Category Archives: Management Systems

Datacraft Solutions Finds Practice Continuous Improvement Lean Answers

According to Stephen Parker, CEO of Datacraft Solutions, “The Datacraft Solutions team believes in Continuous Improvement (CI), not only in manufacturing operations and supply chain management, but also in the Lean tools offered to our customers. CI in inventory and supply-chain management means the continuing pursuit of higher inventory turns, less stockouts and improved on time delivery in a challenging and ever-changing business landscape. This, in turn, requires fine tuning of the Kanban card-sets to reflect Sales and Operations Plans (S&OP), forecasts and a combination of other demand management factors.”

 

 

Kaizen (Japanese for “improvement”) is a philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. When applied to the workplace, Kaizen activities continually improve all functions of a business, from manufacturing to management and from the CEO to the assembly line workers. By improving standardized activities and processes, Kaizen aims to eliminate waste, Lean manufacturing. 

 

Kaizen is a daily activity, the purpose of which goes beyond simple productivity improvement. It is also a process that, when done correctly, humanizes the workplace, eliminates overly hard work (“muri”), and teaches people how to perform experiments on their work using the scientific method and how to learn to spot and eliminate waste in business processes.

 

To be most effective kaizen must operate with three principles in place:

 



consider the process and the results (not results-only) so that actions to achieve effects are surfaced;
systemic thinking of the whole process and not just that immediately in view (i.e. big picture, not solely the narrow view) in order to avoid creating problems elsewhere in the process; and
a learning, non-judgmental, non-blaming (because blaming is wasteful) approach and intent will allow the re-examination of the assumptions that resulted in the current process.

 

The challenge is to do this in a simple process with minimal administrative overhead, and quickly. Working with Lean Thought Leaders and after five years of advanced research and development, we have created the industry’s first card releveling tool: Intelligent Card Leveling (ICL).  Intelligent Card Leveling will be deployed this year in the third quarter.

 

 

Datacraft Solutions (www.datacraftsolutions.com) delivers a revolutionary digital kanban process of automation solutions to lean manufacturers through a secure Internet gateway, eliminating the need to install and maintain a complex IT infrastructure. The company has experienced significant growth in the past two years by eliminating complicated, expensive, time-intensive software implementations as well as extensive training regimens and the need for internal support. Datacraft Solutions’ replenishment supply chain digital kanban system (Signum) allows customers to access and utilize powerful lean benefits immediately for a low, predictable monthly fee. Services are scalable so manufacturers can design an appropriate digital kanban solution.

 

 

Datacraft Solutions

www.datacraftsolutions.com

Sonja Foust

sfoust@datacraftsolutions.net

800-819-5326

 

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Six Sigma And Healthcare

Six Sigma methodologies aim at improving overall quality by eliminating defects and achieving near perfection by restricting the number of possible defects to less than 3.4 defects per million. Six Sigma methodologies were originally developed for implementation in the manufacturing sector but with time their use has spread to the services sector as well. In the services sector, Six Sigma concepts are used mainly for eliminating transactional errors.

Today, the concepts and methodologies of 6-Sigma are increasingly being used in the healthcare industry for improving the quality of services rendered, increasing efficiency, and eliminating human errors that can often prove fatal. However, the use of 6-Sigma in the healthcare industry is a relatively new phenomenon as compared to other service industries that have undergone some type of data-supported, systematic, quality-improvement process. With medical and technological advancements, the demand and expectations for improved medical care are continuously increasing. However, due to lack of effective management systems, inefficiency is increasing, which often leads to congested emergency rooms, customer complaints, and lost revenues.

Benefits

Six Sigma concepts and methods enable a healthcare organization to offer improved healthcare services to patients by streamlining business processes. In the healthcare industry, the quality of services rendered depends a lot on human skills, which is often very difficult to measure and control. 6-Sigma is effective as it is based on a comprehensive approach that focuses on improving both human as well as transactional aspects of a process. Although implementing Six Sigma concepts in the healthcare industry is a challenging task, it does help in getting quick results.

In the healthcare industry, the factors that determine the quality and efficiency are usually the flow of information and interaction between people. Six Sigma helps in streamlining the flow of information and achieving strategic business results by initiating cultural shifts all throughout the organization. 6-Sigma focuses on improving processes rather than just concentrating on the task, which helps in increasing the scope of improvements. It provides the necessary tools and methodologies that help in analyzing and transforming human performance, necessary for achieving significant long-term improvements.

Process

Six Sigma helps in defining a vision for the future, identifying specific goals, and establishing quantitative measures for turning that vision into reality. It helps in formulating goal plans and setting timelines for moving from current performance levels to Six Sigma performance levels. The plans are defined only after documenting their effects on the organization’s work processes’ that may include flow of information, surgical site procedures, handling patients, and others.

The basic requirements for successfully implementing Six Sigma programs are usually long-term vision, commitment, leadership, management, and training. It is important to provide the requisite training to doctors, nurses, and the administrative staff for making them aware about the various concepts and methodologies. The training may initially appear to be expensive, but is often worth the cost when one considers the benefits such as improved quality of services and increased efficiency. It is necessary for employees working in a healthcare organization to develop an understanding about the various Six Sigma concepts. This will help them in integrating new techniques into the Six Sigma processes for improving quality and effectiveness.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution’s Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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Cutting Costs With Six Sigma

Problems Faced By Companies On The Cost Front

On the cost front, most industries such as the manufacturing industry, service industry, health care industry and even the educational industry are all experiencing a great amount of pressure. As an example, hospitals are facing ever-decreasing compensation from insurance companies, which is a serious concern to many. Hospitals also experience the pressure of high labor costs and low productivity. This decline in revenue has come about due to the increase in costs and the ever-increasing competition. 6 Sigma has always been construed as a quality improvement tool, and quality has always been linked with high costs and expenditures. However, the efforts by the black belts and the master black belts to help save on costs have helped companies view Six Sigma favorably.

6 Sigma And It’s Contribution Towards Cost Cutting

Six Sigma was never intended to be used as a cost cutting tool; nevertheless it has made great contributions towards that end. The methodology of 6 Sigma employs unique ways to help cut costs in all aspects of business. Firstly, Six Sigma contributes towards customer servicing. The opinions of the customer alone help define the quality of the products and services provided by any business. By figuring out the customer’s needs; 6 Sigma can help by cutting down on any wastage like over-utilization and under-utilization of capacity. Six Sigma also helps stabilize process variation, which helps save on material conversion. Not only does this result in an increase and improvement in productivity and quality, but it also results in the reduced cost of rejection and re-working.

The reduction in Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) is massive considering the overall tremendous savings coming from practically no rejections. This has come about due to the graduation from three or four sigma to 6 Sigma. For example, in the case of a hospital, after utilizing the Six Sigma methods in it’s cardiology department, the hospital can cut down the average process time that is necessary for admission. This produces a dual-advantage. The first one being that the reduction of almost 45 minutes of the process time will lead to a decrease in labor costs. Secondly, the hospital department can now accommodate a larger number of patients because of the increase in the productivity.

The doctrines of total customer satisfaction and returns on investment are the main areas of focus. The 6 Sigma team helps generate innovative and creative ideas that are aimed at controlling costs. The team then helps employ risk management schemes and devises that lead to the early detection of various risk factors. An increase in yield from project portfolios will lead to an increase in resources resolving matters of risk.

The Biggest Challenge Faced By Six Sigma

The biggest challenge faced by 6 Sigma is from the outsourcing or off shoring of business processes. The developing third world countries have a lower cost structure and are attracting the large corporations offering them a chance to increase their overall return on investment. This is a process that is being engaged by medium and small-sized businesses, as the larger corporations have experienced significant success using outsourcing.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution’s Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

Continuous Improvement Yields Impacts From Datacraft Solutions

Kaizen (Japanese for “improvement”) is a philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. When applied to the workplace, Kaizen activities continually improve all functions of a business, from manufacturing to management and from the CEO to the assembly line workers. By improving standardized activities and processes, Kaizen aims to eliminate waste, Lean manufacturing. 

 

According to Stephen Parker, CEO of Datacraft Solutions, “The Datacraft Solutions team believes in Continuous Improvement (CI), not only in manufacturing operations and supply chain management, but also in the Lean tools offered to our customers. CI in inventory and supply-chain management means the continuing pursuit of higher inventory turns, less stockouts and improved on time delivery in a challenging and ever-changing business landscape. This, in turn, requires fine tuning of the Kanban card-sets to reflect Sales and Operations Plans (S&OP), forecasts and a combination of other demand management factors.”

 

 

 

Kaizen is a daily activity, the purpose of which goes beyond simple productivity improvement. It is also a process that, when done correctly, humanizes the workplace, eliminates overly hard work (“muri”), and teaches people how to perform experiments on their work using the scientific method and how to learn to spot and eliminate waste in business processes.

 

To be most effective kaizen must operate with three principles in place:

 



consider the process and the results (not results-only) so that actions to achieve effects are surfaced;
systemic thinking of the whole process and not just that immediately in view (i.e. big picture, not solely the narrow view) in order to avoid creating problems elsewhere in the process; and
a learning, non-judgmental, non-blaming (because blaming is wasteful) approach and intent will allow the re-examination of the assumptions that resulted in the current process.

 

The challenge is to do this in a simple process with minimal administrative overhead, and quickly. Working with Lean Thought Leaders and after five years of advanced research and development, we have created the industry’s first card releveling tool: Intelligent Card Leveling (ICL).  Intelligent Card Leveling will be deployed this year in the third quarter.

 

 

Datacraft Solutions (www.datacraftsolutions.com) delivers a revolutionary digital kanban process of automation solutions to lean manufacturers through a secure Internet gateway, eliminating the need to install and maintain a complex IT infrastructure. The company has experienced significant growth in the past two years by eliminating complicated, expensive, time-intensive software implementations as well as extensive training regimens and the need for internal support. Datacraft Solutions’ replenishment supply chain digital kanban system (Signum) allows customers to access and utilize powerful lean benefits immediately for a low, predictable monthly fee. Services are scalable so manufacturers can design an appropriate digital kanban solution.

 

 

Datacraft Solutions

www.datacraftsolutions.com

Sonja Foust

sfoust@datacraftsolutions.net

800-819-5326

 

Professional Marketing Firm

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Six Sigma In The Insurance Industry

6 Sigma concepts and philosophies were originally developed for improving the overall quality of business processes in the manufacturing sector. Companies like Motorola and GE were among the first few that successfully introduced Six Sigma concepts in their business processes. However, with the development of newer tools and techniques, 6 Sigma is now deemed appropriate for the services sector as well. The usability of Six Sigma in the services sector is easily evident from the increasing number of finance and insurance companies that are opting for 6 Sigma.

Consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the quality of services being offered to them, making it essential for the services industry to implement quality improvement techniques like Six Sigma for conforming to customer expectations. This is especially true for the insurance industry where the relationship between the insurer and the insured is still largely governed by sustained personal contact. By implementing 6 Sigma programs, insurance companies have been able to offer quality services at affordable rates to their customers.

Identifies Key Business Processes

Unlike other quality management practices such as Total Quality Management (TQM) whose effectiveness is difficult to measure, Six Sigma based improvement programs make use of statistical tools, which can measure the effect of changes being made in a very short time. 6 Sigma focuses on process orientation, enabling organizations to identify key business processes that are necessary for improving customer satisfaction. This helps managers in understanding the exact requirements of their customers and in altering business processes to suit customer needs and expectation.

Follows A Disciplined Approach

Six Sigma has helped insurance companies in improving quality as well as reducing costs of services offered. It has enabled insurance companies to follow a disciplined approach, which has helped in preventing errors, minimizing hand-offs, and eliminating rework and workarounds. It has also helped in increasing the speed of business processes used in the insurance industry.

Helps In Making Informed Decisions

6 Sigma has enabled managers in taking informed decisions based on statistical data. With the use of Six Sigma tools and techniques, managers no longer have to rely on their perceptions or gut feelings for rendering the level of services promised to policyholders, clients, and prospects.

Helps In Building Customer Loyalty

6 Sigma emphasizes on understanding the needs of the customers before making any changes to business processes. This helps insurance companies in building customer loyalty among their policyholders, which is necessary for the long-term success of any business organization. Insurance companies can also hope to increase their market share, as satisfied customers are most likely to recommend a company that offers quality services while advising a friend, relative or business associate.
Helps In Reducing Costs

Six Sigma tools and techniques aim at streamlining business processes in such a way that helps in reducing costs. This helps insurance companies to improve their savings and avoid drastic cost-saving measures such as downsizing, which can have a negative effect on employee morale. It can also create doubts in the mind of policyholders and prospects as downsizing usually attracts a lot of negative publicity.

6 Sigma has helped the insurance industry in bridging the gap between planned strategies and actual operations by providing analytical and in-process performance measurement tools. These tools are used for comparing planned goals and objectives with actual outcomes and for finding the reasons as to why a particular business process is not giving the desired results. Once the exact problem has been pinpointed, managers can make the necessary changes that will help in improving overall quality of services rendered to policyholders and prospects.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution’s Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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