SMT007 Magazine

SMT-June2019

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60 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2019 suppliers that provide consistent product quality and great service. Customers contin- uously evaluate their supply base; they have strategic initiatives to get the right suppliers in their AVL. As a supplier, you are confident that your technology and process capabilities will open doors for new programs. However, growing an account into a long-term engage- ment will require you to be a strategic and preferred supplier to your customer. Becom- ing a preferred supplier does not happen overnight; it requires a well-defined roadmap that will transform your organization over time. In the next few monthly columns, I will pro- vide the fundamental concepts to achieve the goal of becoming a preferred supplier to your customers. The first phase is to transform your company's culture with Lean Sigma. The approach introduced in this column can be adopted by any manufacturing organization through the following steps. Leadership Commitment to Core Values The executive team defines the vision of the company and the respective core values to support the vision. Unfortunately, most com- panies often specify values to satisfy customer expectations instead of representing values that are aligned with behaviors that employees can identify with. To initiate a culture trans- formation, the executive team needs to clearly establish values that drive the expected behav- iors for its employees. Once these are estab- lished, the key to success is the commitment of company leaders to demonstrate behaviors and actions that support these values; it's a concerted effort that requires consistency. One initiative is to create a Lean Sigma mentality that supports your values. Designate a Lean Sigma Champion We must first understand the meaning of Lean Sigma. Lean Six Sigma is a series of methods that require team collaboration to improve performance by systematically remov- ing waste and reducing variation. Many books provide guidance on how to implement these methods. One of my preferred books is Lean Six Sigma: A Beginner's Guide to Understand- ing and Practicing Lean Six Sigma, authored by Jim Hall and Tina Scott. This book provides a practical approach to implementing the Lean Sigma journey. Before starting this journey, the leadership team must designate a Lean Sigma champion that will be empowered to lead the transfor- mation. From my experience, companies that have been successful with Lean Sigma des- ignate an executive with decision-making authority to be the Lean Sigma champion. I advise not to assign this responsibility to the quality or engineering manager. Lean Sigma is a lot more involved that one departmental function, and it's best not to create the per - ception that only quality personnel and engi- neers work on Lean Sigma projects. Lean Sigma involves the entire organization work- ing together to succeed. The Lean Sigma champion does not have to be an expert in advanced quality tools, which are required in carrying out projects that sup- port Lean Sigma. Instead, the Lean Sigma champion will create the roadmap, toolkit, and accountability system for engineers, man- agers, and individual contributors that will be trained as subject-matter experts in the meth- ods to implement Lean Sigma. Various meth- ods exist to support a Lean Sigma transfor- mation. Figure 1 illustrates some of the most common methods. Keep It Simple This is the secret to Lean Sigma success. The complexity level of Lean Sigma implemented at Tier 1 companies will not work for Tier 3 or 4 manufacturing organizations. Your Lean Sigma champion needs to consider available resources to roll out a program that will be sus- tainable. A mistake often made is to make Lean Sigma a theoretical exercise instead of a prac- tical business tool for the organization. The phrase "by the book" should not be applied to Lean Sigma. Use methods and approaches that fit your organization. One example is the use of design of exper- iments (DOE) for your Lean Sigma projects. Implementing a DOE requires engineering

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