Managers – continuous improvement delivers more than you think

How many companies really just do “Continuous Improvement” for the savings. Continue reading

What’s in a name?

“A Christmas calendar is not an Advent Calendar!”

I had been listening to the football on BBC Radio 5 Live the night before and had forgotten to switch the channel back to Radio 4 for my wife’s enjoyment.

Broadcaster Rachel Burden was not best pleased about some populist who was marketing her Christmas calendar, with various goodies on offer behind each daily window. The gist seemed to be about the dates. Continue reading

Fancy a coffee or a 5S lesson?

Nice place Singapore….

Asia-lite  some people call it. Lovely botanical gardens and shopping malls and a subway system where everyone gets up for older travellers. And no nasty insects despite the heat and humidity. The airport is huge but there are orchids everywhere and matters run smoothly.

Unless you want a coffee… Continue reading

FANCY A DRINK? You’ll need to understand lean principles

Three short stories follow:

The Long Bar

The writer grew up in Newcastle–upon-Tyne, North East England. It’s a cold place but a warm place. In fact it’s freezing, but it’s a party town. People there like a drink. Continue reading

I don’t think Lean and Six Sigma applies to us


Many people are put off by the terms Lean and Six Sigma. They either think that it is too technical or that it can only be used in certain businesses. We find that a structured improvement culture can be applied in a wide variety of situations and can be very successful in some processes that might not seem to lend themselves to Lean and Six Sigma techniques. Continue reading

Beauty is skin deep – using Lean & Six Sigma to improve paint quality

colourful paint cans

Poor paint quality is a common problem in industry, which can cause rejects and rework and cost companies a great deal of money. The quality of paint – from the immaculate finish on formula one racing cars, to the weather-protective paint on wind turbine blades, is a vital source of customer value both image-related and functional. Poor paint quality dramatically affects repurchase intent and warranty costs. We’ve helped companies solve all of these problems.

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How will the new ISO13053 Six Sigma Standard be received?

formation of red fish break into mass of blue fish

Six Sigma has been in danger of becoming a victim of its own success. For a methodology which encouraged high standards, it is paradoxical that declining standards in the Six Sigma marketplace was causing many people to question its value. In response to this and other challenges, ISO 13053 was introduced in September 2011. But will it change anything? Continue reading

Are you sure the price is right?

catalogue page showing prices of necklaces

Using Six Sigma to minimise errors in retail pricing

If you are the manager of a retail organisation it can be all too easy to overlook the impact of pricing errors. And yet changes in the nature of retail management mean it has never been more important to build in best practice to minimise considerable impact on profitability and brand loyalty. This blog looks at a catalogue retailer which was losing money due to undercharging and wasting resources dealing with customer complaints. Using Six Sigma techniques the company was able to make savings of over £700k.

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How business improvement stemmed $60m losses in a life assurance company

Too many executives in the insurance industry dismiss Six Sigma or Lean as the stuff of manufacturing. On the contrary, business improvement techniques are applicable to any industry including life and pensions. We worked with a company which was haemorrhaging business to other pension providers at a cost of over $60m per year and the rate of transfers was accelerating.This blog shares the story of what happened.

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How important is proper measurement?

Decision making in business and government is all too often based on measured data. And yet in our company’s experience of over 1500 business improvement projects, it’s amazing how often we find this data is wildly inaccurate. Management puts so much faith in data, without checking how it was collected and presented. In this blog I will give three examples we’ve come across that show where faults may lie, the damaging effects they can have and how we were able to help the organisations concerned make substantial savings.

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