Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training: One Person Really Can Make a Difference

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training: One Person Really Can Make a Difference

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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Can one person trained in continuous process improvement and with a commitment to efficiency make a difference in an organization?

The answer is yes, if they have the support they need. In the case of the U.S. military, that support is apparent in every branch of the service and in locations around the world.

The latest story of a Lean Six Sigma-trained person making an impact involves Robert Fagan, a Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support (DLATS) contracting officer, according to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS).

Fagan’s changes to a contract award system have saved $70,000 so far. And it’s a process that can potentially be replicated throughout the military. It’s the latest in many positive stories from the military about the benefits of training employees in Lean Six Sigma.

Fagan credits his accomplishments to having access to Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training.

“The Green Belt class helped give me the confidence to do this kind of project,” Fagan told DVIDS. “From the skills I learned there, I knew that I would have support some place if I ever ran into a roadblock.”

His Green Belt Project

Fagan, a contracting officer with the DLATS in the clothing and textiles team, finished his training in Lean Six Sigma Green Belt in October 2017. However, he still had one more task to earn his belt – completing a project using his new skills.

Working with the Green Belt course instructions, Fagan began looking into the challenges his team faced in effectively filling high-volume orders for U.S. Army rank insignia and Army service tape orders. Specifically, it was these orders for utility uniforms in the operational camouflage pattern.

Fagan told DVIDS, “Everybody that wears an Army uniform gets a rank insignia and a service tape, whether it be a private, captain or general. This material can’t be on backorder because every soldier needs to have one.”

A Different Approach

To meet the high volume of orders from the Army, Fagan could not use the usual approach taken by the supply chain on his team. Typically, they could award “indefinite quantity, indefinite delivery,” long-term contracts with one vendor to meet demands. But that wasn’t going to work in this case. His team needed the materials faster than the time it would take to award a long-term contract.

Instead of dealing with the four vendors already certified to make insignia, Fagan proposed adopting blanket purchase agreements using a simplified acquisitions tool. It allowed vendors to fulfill orders without being beholden to a specific minimum or maximum order.

The new system also allowed contracting officers to award a delivery order during times of urgent need without having to get quotes because ordering prices are already set and approved.

The new approach didn’t require the government to take on any risk, because no minimum order amount was guaranteed.

Eliminating Waste

The primary focus of Lean is to identify and eliminate waste. One of the first steps is to look for challenges within the eight areas of waste into which every unneeded action falls. The areas of waste are:

  • Motion
  • Waiting
  • Unused talent
  • Inventory
  • Defects
  • Overproduction
  • Transportation
  • Non-value-added processing (or over processing)

Fagan took that approach in looking at the contract issue. He found areas that likely would fall under waiting or non-value-added processing – time spent waiting for approvals during the contract review process. By taking on his suggestions, his team cut down the entire award process from 279 days to 98 days. This was accomplished primarily with eliminating redundant reviews.

“It’s amazing what a small system can do to improve your workflow,” Fagan said.

Fagan’s Green Belt project led to other savings and accomplishments. They included:

  • Better on-time delivery for customers
  • Reduced lead times
  • The same level of quality of product at a fair and reasonable price
  • $70,000 saved by Fagan’s team

The approach developed by Fagan could be used by more military services, Maximo Ayala, chief of the LSS Training and Project Management Support Branch, told DVIDS.

While $70,000 has been saved so far, “the impact to the armed forces is much more,” Ayala said. “It’s a more reliable, more flexible system. The replication possibilities are endless.”

The post Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training: One Person Really Can Make a Difference appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

Original: https://www.sixsigmadaily.com/lean-six-sigma-green-best-training-value/
By: admin
Posted: September 12, 2019, 1:41 pm

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