Barnes and Noble Hires Six Sigma Advocate as Executive Vice President

Barnes and Noble Hires Six Sigma Advocate as Executive Vice President

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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Barnes & Noble has turned to a Six Sigma advocate as the company’s vice president over operations, relying on a process improvement expert to help guide the world’s largest book retailer into the future.

The hiring shows yet again how the tools and techniques of Lean and Six Sigma are getting used increasingly in retail just as they are healthcare, the military and government agencies in the United States and abroad.

Joe Gorman, the new executive vice president for operations, will oversee uniting the operations of the “Stores, Cafe and Real Estate teams,” as well as provide “sales, logistics and operational leadership to these teams to drive performance, growth and profitability,” according to a news release from Barnes & Noble.

Sounds like a job for a Six Sigma advocate, which is exactly what Gorman has been during his career, including working at GameStop and Home Depot.

Six Sigma Champion

Gorman’s hiring provides a window into how Lean and Six Sigma methodologies are being used in ways far removed from their origins on the manufacturing floor.

According to the Barnes & Noble news release, Gorman has previously been named a High Potential Leader and Six Sigma Champion at GameStop and a Six Sigma Champion at Home Depot.

According to the American Society for Quality (ASQ), the role of a Six Sigma Champion is to “translate the company’s vision, mission, goals and metrics to create an organizational deployment plan and identify individual projects.” Among their other duties, according to ASQ, is to identify resources and remove roadblocks that infringe on project deadlines.

Six Sigma and Retail

Major retailers have found reason to put Six Sigma into play in their process improvement efforts. Henry Harvin, which provides training in process improvement, released a report on Six Sigma and retail that listed companies that use Six Sigma. They included:

  • Amazon.com
  • Best Buy
  • Lowe’s
  • Office Depot
  • Target
  • Walmart

They also reported that 15,000 jobs in India alone ask for retail managers to have some experience in Lean Six Sigma. They suggest retailers can put process improvement to work in a number of areas, including managing inventory, delivery of products and customer service.

In another in-depth look at uses for Six Sigma in retail, Villanova University reported that the methodology can make many retail processes more efficient, including checkout and freight processing.

One of the more interesting uses is in developing a planogram, which is the visual model for product placement. This is important as many customers make buying decisions while in a store. An effective planogram makes it easy for customers to make those buying decisions and to find substitute items to buy if their first choice is not available.

How Barnes & Noble might put something like that into play remains to be seen. However, all this provides context for the wisdom of Barnes & Nobles’ choice. The hiring of Gorman is the most recent, and one of the most powerful, examples of how Lean and Six Sigma continues to influence business in the United States, including retail.

 

The post Barnes and Noble Hires Six Sigma Advocate as Executive Vice President appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.




Original: https://www.sixsigmadaily.com/barnes-noble-hires-six-sigma-advocate-executive-vice-president/
By: admin
Posted: April 4, 2019, 2:03 pm

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