If you’re looking for a model or blueprint for Lean Six Sigma implementation, then Las Vegas, Nevada is a good place to start your search.
Every year, at the Lean Six Sigma World Conference, the American Quality Institute presents Lean Six Sigma awards to qualifying companies. In 2018, the top prize went to an organization called USG – they were recognized with the Institute’s Project of the Year Award for the second year in a row.
After awards in consecutive years, USG has firmly established itself as one of the country’s leaders in Lean Six Sigma. But what do they do differently than other organizations? How do they think differently? Operate differently?
Commitment to Lean Six Sigma
First, you have to understand what USG offers. They’re a Chicago-based manufacturing company that specializes in building products – don’t get confused here, however… they’re not a company that builds products, but rather one that produces products to aid in building and construction. They help make better walls, ceilings, flooring, sheathing and roofing, which means their work has to be as defect-free as possible.
That’s why, in 2010, they committed to Lean Six Sigma practices. They’ve committed to process improvement and waste reduction every year since then, and in 2017 and 2018, they were recognized for their effort.
What was their big Lean Six Sigma breakthrough?
A lightweight gypsum panel. It weighs 30% less than other building panels, and USG can produce it 31% faster than traditional paneling. It has saved the company millions of dollars, and rightfully earned them a handful of awards.
“We are honored to be recognized for our Lean Six Sigma efforts for the second year in a row,” Ken Banas, vice president of USG’s advanced manufacturing and corporate excellence, said in a press release. “[This] reflects the hard work and commitment of our talented corporate excellence teams. Our employees are empowered to create new efficiencies and process improvement initiatives which have a significant impact and contribute to our business in a meaningful way.”
Lean Six Sigma World Conference
The Lean Six Sigma World Conference is heading into its 18th year of recognizing the country’s most efficient and focused organizations. It recognizes organizations who’ve hit home runs on their Lean Six Sigma-based projects, and organizations who’ve deployed Lean Six Sigma in innovative and engaging ways.
The 2018 deployment award winner went to an organization called Arrow Electronics. They were recognized for training over 300 Six Sigma Green Belts – from all around the world – in only two years.
Submissions for the 2019 World Conference are open.
If you think your organization qualifies for awards submission, keep a few things in mind. These awards are results-driven, and the judges look for ambition and follow-through in both the project and deployment categories.
“The organizations that we consider for recognition have undertaken impressive and far-reaching efforts and show great dedication to improving and innovating their professional environments,” said Kimberly Watson-Hemphill, the awards chair, in a news release.