Six Sigma- an effort the company has engaged since the year 2002. A revenue related project following the DMAIC methodology created opportunities for financing, which led to the company increasing its market share by 82% (BMGI, 2010). The project leveraged on tools such as TRIZ and Kano house of quality to introduce creativity into the process of problem solving. Thus, we learn that the Borusan Company had an issue in financing opportunities.  The company also had issues with its line production and BMGI helped it with a project that solved the problem. This led to increased efficiency of line production by 33% and savings of $62,000 annual recurring costs. However, success comes with its own challenges and Borusan was no exception. The company had been working on the “black belt education program” and the program became a large-scale thing. This became a challenge in mentoring and management of projects outside the curriculum silo, and teaching across the silos was a problem. BMGI provided a blended learning solution comparing what was crucial for delivery in both classroom and eLearning environments in a standardized way. The company also went ahead with BMGI to translate the modules into Turkish for the green belt program. Key personalities in the success of the process included Master Black Belt Berna Cigeroglu Ocku, Yeser Balmumcu, Ahmet Kocabiyik (chairperson of the board) and Randy Herrera from BMGI.

Case study 2: A biotech company

The problem in the company involved substantial contamination rates of long batches of lead production at the end, which was unrecoverable and costed $150,000 per batch. BMGI helped the manufacturer with TRIZ employing predictive nature within the classic Plan Do Study Act quality framework structure. The steps engaged were four including defining the problem statement, identifying necessary and enough conditions for the failure mode. Also, included were the studying of the system to identify conditions during failure and eliminate tentative causes until verification of the mode and assign the cause, create the cause and corrective action. Production took place in a closed system, and the system was FDA-approved quality system. The company had a challenge tracing the source of contaminants, and it had to install cameras suspecting the workers of sabotaging the process by ignorance (BMGI, 2012). During the ‘Act” stage, the team considered previous work, which had pointed to a “bacterial quorum” from different parts of the system combining and interacting to create overall contamination. The team discovered that the overall failure emanated from interaction inside the system. Corrective actions underwent testing before installation and the problem received a solution. Key personnel in the case study included David Silverstein who was the lead author of Insourcing Innovation, an Auerbach Publications book.

Case study 3: Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse, in its Private Banking operations, launched a process initiative in Zurich, Switzerland. The initiative termed “Operational Excellence” or OE led to enormous success. However, there was a challenge of crossing divisional and global lines (BMGI, 2012). Credit Suisse required a cost-effective solution to make the OE program scalable. This would allow development of additional practitioners in a short time and expand the OE philosophy reach in all the company’s business units. BMGI helped the company in developing a solution of financial services-specific hybrid learning that combined a new approach to classroom education and eLearning modules. The blended learning could reduce time spent in the classroom, developed practitioners in a cost-effective manner and improved retention of key concepts. The introduction of eLearning was a challenge to students since not all the employees had the knowledge to learn by their own, but with time, most of them understood how to use the technology in solving problems. The hybrid program results were tremendous including reduction of training expenses by 16%, reduction of classroom time by 50% and reduction of the project cycle time by 8%. Crucial Personnel for the success of the program included Oswald Grubel, the CEO of Credit Suisse.

Case study 4: MIS Production Process Improvement

This features on a banks division of Private Banking Management Accounting (PBMA). The problem involved defective and inefficient tools and processes of information technology (BMGI, 2012). The reporting process had challenges involving an overly high time of reporting production of 17 days compared to the requirement of the Voice of the Customer (VOC) and material non-value-add time for corrections and data check. Another challenge involved a 3.6-sigma EIS-PPC defect level and other crucial Key Performance Indicator problems including incorrect KPI value due to feeder, missing values and KPI incorrect values due to metadata. Key personalities in the program involved BMGI experts providing IT solutions and management of the banking company. The results of the program were reduced reporting production cycle time beyond the target and improvement of KPI-reporting defects reaching a 4.2 sigma target.

Case Study 5: Ears Hearing Under Water

This case gives the Seawolf attack submarine commissioned by the US Navy, which was advancement to defend against the most capable surface threats and submarine of the world. Fundamental to this technology was the sonar array, a structure appearing large and ball-shaped onto which hydrophones could attach and had red cap coverings. The problem in the technology was that the hydrophones required hermetical sealing together with associated cables and wires to get rid of water and any other detrimental conditions. The engineers used a complex extrusion molding system to encase the assembly in plastic, or polymer (BMGI, 2012). However, this could not work, as the polymer extrusion never adhered to the cable assemblies’ polymer. The engineers gave up on the polymer extrusion and thought of another idea of dividing the extrusion into different zones. They later came up with a solution of slicing space in eight zones with their own extrusion parameters. This solved the problem and the sub had the problem fixed. Crucial personnel in the case included the BMGI engineers and some US Navy crew who developed the sub.

Case study 6: Six sigma, Manufacturing

This gives a case of a leading local glass manufacturer who faced a dilemma due to high production cost and thought of increasing production or increasing the price, which was not desirable for sustainability in the market. The company approached BMGI for assistance in the issue. BMGI used a mix of Lean SIX Sigma tools with other management methodologies of business process in the rising costs extent (BMGI, 2012). This entailed analysis of all parameters within the process, which affected production, cost and the time spent on each parameter. The data collected underwent systematic collection, measuring and interpretation to find out the cause of the problem. The conclusion reached was that the price of the plastic used in the company in shrouding of products had risen. This was the chief factor influencing high cost of production. The solution to the problem was the use of 85-micron plastic, instead of 110-micron plastic, to shroud the products. The team fixed the problem by selecting and schooling employees to focus on assignments Lean Six Sigma black belt practitioners.  This ensured ownership of the project, which guaranteed completion within a short time and improvement of business processes. The team involved in the venture involved BMGI experts in manufacturing and the manufacturing company’s management. The challenge in adopting the Six Sigma approach was that the employees had known the factors that caused production to rise, but they could not take serious steps as they took it obvious.

Case study 7: Graphic Packaging- Lean Deployment

The issues in this company included the failure of the manufacturing process to meet the demand of the customer without incurring extra, overtime costs, problems with waste, customer satisfaction concerns and unnecessarily high inventories. The company approached BMGI to help provide a solution for these issues. BMGI consultants together with a team of cross-functional Graphic Packaging workers mapped the process of manufacturing from end-to-end and came up with prioritized and quantified improvement opportunities (BMGI, 2012). There were more than 50 improvement opportunities, which the team identified, but the company took ten of them for Lean action. The company then formed improvement teams, and they underwent training to conduct the Lean project signature component of ‘rapid improvement event’. Total Preventive Maintenance Procedure is among the most effective initiatives that came out of the event, and it led to adjustment of machine components, which were out of alignment. It also led to replacement of machine worn out parts and development of long-term schedule of maintenance. Key personnel in this case included Jeff Goold, UK Site European and managing director, Kevin Brown, Finishing area Production Manager and BMGI manufacturing process consultants. The challenge in the adoption of the Lean Six Sigma was in the education of employees on how to apply the approach in problem identification and the coming up with opportunities for action.

Case study 8: Hulamin’s Quest for Continuous Improvement

The issue in the case involved increased production and the business processes had to undergo re-assessment in order to ensure continued culture of improvement. The company’s business improvement specialist, Danie Joubert, identified Lean Six Sigma as the way forward to provide a solution. The company then approached BMGI to provide training on the adoption of Lean Six Sigma (BMGI, 2012). The company started by enrolling its employees in Lean Six Sigma training for green belt. The results were tremendous involving hard and soft savings for the company. For instance, the re-melting plant rate of yield increased by 18% and R17 million went to savings. There was also planning, and implementation of Lean Six Sigma projects, which coupled with the training resulted in enormous results. Some of the challenges encountered during the adoption of the Lean Six Sigma included difficulties in training, but once the training was over, the employees were able to cope with the new approach of business improvement. Crucial personalities for this success included Danie Joubert, Hulamin’s business improvement specialist and the BMGI Lean Six Sigma training specialists.

Case study 9: Account opening process

The problem here was with the opening of an account in a global bank, in the Americas, which took too long. The process took a median of 8 days. BMGI specialists helped in the tracking of account opening process where they discovered a lack of sub-process metrics to help in tracking interim process steps. The team came up with a data collection plan to help capture the times of cycle for each step in the process course. The team also measured rejection rates and further analysis resulted to identification of several options of potential improvement such document and data requirements, clarity of overall and sub-process ownership, process transparency and training issues. The adoption of the changes resulted to reduction of account opening cycle to three days and reduced rates of rejection and minimal errors (BMGI, 2012). The challenges while adopting the Lean Six Sigma in this case involved a difficulty in identification of the fundamental causes of the anomaly as the sub-process metrics lacked. Key personnel in the success of the program included BMGI experts and the operations management of the global bank. This is important in the sense that, they are experienced in the field of account operations and thus they give undoubted credibility to the case study.

Case study 10: Improving account reconciliation and approval process

This shows a problem of account reconciliation taking too long in a financial institution in Asia Pacific. BMGI helped to automate zero-value reconciliation point’s exclusion and non-value-added manual signing. The team also helped to redesign Excel reconciliation file and trained reconcilers on how to use PeopleSoft queries (BMGI, 2012). The project resulted in reduced time of reconciliation from 46 to 34 hours and saved 41 hours every month through replication. The challenge was in the use of PeopleSoft querying where the employees found it difficult to use it, and a BMGI helped them with training on how to make queries. Key personnel for the success of the project involved the BMGI training team and the reconcilers of the financial institution.

The above case studies differ in scale, size and time the participants took to implement Six Sigma projects for the desired improvements. Therefore, we can give an order starting from the most difficult to implement to the least. The list is as follows:

  1. Case 1: Borusan case
  2. Case study 3: Credit Suisse
  3. Case study 7: Graphic Packaging- Lean Deployment
  4. Case study 2: A biotech company
  5. Case study 9: Account opening process
  6. Case study 10: Improving account reconciliation and approval process
  7. Case study 6: Six sigma, Manufacturing
  8. Case Study 5: Ears Hearing Under Water
  9. Case study 4: MIS Production Process Improvement
  10. Case study 8: Hulamin’s Quest for Continuous Improvement

The Borusan case was a project involving the company both locally and globally. There was also translation of the program into Turkish at a later stage, thus, making it large scale and, therefore, difficult to implement. Hulamin’s case was the least difficult as we see that, in this case, the process was just introduced without many difficulties for implementation. The studies carry a lot of information on how the companies approached the problems using the Lean Six Sigma and involving a partnering company, BMGI. I, therefore, chose these cases for the valuable information on how companies can strive for perfection in order to make massive shares and maintain the market shares. The studies also show participating teams acknowledging that they benefitted a lot from the projects.

The successes reported by the companies are far reaching and thus the studies are worth considering for companies wishing to learn the trick of excelling in any business adventure (Basu, 2009). These cases also show a variety of companies dealing with different goods and services and BMGI provides solutions for all of them. Thus, we learn the expertise shown, by BMGI, to deal with any business process. Lean Six Sigma is thus an approach worth adopting, in companies, to help solve problems (George, 2003). Although the companies depicted in the case studies deal with different businesses, some have close relationships. For instance, case 9 and case ten; account opening and account reconciliation respectively have a common relationship. The two deal with the account operations in financial institutions. Case 3 and 4 also show some similarity in that they focus on private banking and IT technology tools used to solve problems encountered in the operations.

Most of the cases involve the same procedure of approaching the problem. For example, training is one of the key approaches where employees selected undergo training on how to apply the Lean Six Sigma approach to solve problems in their companies. Examples, which show clear training process, include the Borusan case, Credit Suisse, the Biotech Company, account opening process, account reconciliation and approval process and Graphic Packaging-Lean deployment.

References

Basu, R. (2009). Implementing Six Sigma and Lean [electronic resource] : a practical guide to tools and techniques / Ron Basu. Amsterdam ; London ; New York : Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2009.

BMGI. (2010). Borusan Shows its Smarts, Leverages BMGI Blended Learning. Retrieved from http://www.bmgi.com/case-studies/borusan-shows-its-smarts-leverages-bmgi-blended-learning

BMGI. (2012). Browse Case Studies. Retrieved from http://www.bmgi.com/browse/case-studies/results

George, M. (2003). Lean Six Sigma for service : how to use Lean Speed and Six Sigma Quality to improve services and transactions / Mike L. George. New York : McGraw-Hill, c2003.

Goldsby, T. J., & Martichenko, R. (2005). Lean Six Sigma logistics [electronic resource] / by: Thomas Goldsby & Robert Martichenko. Boca Raton, FL : J. Ross Pub., 2005.

Plenert, G. (2012). Driving Strategy to Execution Using Lean Six Sigma [electronic resource] : a Framework for Creating High Performance Organizations. Hoboken : CRC Press, 2012.

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