Lean Six Sigma Helps Humane Society Find Loving Homes For Dogs

Lean Six Sigma Helps Humane Society Find Loving Homes For Dogs

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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It turns out that man’s best friend can benefit from one of man’s best process improvement methodologies.

The Humane Society for Greater Savannah in Georgia, looking for a way to more quickly find an adoptive home for their dogs, recently turned to Lean Six Sigma for help. The results have been nothing short of fantastic.

The length of time animals now spend with the society has been shortened from 45 days to just 6.6.

“The more animals we move through the system, the more animals that find forever homes,” wrote William Brown III, CEO of the humane society, in an article for the Savannah Morning News. “That’s a win-win situation all around.”

You Must Measure to Manage

Brown brought Lean Six Sigma into the world of animal rescue and adoption through his background in the military. The Armed Forces have been one of the most active users of Lean Six Sigma outside of the manufacturing world.

Success stories with the military and Lean Six Sigma range from an Army depot in Pennsylvania that cut costs by $4.5 million to the Louisiana National Guard bringing in Master Black Belts to train personnel.

But could puppies benefit from cutting waste and reducing operational inefficiencies? Brown saw an opportunity.

Brown said he learned in both the military and in the corporate world that you “can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Lean Six Sigma excels in providing tools and techniques that foster a team effort to do just that, with a focus on cutting out wasteful steps in an operation and reduce variation in processes.

Typically, the end goal is to benefit the customer. In this case, the customers are dogs at the humane society – and the people who adopt them.

Making Animal Adoption Efficient

Brown acquired his Lean Six Sigma skills in the U.S. Air Force, and while working for the Department of Defense and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. As CEO of the Humane Society for Greater Savannah, he decided to apply the methodology first to staffing issues.

By gathering data on current operations, Brown immediately found that the society too often had one person doing too many jobs or “the right people doing the wrong tasks.” By reviewing staff resumes and conducting interviews, the society team was able to realign staff positions and eliminate these wasteful areas.

They then turned to inventory. They discovered that on a typical day, two different people might make a run to the same store to buy supplies, even if just one or two items were needed. They decided to instead hire an outside company that specializes in supplying inventory, which results in less time wasted and an inventory that is consistently stocked with needed supplies.

The reduction in the length of time an animal spent with the society came from more fully using a software system they already had in place. It allowed staff to track the progress of an animal through the system, from intake to medical treatment and eventual adoption.

By “holding our staff accountable for the length of time spent in each stage,” Brown wrote, the society greatly reduced the time spent by a dog in the shelter, getting them faster into a loving home.

Money Saved

They also saved money, too, an outcome you find in almost every article about anyone that applies Lean Six Sigma to any kind of process.

The society reduced personnel expenses by a staggering 34.89% in about one year. As Brown wrote, “The numbers don’t lie.”

The success in implementing Lean Six Sigma at the Humane Society of Greater Savannah is yet another example of how the methodology can help any operation when applied correctly. And in this case, the “winners” in all of this were among the most deserving: dogs just looking for a good home and the people who want to provide them.

The post Lean Six Sigma Helps Humane Society Find Loving Homes For Dogs appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

Original: https://www.sixsigmadaily.com/lean-six-sigma-helps-humane-society-find-loving-homes-dogs/
By: James LoPresti
Posted: October 8, 2018, 1:58 pm

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