British Company Become First Construction Operation Internationally Certified in Lean Six Sigma

British Company Become First Construction Operation Internationally Certified in Lean Six Sigma

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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United Kingdom-based construction company Gilbert & Goode has become the first construction company in the world to earn International Lean Six Sigma Certification. The award recognizes companies that have met the guidelines set up by the British Standards Institution for Lean implementation.

Gilbert & Goode, a general building company established in 1972, offers construction services in the Devon and Cornwall areas in southwest England. These services range from new building construction to refurbishing and repair work.

Steve Ward, a consultant who guided Gilbert & Goode through the process of earning Lean Six Sigma certification, said that success involved engagement with people at every level of the organization, including those in senior management.

Ward told Planning & Building Control Today that “fortunately, the senior team at Gilbert & Goode were all keen to adopt a Lean approach.” This commitment supported not only changes within the company, but also with the company’s partners and those they work with in the supply chain.

Lean and ISO 18404

The certification earned by Gilbert & Goode came after a months-long effort to meet the standards established by a committee for the British Standards Institute. The standards were developed to create an internationally recognized, consistent framework for adopting Lean Six Sigma.

That standard is known as ISO 18404 (ISO stands for International Organization of Standards). The standard contains two key approaches.

One is to create a structured program for training and development of people within in an organization in Lean Six Sigma methodology. The other is to establish a formal process to continuously evaluate the processes and systems within an organization.

ISO 18404 also defines what competencies must be achieved to attain Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt status, as well as how to become a Lean practitioner. Overall, it has established an agreed-upon benchmark for what constitutes an organizational and individual expertise in Lean Six Sigma.

A Definition for Lean Six Sigma Expertise

Simon Caklais, managing director at Gilbert & Goode, told Planning & Building Control Today that the company made a commitment to Lean Six Sigma during a time when the U.K. construction industry “faces a massive challenge in terms of poor productivity.”

He noted that while many companies in the U.K. have said they take a Lean approach, their actual expertise in process improvement methodology is “mixed and in many cases inadequate.”

With the ISO 18404 standard in place, everyone now has a benchmark for assessing the expertise of those who advertise as using Lean Six Sigma methodology. As always with Lean, the goal is to deliver products that meet a high standard while also being produced in the most efficient way possible.

As Caklais put it, “Our aim is to drive waste out of all stages of the design and construction process.”

This isn’t the first award that demonstrates the company’s commitment to excellence. In 2015, the company won the Leadership & People Development Award from the Southwest Built Environment Awards. The award recognized outstanding work in developing the skills and capability of its own staff, as well as within the industry in Cornwall.

 

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Original: https://www.sixsigmadaily.com/construction-operation-internationally-certified-lean-six-sigma/
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Posted: February 26, 2019, 12:00 pm

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