Regal Beloit: LEANing Toward Simplicity

Regal Beloit: LEANing Toward Simplicity

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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Regal Beloit: LEANing Toward Simplicity

We live in a world of big business. It’s defined by acquisitions, growth, expansion and takeovers – bigger, faster, stronger and better than before.

It’s the capitalistic mantra. If your company isn’t growing, it’s dying. And for most businesses, larger growth means added complexity: multi-layered systems and complicated processes to support new customers and new products.

Keeping it Simple

However, Regal Beloit (a Wisconsin-based industrial goods company) sees things a little differently. As they grow, they simplify.

Where other companies are creating new products and pushing new brands, Regal Beloit has consolidated and streamlined its offerings. Ironically, that strategy has kept them flexible and diverse. They’re one of the leaders in their industry, and they credit much of their success to Lean Six Sigma principles.

Those principles have been steering them in the right direction for the last decade.

In 2006, on the back of a Lean Six Sigma strategy, Regal Beloit brought in $1.62 billion and was named one of Forbes’ 400 most well-managed big companies. Two years later, in 2008, those numbers continued to improve.

Reducing Complexity With Lean

Now, more than 10 years after the fact, Regal Beloit is the worldwide standard for their industry. And if you visit their webpage, listed under the Initiatives heading, you’ll find:


Complexity is a serious barrier to growth. We will continuously simplify every aspect of operations to increase speed, improve responsiveness and reduce costs.

That’s Lean manufacturing. Plain and simple. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, here’s a quick rundown…

It’s about maximizing value (getting the customer exactly what he or she wants as quickly and efficiently as possible) and minimizing waste (too much inventory, tedious processes, manufacturing errors, wasted time between operations, etc.).

That philosophy has saved Regal Beloit a fortune in operating costs, and with that money, they’ve been able to fund acquisitions, take risks, innovate and lead their market.

It works in the industrial goods industry, and chances are, it’ll work in your industry too. If you’re curious about trying Lean for yourself, there are a few tools you can put to use right away.

  • The Team Charter – it’s a document that determines every role, process, and goal a team needs to define before undertaking a project (and it also explains why the project is worth undertaking at all). It’s a simple tool, but it’s also incredibly powerful for eliminating waste down the line.
  • The Process Map – a diagram that breaks processes down into step-by-step actions. Over time, processes can adopt a lot of unnecessary steps, and process maps are great for highlighting those extraneous bits.
  • The Design of Experiments Method – a series of tests that discern how specifically process variables (both controllable and uncontrollable) affect the value of what you’re trying to create. You might, after all, be expending effort to make your project outcome slightly worse. It’s easier to spot these types of hiccups when you’re testing variables and measuring results.

There are dozens and dozens of tools you can use to eliminate waste in your organization’s processes. At first glance, some of them might seem trivial or unnecessary, but tools like these have helped Regal Beloit simplify their path to success, while their competitors keep getting bigger, slower and more complicated.

The post Regal Beloit: LEANing Toward Simplicity appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

By: James LoPresti
Posted: October 12, 2017, 12:20 pm

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