Lean Six Sigma Continues to be a Priority for the U.S. Military

Lean Six Sigma Continues to be a Priority for the U.S. Military

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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The U.S. Armed Forces have become one of biggest proponents of Lean Six Sigma. They’ve taken the methodology out of the manufacturing facility and put it to use in the military in many ways.

In Pennsylvania, an Army Depot saved $4.5 million, partly by reducing the time needed to paint mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles by 34%. The Louisiana National Guard brought in Master Black Belts to help them comply with new Department of Defense business reform standards. They saved 500 hours and a half million dollars in the process.

Two recent stories show the Armed Forces continues its commitment to process improvement. While in different parts of the military, both achieved success in making operations more efficient.

Maintaining a Worldwide Fleet of Helicopters

Laventrace Battle, a logistics management specialist, received a Master Black Belt from the Office of the Undersecretary of the Army for his work that led to increased productivity at the Cargo Helicopters Project Office.

His work focused on maintenance engineering orders for the Army’s Chinook helicopters fleet.

A continuous process improvement team looked into operations at the Cargo Helicopters Project Office’s Integrated Project Support (IPS). IPS handles all technical requirements and design specifications for the CH-47 fleet. They “define support requirements, develop and acquire required support and provide required operational support to enable the highest readiness levels for the Army,” according to military news site Redstone Rocket.

A process bottleneck occurred when responding to maintenance work requests, partly because a lack of resources. Battle and the process improvement team identified process changes that resulted in a 251% increase in closure rates on requests and a 74% reduction in costs.

Black Belts Making Impact

At the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), Black Belts make an impact on operations.

Andrew Miskovich, Continuous Process Improvement Director at the agency, told the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service that DCMA Black Belts “take on some of the toughest challenges for the agency.”

He said Black Belts are “highly motivated to solve problems.” Some of the accomplishments include:

  • Reducing from 34 days to eight days the time needed to modify spare parts contracts
  • Reducing labor in that area by 50%
  • Improving the on-time delivery rates at the DCMA Boeing office in Seattle
  • Reducing the process time for the DCMA Quality Assurance group from 40 days to 11 days, while also reducing labor by 90%
  • Training dozens of personnel in DCMA offices around the country in process improvement techniques

Marshall Porter, a DCMA Black Belt, said he doubted process improvement could help at first.  But learning about how it works led him to see that “becoming a Black Belt teaches you the ability to look at administrative processes and convert them into manufacturing-like steps.”

That’s an approach that has been working well for the military, as well as in many other industries outside of manufacturing.

 

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Original: https://www.sixsigmadaily.com/lean-six-sigma-continues-priority-military/
By: admin
Posted: January 31, 2019, 11:00 am

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