A Successful Story: How Six Sigma is Implemented by the Army

A Successful Story: How Six Sigma is Implemented by the Army

In the business world, Six Sigma has been a byword for process improvement since the 1980s. It has been widely adopted by companies that want to enhance their processes and, in turn, their customers' pleasure. The public sector has recently joined the ranks of those who have adopted this technology. The United States Army began using Lean Six Sigma in 2006, and its website claims that after just five years of deployment, the service has saved an estimated $19.1 billion. This significant sum is the result of enhancing preexisting programs, preventing further costs, and developing revenue streams from reimbursable items.

The goal of the Six Sigma approach is to eliminate the factors that contribute to faults, omissions, or other problems in order to enhance the operation of a given organization or system. A management system is set up using this strategy with the express purpose of systematically locating and eliminating errors.

The Army's administrative, production, defence, and other operations all contribute to national security, making the process of eliminating errors even more crucial. According to the Army's website, the system has already paid for itself 700 times over since its implementation.

However, Lean Six Sigma's advantages aren't limited to the global scale. Several Army organisations have reaped benefits from using Lean Six Sigma.

By using Lean Six Sigma to analyze and improve processes, the Regional Health Command-C (RHC-C) Lean Six Sigma team was able to become the best in the United States Army Medical Command. This allowed the organisation to better meet the needs of regional unit commanders. The group used Lean Six Sigma to analyze regulations, track training, and figure out how to help students. They discovered a hole in tracking and filled it by adopting a regional standard. They have seen an uptick in trained staff after implementing this strategy.

The Red River Army Depot (RRAD) in Texas retooled its Humvee production efficiency, saving the Army around $30 million. The role of the Rapid Reconstitution and Readiness Activity (RRAD) is to repair and return to service battle-damaged tactical vehicles such as Humvees, heavy extended mobility tactical trucks (HEMTT), and Bradley tanks. Therefore, time is of the essence. When RRAD implemented Lean Six Sigma and committed to continuous improvement, they were able to double their output, from restoring 16 Humvees per day to restoring 32. The HEMTT production lead time was drastically cut from 130 days to just 30.

An idea he had while working on a Lean Six Sigma project inspired logistics expert Kevin Joyce to give the team control over resetting the computer. Laptops were previously sent out to contractors to be reset, a time-consuming and expensive process. After recognizing this problem, two test units began the reset process at their home stations and discovered that turnaround time decreased from 30 days to only a few hours without sacrificing quality. According to the Army's website, using the new method for the next five years resulted in savings of almost $10 million.

Lean Six Sigma's emphasis on eradicating waste and increasing productivity has proven useful in a variety of public and private sector settings. Professionals can advance their education from Green Belt (beginning) to Black Belt (intermediate) to Master Black Belt (strategic) in order to acquire the skills necessary to implement change at any level of a business. Professionals can make significant contributions in a variety of fields after earning a certification in that area.

Leave a Reply